Singaara'ch Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyaara?
With lots of anticipation I had gone to the concert as akways. Flit early on from office to get hold of tickets. During my wait it looked as though this was the regular crowd that comes for concerts. But then I was wrong, knew it the moment we entered the arangam. Honestly such a large place IMHO is not quite suited to carnatic concerts. Few reasons to quote - the acoustics, the purpose, and all those factors that add up to a concert when they are held in sabhas.
I was extremely disappointed with the atmosphere, pretty much from the start. The places smelled like Indian Railway coaches, the Bangalore Mail coach to be specific. Frequent travellers will know what I mean.
Further I was unfortunately seated with some chap who kept constant talking. I could hardly listen to the song completely. Fortunately and incidentally a friend of mine had come, so escaped to njoi the music with her. Much of the crowd there I believe have got the tickets as complementary, so they were there as if watching some entertaing magic show or something *sigh*. Hardly any respect for such an artist and there effort. People had comes across all ethnic barriers which made me surprised at first. Then I realized, it was not meant to be.
The show was all too commercial. I do agree that is needed, but there are limits when it comes to art. The disappointing part was that the concert was kind of muffled in the bustling white noise of the insipid crowd. I don't blame them, they were given tickets and they were there. The organizers are to be blamed.
It does not deserve to be called Chennai'yil Thiruvaiyaaru. The intensity, respect and revered emotion at such festival was not even present to the slightest pint. After attending it I declined from some other concerts that I thought I should on the same festival. After having seen quite a bit of the music season, this was despicable. Not the concert but the lacklustre atmosphere :(.
Kamarajar Arangam is not a place for music rasikkas to njoi a concert. Even the acoustics were quite unimpressive. Well this will probably be the only time I attend a carnatic concert at this place.
The concert was fantastic tho. The choice of songs was a little disappointing as in they are crowd favourites. At first I felt the violin sounded too flat, and not sharp and precise. Later realized there was quite a bit of 'piseral' and it was just not neat. Otherwise it was quite enjoyable. Fortunately I was sitting upfront, pretty much in front of the speakers so, it was acceptable.
The best part of her is her etiquette. She even came up to the proscenium to give her vanakkams to the mass with a bow. Was wondering if they deserve it, considering the extent to which the respected the artist with their constant prattling. The most impressive thing about this lady is the fact that her tamil is so spectacular, that you wouldn't be expecting her to show such a flair in english. The focus that this women has, the bhavyam, the dedication and her seemless inspiration adds to all that she is. And when it is time to oblige for the commercial side of things, she don's a beautiful smile as always. Even after close to 4 hours of gruesome, n intense singing she would oblige for her rasikaas, esp the kids with a hearty smile. Her policy - Always smile :), no matter how difficult it is. Every concert of her's gives me something to learn. This is not the last of her's that I get to enjoy this season ;).
The Troupe in Action
A quick Synopsis of the songs
- sreeman naraayaNa (r: bowLi) - one of the finest slokams to start with, it never fails to put a mind into peace, of course when sung well. This was no place for such questions. But for the pest sitting next to me X-(, it was intense enjoyment.
- brOcEvarevarura (r: khamaas) - another one of my favourite tracks since Dream Journey I should admit. Really sweet to hear the ACE sing this. This was when my I spotted my friend *phew*. All thanks to her I got that gadfly off me, to enjoy the rest of the concert.
- nee daya raadhaa (r:vasantabhairavi) - I don't remember much but supposedly comes in the sindu bhairavi movie too. This track I'v heard quite a while from her album - Mellifluous Melodies.
- asaindhaaDum mayil (r:simhEndra madhyamam) - I'v heard another song from her with the samy starting lyrics, but this was different and new for me. This was one amazing piece for the evennig ;). All stars to her deft modulation, so seemless and gave the feeling of being very precise. The quick and subtle variations in temp were all too captivating. 1st timer for me, and did make the best impression ;).
- taayE yashOdaa (r: katanakudhugalam) - yes my friends. If I remember from the raamanavami festival correct, this is NOT rendered in tODi. But my friend argued otherwise.
- kurai ondrum illai - definitely not the best of her renditions. It was nice and the crowed loved it, but I expected something more than the normal.
- hari smaraNe maaDO (r: yamunaa kalyaaNi) - is a new track that I have to admit am in love with. I need to get hold of this from somewhere, all to placid and suave. I just loved it through-n-through.
- thandanana abi / brahmamokaTE (r: bowLi) - the drift between normalcy and short and intermittent change of tempo was exceptionally inspiring. I'v seen her do better than this, but this was good enuf for the crowd. In fact they loved it, and the whole hall was clasping their hands for the thalams (right or wrong).
and then the long honours ... The compere was horrible at his tamil, by the very fact of his trying to speak in thuya tamil ending up with a whole lot of blunders. Sudha would have made justice to it with ease.
Thanks to the crowd, the concert experience proved less than exceptional. Thanks to ACE I sat through the whole program.
Two more concert synopsis pending. Hopefully one a day shouldn't be all that difficult :). More of those comming up at you ...
here's SamY reporting from his December Season 2005 Spree (as on 21st Dec) ... adios