A musical treat
ONCE IN a while, music lovers of Kochi get an opportunity to listen to Hindustani concerts. But a whole day of Hindustani classical concerts is a new experience. This was what Avishkar (Kottaram Sankunni Nair Smaraka Kala Kendram), presented on Gurupoornima day at the Surabhi Enclave, in co-ordination with the Pandit Mothi Ram Narayan Sangeeth Vidyalaya, Thiruvananthapuram.
The highpoint of this one-day musical treat was a vocal recital by Pandit Ramesh Narayan, Kerala's own Hindustani vocalist, who seeks continuous guidance from his guru Pandit Jasraj. Unlike other Malayalis who had forayed into the Hindustani musical track, Ramesh Narayan's focus is Kerala and a good number of youngsters in the State are being trained in Hindustani classical music under his guidance. His disciples joined him in invoking the blessings of the Guru through this musical offering.
Avishkar is a trust formed in memory of the harmonium wizard Kottaram Sankunny Nair, who set at naught many misconceptions about the instrument by exploiting its potential with innovative skill. Rabindranath Tagore and Kamaladevi Chatopadhyaya were among his admirers. Jawaharlal Nehru and Gen. Cariappa were forced to withdraw their adverse remarks about the instrument after listening to his performance. Avishkar offers training facilities in Carnatic, Hindustani and Western music. Training is also imparted in various dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam and Kuchipudi, apart from special yoga therapy classes for women under a woman instructor.
The function began in the morning with `aarathi' and followed by the `gurupooja,' in which students of Avishkar, a tabla solo by Ranjith Kumar, accompanied on the harmonium by Jithesh, and a Hindustani vocal recital by K.R. Syama, who is associated with the Pandit Mothi Ram Narayan Sangeeth Vidyalaya, participated.
The evening session began with a santoor recital by Haridas, a disciple of Pt. Siva Kumar Sharma, accompanied by Satish Babu on the tabla. The raga chosen was Bimblas, the Hindustani version of Abheri. This was followed by two vocal concerts. Hema Narayan, wife of Ramesh Narayan, impressed with fine portrayal of ragas Madhuvanthi and Megh. Mohan Kumar, a disciple of Ramesh Narayan, chose to elaborate Bihag raga.
In his concert, Ramesh Narayan explored the ranges of Miya Malhar, a raga patronised by the legendary Tansen. The `bhava' of this raga, already implanted in the minds of the music lovers of the State through popular film songs, was rendered with utmost sensitivity.
Through the Gurupoornimacelebrations, Avishkar succeeded in bringing music lovers here closer to Hindustani music.
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