A Soliloquy of the Violin

If a concert could be arranged through Facebook interactions, a few phone calls and some email blasts on a week day then the record for holding such a concert would go to Pallavi for organizing its first Hindustani Concert in Sydney at the Centre of Performing Arts of Macquarie University, thanks to Mr Adrian McNiel, well known Sydney Sarod player and Ethno Musicologist at the Department of Media, Music & Cultural Studies Macquarie University last week. [Photos Here]

A soliloquy with the violin on a weekday is a boon. As the audience poured in, it soon settled down to Kala Ramnath’s violin accompanied by Yogesh Samsi erasing the stresses and strains of the week from its minds. It was interesting to find the audience was diverse, of varying ages, some students of music and some connoisseurs but there were more artists amongst the audience than is usually found in any concert in Sydney, including Pandit Suman, Dr MS Ramanathan, Sandy Evans, Sarangan Sriranganathan, John Napier, Balaji and Adrian McNiel and many other eminent personalities of the Sydney music scene.

Audiences such as this are most coveted by artists in India. While the sound system courtesy, Adrian McNiel and Macquarie University, was almost hugging, the auditorium made for a perfect baitak style rendition of the Mewati Gharana exponent Kala Ramnath on the violin. The evening commenced with Raag Shyam Kalyan explored in the gayaki style it brought out the many nuances and touches that are specific not only to the raga but the lyrics of the song which was soulfully accompanied by Yogesh Samsi. The raga was explored in three different rhythms showing Kala’s fluent treatment of the thala in partnership with Yogesh Samsi. The second major raga for the evening was yet another favourite Rageswari. This raga was again explored in the gayaki style, the vocal style in Jhap taal, followed by several other compositions culminating into a crescendo like a conversation between the two artists. Whilst Pallavi’s last concert of Bombay Jayashri had three tanpuras, Kala Ramnath used an application that produced an excellent simulated sound of the tanpura. The other ragas that followed were recognizable as a tumri in Bhairavi and a khyal in Kafi which were pleasant providing an apt touch to the concert which perhaps finished too soon. Concerts like this move into the middle of the night in India, but that is another story.

Those who enjoyed this concert are welcome to leave their comments below.