December 17, 2009

Chitravina Ravikiran with his chitra-kalaa Sivapriya Krishnan

What do you get when you are blessed with “purva janma sukrutam”, immeasurable talent, immense brain power and extreme hardwork ? You get an artist like Chitravina Ravikiran.

Ravikiran literally drew a “chitram” with his “Chitravina” that was an expression of pure art , both creative and emotive.

His art comes fully alive when he plays on the old style “gottuvadyam” , what is now called "chitravina “. It is as though God has sent him for preserving this instrument.

One after the other the prodigy-maestro , kept throwing gems in the form of Saraseeruhasanapriye ( Naattai), Brahma Kadigina Paadamu ( Mukhari), Hiranmayeem (Lalita) with alapana and swaras at Sangeeta vadya vinodini, Dwijavanti raga alapana, followed by a Misra Ata tala song by Oothukadu Venkata Kavi. Dwijavanti was the ‘dwajaarohanam” of this concert, so full of majesty. O jagadamba in Anandabhairavi was presented in true and pure classical Anandabhairavi.

A quick ‘ennai nee maravade” in Amritavarshini was soon followed by a Kambodhi raga alapana.

Kambodhi raga unfurled slowly like a lotus that blooms seeing the sun. Starting at the lower octaves, majestically staying in the mandhara sthayi and peaking at the higher registers, he took the raga through a grand procession. A raga malika taanam was followed by a Nadai Pallavi in Khanda Triputa, Khanda Nadai – “ Gopala Gokula bala, Gopikasamuhalola, laasa hrdayaalaya, maam paalaya”. A true classical RTP with all the furnishings due to it.

Ravikiran is a master in intelligent swara patterns and subtle kalapramana variations and this subtlety was seen in the handling of the lines Hiranmayeem Laksmim and Brahma Kadigina padamu in the way he finished the song.

Akkarai Subbulakshmi was no mean accompanist. She was one on one with Ravikiran and matched his wits and grandeur. Her uptake is very quick and her presentation very neat. The taanam she played in Nattakurinji was creditable.

T V Gopalakrishnan, the mridangam wizard, was at his best, with very intelligent kanakkus, ghumkis and phrases. The special one to one exchanges in swara prastharas was sheer delight.

Tripunithura Radhakrishnan, proved his mettle on the ghatam and ably supported all the artists.

One came out with a divinely satisfied feeling, praying that the Carnatic Music world be blessed with more such Ravikirans.!!

To me personally this was added with an extra value of unalloyed happiness at the "hatrick Kambodhi", with a hallmark of purity, over the last three days, starting with TNS the titan Gayaka-Vainika's (vocal concert on the 15th), Ashwin Anand the bright youngster on the Veena (on the 16th) and Ravikiran the prodigy-maestro (on the 17th)!!

You see what is common to all these : The Veena !!!

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