Finding parallels in music

Finding parallels in music

Great chemistry

Finding parallels in music

Music lovers in the City were recently treated to a delightful confluence of the best of Western and Carnatic classical music at the ‘Parallel Strings’ concert held at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall. Twaang, a mobile app offering over 80,000 tracks of Hindustani, Carnatic, fusion and devotional music, presented its first edition of ‘Twaang in Concert’.

The artistes featured were Jayanthi Kumaresh on veena and Anil Srinivasan on the piano, with Pramath Kiran accompanying on percussion. This was the first time that the concert, which has been a big success in Europe, was performed in Bangalore. And the audience was certainly not disappointed with the unique ‘Beethoven meets Thyagaraja’ concept.
Each one’s fingers moved effortlessly, displaying mastery over their individual instrument in the unusual collaboration. “This was not a planned but an accidental collaboration,” confessed Anil, adding, “But in life, some of the accidents prove to be the happiest. Throughout, you will find us trying to find parallels in different world traditions.”

A variety of ragas were presented – from poorvikalyani to nasikabhushani, allowing impressive jugalbandis of Indo-Western influences. Some of the numbers were soft and melodic, having a more Carnatic vibe, while those that focussed on the piano were mesmerising and enchanting.

What made it more interesting were the stories introducing each composition. “This is as much a test of us as storytellers as musician,” shared Anil.

The concept of illusion was explained through an anecdote by Jayanthi, while Anil spoke about the tale of Hanuman’s Ramayana written to make Valmiki realise the
importance of the story and not who wrote it. In keeping with the latter, a dedication
to the beauty of Rama was made with Sujana Jeevana in raga yamuna kalyani by Thyagaraja.

There was also a composition that started with ragamalika, followed by the taalam and finally, a surprise vocal performance by children.

“I didn’t know what to expect from the evening but it was beautiful and moving. Each one patiently waited for their cue to enter and when they did, it was exceptional! The chemistry between the musicians was great to watch,” says Vedanth, an audience member.