Season Reviews - K. Gayatri

K. Gayatri


By Musical Musings


Gayatri Kamakoti on New Year's Eve at the Parthasarathy Swami Sabha was accompanied by Nishant Chandran (violin), J Vaidyanathan (mridangam) and Shivaramakrishnan (khanjira).


The hectic Chennai traffic ensured I missed the first half of the varnam. The varnam composed by vidushi Suguna Purushottaman and set to priya-malaika in Adi tala. The Priya (pallavi: Karahapriya, anupallavi: Kokilapriya, cittaswaram: Ramapriya, charanam: Shanmukhapriya, swarams in Pashupatipriya, Rishabapriya, Gayakapriya, and Rasikapriya)


She then rendered Buvinidasudane in Sreeranjani. Tyagaraja, in this composition, says Saala Sowkhyama, and that, for me, describes Gayatri's rendition. It was leisurely in pace and completely bounded by the aesthetics of Sreeranjani. J Vaidyanathan on the mridangam has a comforting, unmatched tone. Be it his teermanams or playing for kritis, he never chooses to go extravagant and keeps it minimal. It softly blends with the music and accentuates just the right areas.


Gayatri's kalpanaswarams at Padamule gati, too, were good. She ended swaras at N to play with the lyrics and make it sound like Nee Padamule Gati. The last kalpanaswaram, however had some pauses that sounded awkward and out of place. 


Next came an alapana in Latangi raga. Nishant Chandran's sketch of Latangi was impressive. He played some excellent fast phrases in the mandra stayi. Marivere Dikkevaru, that followed was enjoyable. She presented niraval and pleasing kalpanaswarams that had the essence of Latangi. 


She then presented an even more leisurely, soulful Sukhi Evaro in Kaanada. 


The next piece, Kannai tirandu paar maname in Bilahari, composed by Oothukadu Venkata Kavi, was in complete contrast. The style of rendition and pace of the composition made it a firecracker and a true vibe setter.


Gayatri then chose to present a composition in a relatively lesser-heard raga Suddha Mukhari. Muraharena Mukundena By Muthuswami Dikshitar is a beautiful composition and she did complete justice to the nuances of the kriti.


The main piece in Madyamavati was replete with sangatis that brought out the charm of the raga.

Nishant showcased an impressive ability to seamlessly transition between octaves and effortlessly switch between quick and measured musical phrases. Syama Sastry's magnum opus Palinchu Kamakshi was the main kriti. The excellent rendition was followed by an equally good niraval at Karunya Moorte kaapudu. The tani avartanam by J. Vaidyanathan and Shivaramakrishnan was good and enjoyed by many rasikas. 


Gayatri ended the concert with a Kavadi chindu and a beautiful Khamas tillana. Towards the end, a sense of letdown crept in as the distinctive charm of a pallavi, her forte, eluded my ears.