Academy Of Music Festival is a praiseworthy cultural festival happening in Bangalore every year with the intention of giving high caliber classical music to its lovers as well as offering opportunities for budding artistes to exhibit their talent apart from the performances by upcoming and eminent musicians.
Conducted by the commitee members at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall under the leadership of veteran Veena artiste Suma Sudhindra, it was indeed a delightful opportunity for the serious listener. The programmes were well conceived allotting the morning sessions for discussions and demonstrations by experts in the field of music with the performances scheduled in the evening as lobby concerts for an hour from 4.30 to 5.30 pm. This was followed by concerts by upcoming artistes for another hour in the main auditorium and finally the main concerts involving veterans.
In the symposium, Dr R.N.Sreelatha aptly elaborated the ‘Role of Accompanying Artistes’ in a concert. Smt Charulata described the role of theviolinist in a convincing way .She emphasised the importance of going along with main artiste without adopting a separate track. Mr.Arjun Kumar covered the role of a mirudangist who according to his guru needed the knowledge of at least 150 and odd songs, to adapt to any situation. Mr. Manna Sinivasan spoke about rasika’s role bringing out his wide experience for decades in this regard.
The Padam & Javali demonstration by Aruna Sai Ram, was a memorable and exhilarating experience. Those who attended the session would definitely be feeling specially blessed. Aruna Sai Ram overwhelmed everybody by her authentic and delectable singing of Padams in ragas Bairavi, Nadanamakriya and Javalis in Poorvi Kalyani,Bairavi and Faraz. She explained that padams and javalis are nothing but showing bakti adopting sringara bhava. She also recalled her memories about her great Guru and eminent artiste of yesteryears, Smt.Brinda who always held that learning by listening and practicing as often as possible, will make a good artiste rather than noting down theories.
Balamurali’s lecture demonstration on aesthetics of Swaraprasthara was most eagerly sought after by music lovers including veteran artistes like violin-veena couple, Kumaresh and Jayanti, who were among the audience. Balamurali was in his creative best when he talked and sang some of his compositions. His rich experience was well shared with the audience who were thrilled by his thoughtful and educative comments.
Later, the famed Aruna Sai Ram also joined and shared with audience her unforgettable guidance she received from him.Kadri Gopalnath greatfully recalled the encouragement he received from Balamurali when he started his musical career. For those who attended his session, it was a memorable moment.
Lobby events provided a platform for budding artistes while in the main auditorium, Veterans Unnikrishnan,R.K.Padmanaba, Saxaphone Kadri Gopalnath,Violin duo Ganesh and Kumaresh Aruna Sai Ram enthralled.
Unnikrishnan made the listener float with delight by his handling of ragas with ease. The great GNB.Kalyana Vasantham & Thodi were special on that day. The accompanying artistes rose to the occassion in maintaining the high calibre of the concert. H.N.Baskar played his violin in tune with Unni..Mirudangist Arjun Kumar has to be specially congratulated for his subtle and soothing play which inspired his counter parts Guruprasanna on kanjira and Pramath Kiran on morching.
Thani avrdhanam was very interesting.
R.K.Padmanaba sang some old popular keertanas which are rarely sung these days like Chalamelara, Enthaveduko etc., He was accompanied by Sri.Srimushanam Rajarao who was forced to play with fast tempo. Padmanaba seemed to be enthusiastic to sing on fast tempo not giving much importance to handling of ragas with elaboarte variations.
Kadri Gopalnath with his usual accompaniment enthused the listeners. Famed Kanyakumari on violin was an added attraction to his concert. Kadri is special in the instrument field as he successfully adopted and blended a western instrument like Saxaphone for carnatic music.
Violin Duo concert by famed Ganesh and Kumaresh enthralled the audience..They started with Mysore Vasudevacharya’s kriti in Sudda Dhanyasi followed by Dikshitar’s Akilandeswari in Dwajavanti which was captivating. Listeners had a treat of a special piece swara bedham for which kalyani was chosen.
The duos’ skill and rare imagination in playing the ragas was amazing.Even some lighter pieces which included Kavadi Chindu, Sarvam Brahma Mayam and Lakshmi Baramma were played with unusual imagination which overwhelmed the listeners. Trivandrum Balu’s mirudungam and Guruprasanna’s kanjira were the delightful and soothing accompaniment which added pep to the concert.There is no wonder that the hall was full.
There was an unprecedented response for Aruna Sai Ram’s concert. Aruna who has the ability to handle any piece with authority, started the concert with varnam in Gambira Nattai composed by Balamurali which she presented as Guru Vandhana to the veteran who was among the audience. Then she mesemerised everybody with her brilliant rendering of varieties of pieces from classical, popular and devotional numbers. Aruna’s excellence in bringing out the bhava in every piece she rendered made even the not so knowledgeable among the audience spell bound.
Her tributes to GNB by her rendering Vasudevayani in Kalyani, Sakkani Raja in Karharapriya, the famous Madu meykum Kanna song, an abhang in praise of Lord Ganesha, Meera Bajan, the much awaited ragamalika of Laksmi Baramma and finally the marvellous thillana which made every classical dancer in the audience wish he or she was performing, made this concert the crown jewel of the festival.
Posted by V.S.Ganeshan