Glory of Gamaka

Glory of Gamaka
“Gamaka” is one of the popular and distinguished art forms of Karnataka, which has popularised several classic works of Kannada, from centuries. A Gamaki must have good knowledge of music, sweet voice and an in-depth knowledge of Kannada literature. “Kumara Vyasa Bharatha” is one of the most commonly heard classic work on the Gamaka stage. But when a seasoned artiste like Gangamma Keshavamurthy renders it, the poetry attains a flavour all its own. With her well preserved voice honed perfectly to shruti, the concert itself could be absorbing as one experienced in her recital for the Bangalore Lalithakala Parishat, on Friday. Sunanda Gururaj, a postgraduate in Kannada and a recipient of Kempegowda Prashasthi, gave the ‘Vyakhyana’.

In the current programme they had chosen an interesting episode “Sandhiyo Samaravo” from the “Virata Parva” of Kumara Vyasa Bharatha. The opening “Naandi Padya” itself revealed that the veteran singer was in the right spirit. She sang lyrics in a number of ragas like Attana, Simhendramadhyama, Kalyani, Mohana, Shivaranjini, Jinjoti etc, to suit the different characters and situations and ‘Bhava’. Her high pitch voice, open throat singing enriching its lyrical overtones even at the age of 75, was well appreciated by the connoisseurs assembled. Sunanda’s commentary quoting extensively from the Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Mankuthimmana Kagga and Haridasas was successful in bringing out the essence of Kumaravyasa. Especially Draupadi’s anger, irony, self respect – were well narrated with good humour. Gangamma Keshavamurthy and Sunanda Gururaj combined well and it was a pleasant recital testifying to a professional standard.

Tribute to a scholar
There were several cultural programmes (music, dance, yakshagana, discourse) on the occasion of the 80th birthday celebrations of Bannanje Govindacharya, last week.

There was a unique-special programme combining music, dance and painting. When Kavitha Udupa sang a song B K S Varma painted Hanuma, Bheema and Madhva on canvas, beautifully. She also presented few compositions like Govinda Stotra, ‘Maadu Nannanu’ and ‘Mangalam Kuru’. With her rich voice, traversing in all the three octaves with ease and confidence, Kavitha Udupa captured the audience. Rangashri performed with practised ease, few devotionals and chose Dashavathara also in the mangala.

A class apart
Reputed vocalists Sriram Prasad and Ravikumar (Malladi Brothers) justified the reputation they have built for themselves in a distinguished career in their concert at Sri Sadguru Seva Trust for the Sri Rama Saamrajya Maha Pattabhisheka.

The concert was packed with several infrequent compositions, which revealed their good repertoire. “Sri Raghukula Mandu” gave them a sunny start. As they meditatively started to intonate raga Huseni, a divine picture of the composition “Rama Ninne Nammi Nanu Nijamugu” emerged. After their alapana of the Kamach raga, when listeners were expecting a familiar keertana, Malladi Brothers sprang a surprise by presenting a Annamachar’s composition “Avatharamu Raghupathi”.

A composition of Bhadrachala Ramadas and a keertana in Blahamasa – were rendered in quick succession. What a classic imagery of Thodi they wove for “Ninuvina Sukhamu” and nerval (Raga Rasika Raga Rahitha) and enlivening swara. Ending devotionals – “Rama Rama Rama Seetha” and “Bhajare Sri Rama Maanasa” – also delighted. H K Venkataram on violin, Tumkur B. Ravishankar on mridanga and Tumkur B Shashishankar on ghata accompanied with good understanding.

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