Mandolin Concert of Kishan

A week after the Sydney Music Festival, music lovers in Sydney were treated to the recital of upcoming mandolin artist Kishan Jeyendran. Armed with a few varnams from his vocal training and a solid foundation in laya courtesy of his training in tabla under Pandit Ram Chandra Sumanji, Kishan took to the mandolin being inspired by U.Shrinivas who played for his tabla arangetram in 2000.
Kishan was accompanied by senior artists Embar Kannan (violin), Tanjore Murugaboopathy (mridangam) and T.G.Muthukumarasamy (thavil). The evening started with a tidy rendition of Patnam Subramaniya Iyer’s thodi varnam and Mukthaya Bhagavathar’s hamsadhwani composition Gam Ganapathe which was decorated with a few round of kalpana swaras.

The atmosphere was set for the first raga delination of the night but Kishan chose to play Thyagaraja’s majestic composition, Vidulaku Mrokeda. Then came the highlight of the evening which was the devagandhari. He took his time to showcase the raga in all its glory presenting the ragam in all its colours and showing subtle variations without repetition with ease in devagandhari. Embar Kannan played some emotive sangathis drawing “aahs’ from the audience. His replies throughout the evening were short and sweet and very appropriate in length, showing by example the proportions in which accompanying artists should play to make the concert successful.

The sub-main of the evening was purvikalyani Gnyanamosakaradha. The ragam and neraval [improvised phrases] were executed well however, a better understanding between the artists would have made an impact. The main ragam of the evening was kamboji which was played very elaborately starting in the lower octaves, building a picture of the ragam step by step. The krithi chosen was another composition of Thyagaraja O Rangasayee, bringing memories of the late Sangeetha Kala Archarya Trivandrum R. Venkatraman, who Kishan has had the privilege of learning from. Kishan challenged himself with a few complicated swarams. The total effect of the presentation was good. The tani avarthanam started with long round by T.G.Muthukumarasamy which was shortened by Murugaboopathy. Some interesting patterns were played on the thoppi side.

After the long tani avarthanam the clock was well past 9pm and without an interval the audience was wondering what would come next and Kishan announced that he would play a short RTP in Brindavani. To his word he kept it short and tidy and played ragamalika swaras in Shanmugapriya, Dhanyasi and Surruti. A Trikalam would have completed the scene but may be we will see that at the next concert of Kishan.

He then played a Sai Bhajan which drew a large applause from the audience and a grand thillana in Jhujhavanthi composed by Chitravina N. Ravikiran. Kishan paid tribute to his late guru Shri Venkatraman and thanked his other gurus including the Carnatica Brothers, Kanyakumari and Sumanji.
Kishan Jeyendran has enormous talent and has already played in several sabhas in Chennai. He presented a very successful concert guided by experienced artists on stage. Kishan continues to learn under the guidance of Chitravina Ganesh. He is definitely a talent to watch out for in the future.