Sunday, December 16, 2012

2 Good concerts and an ordinary lunch at Vani Mahal

In my attempt to explore the music season and cover all Sabhas, I found myself at Vani mahal on Saturday 15/12 morning. The first concert was by Saralaya sisters. Google told me that they were students of Balamuralikrishna who had been around for quite a while and were invited by MS some 20 years back to sing a song. 

When I walked in there were only 2 other people in the auditorium which seemed to have a capacity of 200 to 250. Wonder how artists feel when the curtain goes up and there are less than 10 people in the auditorium including the 5 on stage. I guess 10 am on Saturday is too early a start, the count did go up considerably by 11 am. However I did feel bad for the artists as the curtain went up but they didn't show much reaction, maybe they are used to this!

The concert started off with a Padha Varnam by Dr.Balamurali and was engaging. I recognized Pantuvaraali (Sarasaaksha) as they started the aalapana, thanks to my repeated hearing in the 80's of a K.J.Yesudoss carnatic music cassette. Didn't have much choice those days as cassettes at home were limited. The main song taken was Srikrishnam bhaje maanasa in Thodi. Again I was glad that I recognized Thodi, this time because of Semmangudi's rendition on Rave Himagiri Kumari in the CD "Divine Unison". Some improvement atleast given the increase in my involvement in the music season. "Bhoogeendra Saayinam" made it 3 in a row from one of the old collections at home. This song is one of my favourite Swati Tirunal compositions and it was rendered very well.

Having skipped breakfast, I hurried to the canteen. Gnanambiga had chosen a very ordinary menu and so was the execution. It was like a main song without niraval, an aalapana without kalpana swaras and tani without korvai , on the whole it invoked kuraippu from the consumer. Gnanambiga has a lot to improve, no wonder the crowd was less.

After lunch, I took a walk around to explore the Sabha. The notice board outside announced that Mumbai Shilpa would be singing at 1 pm. When I walked in around 1 pm, the auditorium had 20 -30 people, lot better than the first concert. Mumbai Shilpa turned out to be a Mambalam maami. She was born in mumbai and moved to chennai 10 years back to pursue music. Nidhi Chaala Sugamaa was the main song and she did a great job. another raagam I found at the start of the aalapaana.  Rithvik Raja was next, followed by Sriranjani Santhanagopalan and the crowd was building up. However I had to start as I had to pick up my daughter from school. Also needed some rest before the evening concert by Pantula Rama at Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha, where I have a season ticket.

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