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Seen above performing at the Royal Albert Hall in Proms 2009, interviewing Manjiri Asanare-Kelkar a Hindustani vocalist was easy from the word go. Unpretentious and modern, Manjiri is very much a persona of the upcoming musician in India today. She shall in an act supported by her accompanying artists on percussion tabla and the Harmonium similar to a Trio ensemble present vocal music within the subtle dimension of a raga, a melodic stretch of musical notes so intricately arranged and extemporized that it is entrancing and momentous.
Sydhwaney asked Manjiri which ragas she likes to sing and what is about a raga that she loves ? Manjiri said: There are some basic ragas that are her favourites like Bihag, Bhoop, Yaman etc. But there are also some complex ragas or melodic schemes that are stimulating to deal with.
When asked to elaborate what and how she defines a complex raga Manjiri said that complex ragas can be a combination of two ragas such as Bhoop Nat are easy to understand. The other variety of complex ragas are those where one can see many shades of many different ragas yet the raga maintains its own personality. Such as Bahaduri Thodi whose melodic constructions are so intricate that the listener sees shades of ragas such as Adana, Jaunpuri and so on. So is that similar to dressing up in layers ? Somewhat similar and more.
On the question of how one would approach learn and elaborate on them, Manjiri says that she learnt it by firstly understanding a composition itself and then elaborations on the composition are continued maintaining it like a central theme the way it was taught to her by her Guru and Teacher. It is all a question of ‘thalim’ and rigorous hours of practice. Manjiri says she tries to sing something challenging and different in each of her performances.
Manjiri comes with a training of 20 years from a lineage that goes back more than a couple of generations. A recipient of many National awards in India she is fast becoming a name. In a system of music that is passed on from Guru to Student by word of mouth this subtle artform continues to exist in today’s ever changing world thanks to the dedication of young musicians such as Manjiri who have spent many years perfecting this fine skill and organizations like the Art Gallery of NSW, Natraj Arts and the ICCR who strive to give artists a platform.
Natesan Ramani is not new to Sydney, an invited musician at WOMAD for many years in Australia N Ramani has his following of fans in Australia not to mention his students. The enchanting bamboo flute musician shall arouse a million emotions and more when he takes to the stage after Manjiri this weekend. For the sound of the bamboo flute is unsurpassed in the hands of an expert such as Natesan Ramani a senior musician with world class acclaim who is renowned for his fast intricate presentation of rhythmic complexities shall be scintillating. The South Indian Classical Music system unlike its northern counterpart has a more structured persona with rhythmic variety to keep the listener at the edge of their seats. Accompanied by the South Indian Percussion the Mridangam this part of the concert is bound to energise all.
Pure and unadorned like the voice of a boy soprano” and “a vigorous explosion of sound…complex and subtle”. –Jill Sykes, Sydney Morning Herald.
In an exhibition of Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings from Jodhpur The Art Gallery of NSW assisted by Natraj Arts and the ICCR shall be presenting Manjiri Kelkar and Natesan Ramani the Bamboo flute vidwan in a one off concert in Sydney held at:
Art Gallery of NSW Sunday, 29 November 2009 at 6pm to 10pm, Old Courts, Ground Level. Sydhwaney readers can quote “Sydhwaney” to avail of members discounts at the concert. More Here