.........................by Sivapriya Krishnan
Nirmala Rajasekhar, on the Veena yesterday in the Music Academy, proved that Veena is not lost in the Carnatic World and that young artists are still boldly holding onto it. Living in Minneapolis United States, a very cold and clammy place, she holds onto this rather difficult instrument , dearly to her chest, when many Chennaiites scare of it!
A disciple of the Veena exponent Kalpakam Swaminathan, Nirmala, handles the instrument with so much confidence, non chalantly.
Ekambresa Nayike of Dikshitar in Karnataka Suddha Saveri, Kamakshi Swarajathi Syama Sastri, Kaa vaa vaa in Varali with the brief raga alapana, all spoke of how she has internalised the gamaka aspects and the finer aspects of playing the Veena.
Her RTP in Sankarabharanam in Khanda Triputa, a swarakshara pallavi by T R Subramaniam, ‘ sa Ri Samaanamaa sabhapate, Sada siva, veru deivam unakku”, was played with a brisk taanam, trikaalam and intelligent swaras.
RTP on the instrument calls for tremendous grip over tala and the instrument through regular and rigorous practice. Nirmala showed that she is adept and very comfortable with it.
Jagodharana in Peelu and a Tirupugazh ended the concert.
Chidambaram Balashankar on the mridangam and Balaji Chandran on the ghatam, kept up the tempo. They were in good control and knew how to embellish a Veena concert with perfect understanding of the concert mood.