A. Kanyakumari @ Sastri Hall, Chennai

Venue: Sastri Hall, Luz, Mylapore, Chennai

Date: 09 Oct 2006

Organizer: Balaganamrutham & Karnataka College of Percussion

Violin: Kum. A. Kanyakumari

Violin (support): Sri Sanjeev

Mridangam: Sri P. Satish Kumar

Khanjira: Sri B. Shree Sundar Kumar

List of songs:

1) praNamAmyaham – gOwLa – Adi – mysore vAsudEvAchAr (S)

2) nA jIvadArA – bilahari – Adi – tyAgarAjA (aS)

3) srI venkatEsam – kalyANavasantam – rUpakam – muthuswAmi dIkshitar (AS)

4) mAyE tvam yAhi – tarangiNi – Adi – muthuswAmi dIkshitar

5) janani ninnuvinA – rItigOwLa – misra chApu – subbarAya sAstri (A)

6) ragunAtha nannu – suraranjani – Adi – rAmanAthapuram srInivAsa iyengAr

7) inta sOwkhya – kApi – Adi – thyAgarAjA (AS – main)

8) ek mantra – darbAri kAnadA – Adi (tisra gati) – prabhupAda

9) kUvi azhaithAl – valaji – Adi – vAli

10) yadavarAya – rAgamAlikA – Adi – purandaradAsa

11) eppo varuvArO- jOnpuri – Adi – gOpAlakrishna bhArati

12) venkatAchala – sindhubhairavi – Adi – purandaradAsa

13) bhAgyada lakshmi – srI – Adi – purandaradAsa

This was the inaugural concert of the “Monsoon Music Marvel” being organized by Balaganamrutham and Karnataka College of Percussion in Chennai. Kum A. Kanyakumari was, as usual, in very good touch and played very well. Neraval though was conspicuous by its absence. Sri Sanjeev followed her well on the violin, showing individual flashes of brilliance when given the chance, as in the rItigOwLa AlApanA and the kalpanA swarAs. One good thing that the violin artists could have done is announce the names of the songs, ragas and composers at least for the not so familiar songs. This, I feel, is so much necessary in an instrumental concert where one doesn’t get to hear the (words in the) sAhityA.

But the highlight of the concert for me was the awesome percussion accompaniment by Sri P. Satish Kumar and Sri B. Shree Sundar Kumar. If permitted, I would just keep on raving about how well Sri Satish Kumar played for all the songs. If anything, it was very close to the ideal mix of sowkhyam and usage of intelligent kanakkus while playing accompaniment. The first time I heard him ever was when he played for Sri Shashank (flute) some considerable number of years back in Delhi. I have been a fan of his since then. The fingering technique used by Sri Satish Kumar is also somewhat unique in that he plays the sollus “nam” and “dhin” by anchoring his middle finger for support. Most artists I have seen play these sollus by anchoring the ring finger for support.

The taniAvartanam itself was a classy act, be it the kOrvai at the end of the chatusra naDai or the tisra naDai kOrvai or the kuraippu. The end kOrvai was also very well set to lead to the beginning of the song “inta sOwkhya”. Sri Sundar Kumar on the khanjira, as usual, proved his mettle during the taniAvartanam while he played beautifully along with Sri Satish Kumar for the songs. He along with Sri B.S. Purushottam come second only to Late Sri G. Harishankar in my list of favorite khanjira artists of all times.

One more thing to be appreciated is the way either Sri Satish Kumar and Sri Sundar Kumar would smile and appreciate whenever the other would play something really good and in tune with the song.

Let me stop here, else I would just go on and on singing praises of Sri Satish Kumar.

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