Brisbane – 26 June 2010
By Varsha and Moahan Venkatesan
The evening was like a white-water rafting experience for our emotions as the trio played with the audience’s collective core of deep feelings.
Krishna hit some incredible notes during the concert and all of us were with him with the nervous excitement of “Can he? Will he?” as he zoomed effortlessly into those unattainable highs and lows….
RK Shriramkumar’s deft fingers weaved a rich tapestry of the lakshanam of every ragam and his ebullient exchanges with TM Krishna were a feast to the eye and the ear. The very evident mutual admiration and respect they share left the rasikas with a mesmerising musical experience.
Murugaboopathi on the Mridangam brought out sounds that rang through the core of one’s existence. The superb support to the ever changing patterns and textures of the music was pleasing and brought out the raw emotion of every piece in an aesthetic manner. His Thani aavarthanam left the audience tapping their feet asking for more.
Roshini Sriram on the Tambura provided the rich ambience required for a grand evening.
The Shankarabharanam start bhakthi biccha miyyavE baavukamagu sattvika (Thyagaraja Krithi) to the concert was astonishing because this was no warm up…it was a straight thrust into the depths of the ragam, neravals and swarams.
A Dikshitar Krithi in Mayamalavagowla Sri Nathathi Guro Guho Jayathi was next – I must admit, for me and for many others; Mayamalavagowla is special – …the first lessons as one takes the first few steps into the ocean of carnatic music is with the aid of Mayamalavagowla…and therefore anything in this ragam always fills the heart with comfort and joy with a confident sense of familiarity…and Krishna and ShriramKumar exhibited complete mastery of all aspects of the Raga lakshanam.
Varaali Ragam thanam pallavi was the main item of the evening– the very first note of the raaga aalapanai spoke to us and Varaali’s nuances were captured in a spell binding vistaram of the raagam. The search into the depths of lower octaves left a few of us on the edge of our seats, just wondering, “will he touch the lower shadjamam…” and one could feel the gasp of relief when Krishna reached the depths effortlessly. The thanam was high energy reminiscent of Veera Rasam with brilliant exchanges with ShriramKumar on the violin. The Pallavi was from Andal’s thiruppavai set to tune by Sri Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar.
There was this normal start to Raga Khamas with a standard rendition of the raga when suddenly like a bolt out of the blue “O Chatura nee vanditha…nee…..” rang through and thrilled everyone to bits to hear Brocheva revaruraa starting from the middle. Kept the interest going…
Krishna did accede to a few requests from the audience and the rasikas piled a few more in front of him as the concert progressed. He also informed the audience about the ragam, author of the composition after each piece. This was very useful.
Krishna Nee Begane Baaro – lilting melody…images of the baby Krishna so delightfully captured by the adult Krishna….pure vathsalya rasa
Thirupathi Venkataramana in Sindu Bhairavi (Purandara Dasa) built the tempo again.
Chinnan chiru kiliye – sung in a ragamalika left one with Kannamma…a fabulous imagery bringing out the pangs of love…one’s heart stopped at “yen uyir nindrathandro…..”
The Virutham “Shanta Karam” – every verse of the slokam was in a different raagam – led to Govardhana Giridhara by Sri Naryana Theerthar –it left us in an emotional state waiting to be redeemed by Mukunda…a Kausthuba gem for its pure bhakthi rasa
Aarumo Aaval in Maand was yet another high voltage piece unleashed on an audience already breathless on an adrenaline high….the Rasaanubhava continued with renewed energy.
The penultimate was a thamizh piece titled “Maalai Pozhudiniley…” on Lord Subramanya…and then the mangalam.
After a standing ovation from a packed auditorium that lasted a few minutes, no one moved…and Krishna quipped, “that’s it…the concert is over…!” A reluctant acceptance of the conclusion of the Rasaanubhava ensued…
Once the ride was over; with the exhilaration there was a sense of emptiness as the endorphins settled in and we made the drive home late at night….much as the gopis may have felt when their Krishna left them…. Hopefully this Krishna will come back to Brisbane soon…
Organised on behalf of Tamil Vazhai, heartfelt thanks to Sriram, Harini and their dedicated team of volunteers. Brisbane eagerly awaits the next concert.