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In her signature style

Posted on 20/10/2017 in The Hindu

  • By G. Swaminathan

    Aruna Sairam performed Ambujam Krishna’s compositions at a special concert as part of the composer’s centenary celebration

    Among the contemporary composers in Carnatic music, Ambujam Krishna is well known for her simple songs of devotion. She had written in many languages such as Sanskrit, Malayalam and Hindi apart from Tamil.

    Her birth centenary celebration was marked by a special concert of Aruna Sairam to the accompaniment of R.K. Shriramkumar (violin), Sai Giridhar (mridangam) and S Karthick (ghatam) at The Music Academy.

    Aruna began her emotion-packed concert with a slokam from Meenakshi Pancharatnam followed by ‘En Thai Nee Andro’ in Arabhi.

    This was followed by ‘Tarunam Parka Thaguma’ in Abhogi, set to tune by veteran R. Vedavalli. Ambujam Krishna had many of her songs tuned by popular musicians.

    Aruna next came up with the Simhendramadhyamam essay. She painted a vibrant picture of the sober raga with her unconventioanl alapana. The senior vocalist deploys her ingenuity in creating the mood of the raga and composition.

    Presented with intensity

    The kriti ‘Narahariyai Vandan’ (tuned by veteran T.N. Seshagopalan) described the Narasimhavatharam of Vishnu. It was presented with intensity and an exhuberant swarakalpana.

    Conversely, ‘Azhaithathellam Veenagumo’ in Yadukulakhambodi, tuned by doyen Musiri Subramania Iyer, moved in a plaintive manner, akin to a padam. After ‘Sollithan Theriyuma’ in Hamsanandi, Aruna took up Thodi. Here, she moved along the beaten path, but one could enjoy the special touches . The niraval on ‘Padipparanthu malar thedi pugunthu’ not only underscored the poetic imagery of the lyricist but also showcased the versatility of the singer. The artiste’s trademark style of swarakalpana was an additional attraction.

    The tail end pieces were a Hindi bhajan set to music by Charumati Ramachandran in raga Gavathi and ‘Adaikkalam adaikkalam’ in Madhyamavathi. If raga alapana sections are challenges for the violinists in Aruna’s concert, swara segments are the same for the percussionists. In this concert, the supporting artistes rose to the occasion, as they always do.


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