Sunday, January 5, 2020

December Music season: Fulfilling Evenings At Kalakshetra!

Koothambalam
Koothambalam (auditorium)....Old one! (Image source)

The renovated Kooththambalam!



This clip is an elaborate one.  This group, Keremane artists are very famous, I was told. I saw this Yakshagana programme after a very very long time.  When I was a school going kid, I used to watch this program at Kodavooru, my village near Udupi...it was a whole night program.  I used to copy their dance movements like turning the palms upward downward and walking around the stage in circular movements. Swirling around on two knees...which is not easy! You can see all these things in the above video.  The story we watched was 'Kaarthaveeraarjuna Kalaga' by Keremane group.  The yakshagaana stories are mostly from mythology, but in normal coloquial Kannada/tulu languages. Sit on sand in an open maidan and watch from 8/9 pm till 6 am the next day! I am posting this link just to show how women characters are shown in this play.  All are men in women's dress: Women don't participate in Yakshagaana.

I went to the carnatic music  concert of Smt.Ranjani and Smt. Gayatri, the next day.  Pure classical music.  3 hours' non-stop music.  I think they are the best in this season.  The concert hall was too crowded.  Everybody was clapping often whenever a good piece of rendition was there.  They are very good.  We heard raagam taanam pallavi elaborately, which is very rare to be heard in the short duration concerts, here.  Thank god, this was 3 hours' concert and not 2 hour concert, 6 to 9 pm.  Got this in 'you tube', though this is not the one we heard there.

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From their wiki:

Ranjani and Gayatri started their musical journey as violinists even before they reached their teens, performing in leading sabhas (music organizations) all over the country and abroad. Besides playing the violin duet, they have also performed along with musicians such as Smt.D.K.Pattammal, Sri M Balamurali Krishna, T.Vishwanathan.

Marathi Abhang!

This one is in raag Chandrakauns+Madhukauns...when I visited 'you tube' for their songs, I came across this beautiful song! The sisters seem to be very good in Hindustani raagaas too! Don't miss it. It is here!

One more song by Ranjani Gayatri sisters in raaga Yaman Kalyani. The rendition is very good. It is here!

An interesting anecdote about the sisters' unique sarees.  Many sisters wear sarees in same colour combination and sometimes similar jewellery too.  These sisters chose sarees like one will wear a pink saree with green border, the other one wear green saree with pink border (same design!).  You can see this in the links in 'you tube':) They don't seem to wear flashy sarees too, which is very nice! Hear their view here!

We heard Pt.Sanjeev Abhyankar's concert the next day.  He is Pt.Jasraj's student.  The raagas we heard at Kalakshetra were very good.  We could notice Pt.Jasraj's touch everywhere in his singing.  Effortless beautiful singing. Hear one song here:



Sanjeev Abhyankar, Hindustani music concert!
We were not supposed to take pictures or videos at the concert.  This was taken before the concert started.  I just wanted to post a picture of the stage arrangement at Kalakshetra.  Simple and beautiful.  It is not air-conditioned but the auditorium was cool with natural breeze throughout.  Neem leaves' smoke was distributed via a bamboo basket taken all over the auditorium; as a result, mosquito bites were not felt even though the doors were kept open.

(We had gone on a tour of Kalakshetra last year or so, and I wrote about it...have a look! Read more about this place here!)

I noticed one more thing in this music season: Normally, before concluding the concert, with mangalam, the artists sing light melodies like bhajans (Kabirdas, Purandara dasa etc.). Nowadays, Marathi abhangs are becoming famous. Most of them sing abhangs which are melodious to the ears. South Indians are opening up for all types of music let alone Carnatic music, nowadays, which is a good sign. You can read my earlier posts about my visit to the concerts here!

Did you go to any concert? If so, pl. mention in the comment section!

Going to Zakir Hussain(tabla) and Niladri's (sitar) concert next week at the Music Academi! Happy times!

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