Melbourne Mini Concert Series April 2015

Guru Sishya parampara brightly blossoms yet again…in Melbourne

By Varsha Venkatesan


The Mini Concert Series organized by the Academy of Indian Music, Australia (Inc) & Sruthi Laya Kendra (India) was a successful platform for young musicians to exhibit their talents in the Kutcheri Padhathi across two days on the 11 and 12 April 2015.

Raghuveer Rangan and Narayan Rangan

The two concerts had one astounding commonality– the passing on of the baton of parampara to generation next in the most sublimely perfect method possible.  More about that later…


Raghuveer Rangan and Narayan Rangan – Voices that complement each other


The first 10 seconds of the raga alapanai brought out the pure essence of Malayamarutham.  The raga lakshanam was lucidly expounded and Raghuveer’s alapanai flowed like a gentle breeze…true to the meaning of the name of the ragam.  The fragrance was induced into the rendition when the brothers sang the masterpiece “Manasa yatulotune”.


‘Dinakara kula thilaka’ from the anupallavi was chosen for the neraval to bring out the divine qualities of Sri Rama.  The kalpana swarams flowed effortlessly.


While Raghuveer’s voice has the tonal quality of “gambeeram” – Narayan’s voice contributed a very confident softness.  Throughout the 30 minutes allocated, the brothers sang in unison, enjoying themselves while acknowledging each other’s vidwat and that of the accompanists.


Brilliant violin support was provided by Manisha Jothin [student of Sri Murali Kumar] and on the mridangam was Pragadeesh Shanmugarajah [student of Sri  RaviRavichandra].  In 30 minutes, there was time for Manisha to do a beautiful alapanai and Pragadeesh to perform a thani avarthanam too.


Raghuveer and Narayan have deep reverence for their Guru Sri O S Thyagarajan who is bestowing them with his vidwat and encouraging them to perform.  The brothers are very focused on carnatic music in its classical form. Sydney ! Watch out for this duo !.


Arushi Ramesh – the singing violin

Arushi Ramesh

When the stage screen opened, one wondered if she can even hold the violin…such a diminutive frame and a shy smile.  When she tuned her violin, one could feel it in one’s heart that this violin is going to listen to everything she says, and yes, she did not disappoint.

The violin sang the strong notes of Karaharapriya and as she played the first line, “rama nee samaanamevaru’. it took everyone by surprise. With the light of the recognizable Lalgudi bani spilling through, one only needed to close one’s eyes and let the music wash over through the tiny fingers of this 11 year old girl.

In a normal finite world, can control and effortless ease co-exist ? Arushi proved they could and do. Supreme control over the instrument and effortless ease in exhibiting her vidwat were displayed with prowess. I later found out that indeed she is trained by Guru Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi.

She was brilliantly supported on the Mridangam by Sai-Nivaeithan Ravi-chandhira [student of Sri Ravi Ravichandra] and his Thani avarthanam was shyly acknowledged by Arushi.

In Vivekachudamani – Sri Adi Sankara expounds the many attributes of a Guru and the prerequisites for being a sishya. The exposition is applicable to all Gurus and their Sishyas in every field of learning, more so in the Carnatic music tradition where the focus is on the musical expression of Bhakti.  A Guru’s sacred responsibility is to bestow and pass everything he/ she knows so that the art survives within the disciple.

The Gurus of these youngsters are exemplary illustrations of that definition and have successfully provided evidence that distance is no barrier to the revered Guru Sishya relationship. Their sincere approach to teaching and intense learning sadhana of the students comes across vividly even if it is in a concert for just 30 minutes.

Kudos to the organisers for organizing the Mini-concert series…in Melbourne