Paying tribute with a mellifluous recital

Beaming in a crimson-golden saree, Dr M Narmadha sat poised on the pedestal with a violin in her hands.

When Narmadha payed a tribute to Parur-MSG tradition, the small yet intimate gathering inside Amaltas hall in Indian Habitat Centre was spellbound by her violin recital. Keeping her audience involved, she explained the significance of each and every song presented in the violin concert that focused on the popular compositions of one the greatest giants of Carnatic and Hindustani, MS Gopalakrishnan.

“It’s a tribute concept. As a preamble for the performance, one lays out significant occurrences of a musicians life before playing a rendition of his music”, says Dr M Narmadha.

Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha organised this violin recital in the fond memory of MS Gopalakrishnan.  The disciple and daughter of the great stalwart of music, MS Gopalakrishnan, she took to the stage to pay homage to her father who passed away in January 2013. Raaga Kharaharapriya was the highlight of the concert with a detailed alaap followed by a thyagaraja composition Pakkhala Nilabadi in Mishra Capu, says the mellifluous violinist, Narmadha.

Elaborating upon her style of performance, she says, “If I were to talk about Tansen’s music, I would present it through a talk and performance, illustrating his life and work. It is called lecture demonstration. This helps in educating laymen about the intricacies of music during a performance”.  Besides, she excels at fusion and thematic concerts.

 “I was a comparatively taller child, so I could handle a violin at the age of four. That’s when I started learning under the tutelage of my grandfather Parurji and later performed with my father”, says Narmadha who attained her vocal training in music from her mother. Coming from this lineage, she got the rare privilege to learn the nuances of both Carnatic and Hindustani music.

“My grandfather Parur ji travelled and lived in North India. Absorbing the essence of Hindustani Music in the northern cities such as Kolkata, Mumbai and Banaras, he brought that tradition back to South India and combined it with the Carnatic music,” regaling her musical voyage, Narmadha mentions that she went aboard the fascinating journey of music at the age of 10 and started getting a lot of exposure because of her performances with her father. Till now, she has performed in 3700 concerts, both in India and abroad.

Breaking into an anecdote in the midst of her recital, she says, “My father MSG guruji taught me the importance of the speed element in music while using an instrument such as violin,” and made her listeners glide into an enthralling musical journey with the eddying sounds from her violin.  

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