Kamban Kazhagam, a not for profit organisation dedicated to the language of Tamil, brought the funky Veena player and maestro Rajhesh Vaidhya and young flautist Varijashree to Sydney recently.
One of its annual fundraising functions, it was held at the Bahai Centre in Silverwater with great success. The hall was packed to its brim showing the popular appeal that the artists have gained both nationally and internationally. Kudos ofcourse goes to the excellent quiet and competent and tasteful contributions of all the volunteers who helped make a success of the evening.
The concert was an interactive experience with an ample amount of quizes thrown in the midst of the series of ragams that Rajhesh Vaidhya presented.
The traditional instrument of Goddess Saraswathi, the Veena, this revered instrument with its low toned sounds is said to trigger all the kundalinis as one plays it. Its frets often compared to the spine of the human body. Rajhesh Vaidhya has turned this century old instrument and the music that is derived from it into some may say ‘a fiasco others funky carnatic’. What ever the argument amongst the knowledgeable vidwans of carnatic music today, it is no doubt that a separate popular genre of carnatic music is emerging and is here to stay.
Appealing to a large number of people, old and young, the funky upbeat representation of the Thyagaraja kriti Vatha pi ganapathim was the start of the programme followed by the ever green Raghuvamsha Shutham. Following which Rajhesh played the Pancharatna Kriti, ‘Entharomahanu bhavo’.
The lute of the flute added the ever pleasing melodic take to Rajhesh Vaidhya’s upbeat insistent speed on the Veena. It came as a respite to listen to the flute. Wish we could have heard more of it. Between the rather loud sounds of the Veenai, the flute and the percussionists, balancing sounds was a challenge for the sound team.
Nevertheless the technical team and Rajhesh Vaidhya stole many hearts. They were accompanied by a team of percussionists that included Janakan Suthanthiraraj on Kanjira, Jeiram Jagatheesan on Moorsing, the mridangist and Varijashree on the flute. The thani avarthanam between all the percussionists showed their partnership with pizzazz and confidence.
Conducting the ensemble and playing the veena and intermittently, lo behold! , checking his mobile phone, Rajhesh Vaidhya’s restlessness did not stop him from producing challenging rhythmic climaxes as he pounded on his veenai to quench the thirst of the young and restless in the audience.