Prarthana Sai Narasimhan introduced a refreshing array of ragas and uncommon kritis at Arkay Conference Centre’s twelfth anniversary collection. She was accompanied by Shraddha Ravindran on the violin, Kumbakonam Swaminathan on the mridangam and Adambakkam Sankar on the ghatam.
A well-structured raga essay of Chakravakam surprisingly got here because the second piece. The scope of the raga was explored with ingenuity. What stood Prarthana in good stead all through the live performance is her melodious voice that has an admirable vary. She exploited it in full measure on this in addition to within the later raga treatises of Saramathi and Hamsadhwani.
Elaborate swara section
In Chakravakam, she introduced the favored ‘Gajananayutham’ by Dikshitar. She went for an in depth niraval on ‘Ajendra poojitha vigneswaram’ and adopted it up with an exhaustive swara section, the ultimate part of which centered on daivatam. ‘Devi brova samaya’ in raga Chintamani by Syama Sastri got here as a sober filler.
Prarthana’s subsequent selection was a meticulous and melodic alapana of Saramathi. Right here, she moved easily and seamlessly, lending each phrase a poignant contact. Her sojourns in all of the registers have been thoughtfully achieved with nice emphasis on the raga’s chic high quality. Shraddha’s contribution right here was equally vital. The choice of a lesser-known kriti by Purandaradasa, ‘Kandena udupiya krishnana’, added an edge together with a well woven swaraprastara on the pallavi.
The tani avartanam by Swaminathan and Sankar was an gratifying change of sharp rhythmic patterns.
The RTP was taken up for Hamsadhwani. The energetic raga treatise was adopted by tanam. Pallavi composed by Sai Narasimhan, ‘Karunai deivame karpagame kana vendum un porpadame’, set in Adi tala two kalai had niraval appended to the shadjam-anchored swaras that introduced alive the rendition. The trikalam of the pallavi adopted the swara part once more and concluded with a bouquet of swara sallies between Prarthana and Shraddha.
The finale had ‘Naaneke badavanu’ (Behag) and ‘Chandrchooda sivasankara’ in Darbari Kanada (each by Purandaradasa), and a Thiruppugazh in Bilahari. Prarthana opened her live performance with a lilting varnam ‘Vanajaksha’, in Mandari by Mysore Vasudevachar, and concluded with ‘Bega baro neela megha varna,’ a bhajan in raga Maund.
The Chennai-based reviewer specialises in Carnatic music.