Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kadhai kadhaiyam Kutchery-aam

Managed to attend three concerts this week - Ranjani-Gayatri at Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Sanjay Subrahmanyan at Music Academy and Aruna Sairam at Mylapore Fine arts.


For those asking "Obama-vukkum Omapodi-kkum enna sambandham? You attending carnatic concert-a?" , I learnt Carnatic music for quite sometime and once upon a time - ie 2 1/2 decades ago. Aatha-naina dreamt of us becoming "A...... sisters" singing in popular sabhas wearing jimikki and matching matching saree. We ended up singing "Odakkara marimuthu" on stage for our cousin's kannalam.

I am one number gnana-soonyam when it comes to Raga identification, duritakaalam, 23rd Melakarta, Janya ragam etc etc. For me its the voice and the rendition that matters. Oflate I have realized , its the packaging and presentation that attracts me to the concert/ singer.

GG* was my companion for both Ranjani-Gayatri and Sanjay's concerts. We have similar tastes and her Raga identification skills are a tad better. My raga identification is confined to cinema paatus (namma buddhi vera enga pogum?) . It is konjam sad. Mayamalava Gowlai is the first raagam that anyone learns.. the raagam of Sa-ri-ga-ma-pa-da-ni-sa in Saralivarisai is Mayamalava Gowlai. The first thing I said when I listened to Aruna Sairam's Mayamalava Gowlai was "Idhu Poongadave taazhtiravai (Nizhalgal) song-oda raagam!" Kamboji became "(film)Sankarabharanam's song that has a line 'Kambhoji raaganu'" and Darbar for me is "Yenakkinayaga darbar-il evarum undo from the song Oru naal poduma in Tiruvilayadal" . Coming to think of it, there's a cheap thrill relating a Ragam to its corresponding tamizh song.

Ok, now about the concerts:



Ranjani-Gayatri : They sing for their audience. Gone are the days when one number Bhagavathar comes to izhittufy a ragam like a Tirunelveli alwah for 2 hours in a three hour concert. People now want to listen to maximum ragams, songs, variety in 3 hours and Ranjani-Gayatri manage to deliver their product that way. The Vidya Bharati auditorium was packed when we entered at 6.35 pm for a 6.45 concert. Apart from the varnams and the RTP, their Abhangs and Viruttams were the highlights. Their USP = pace. It was like listening to Superstar's "Vijay Merchant-Vijay Hazare" dialogue in Velaikkaran (wogay wogay Hindi makkale , I agree Amitabh did the original). No izhuvai - No aruvai - Superstar speed, that's Ranjani-Gayatri for you.

Sanjay Subrahmanyan : GG* is a major fan of his. Thanks to Annan Guevera who amukkufyed two tickets from his friend we managed to attend the concert and enjoyed it immensely. The acoustics in Music Academy were very good and despite sitting in the last row with a toongumoonji mama next to us, every syllable was clearly audible. The Tamizh songs are a highlight in his concerts. I have nothing against Telugu songs / Sanskrit slokas. Just that I relate to the Tamizh songs better 'coz one undestands the meaning.

Post concert, met one of Sanjay Subrahmanyan's students who I have been keeping in touch with only via scraps and messages on a social networking site. Was very glad to read his review in THE HINDU. Never got to listen to him live, though. All of twenty seven and already an Ilayathalapathi in the carnatic music scene. Way to go Rethas!

Aruna Sairam : An immensely enjoyable concert. Three hours at Mylapore Fine arts club was sheer bliss. Creativity, Packaging and Presentation - Aruna's style. She is the superstar-ini of Carnatic music and it was/is a kudumippidi shandai to get tickets for her concerts. After umpteen tweets, facebook messages, phone calls to friends of friends of friends and colleagues, I managed a ticket for the concert. Her Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi was a collage of different ragams with the central theme of Nandanar Sarithram. The audience went beserk when she sang the Pallavis of 'Satre Vilagiyirum Pillaai' , 'Vazhi maraitirukkude' and 'Kaana vendamo' . Neyar viruppam took over post the elaborate songs when she asked the rasikas, for their choice. "Given a choice between Madumeikkum and Vishamakkara Kannan which one would you prefer?" she asked. Most of them chose the latter. Actually I was waiting for Madumeikkum. It is my purushan's most favourite song but I believe Vishamakkara is the current hot hit.Two more Abhangs followed and the concert concluded with a Srinivasa Kavacham and a tamizh song on Tirupati Venkateshwarar.The audience gave a standing ovation for Aruna after the concert and sat down to listen to the Mangalam.

Kutcheri Bas:

I am glad the musicians these days are singing for the audience instead of doing an izhuvai-aruvai on their own, singing for themselves but the mama-mamis still haven't learnt basic kutchery manners.

This stupid, idiotic practice of getting up midway to mossukkufy pakoda-kaapi at the canteen during Tani aavardanam still continues.

Reserving seats with azhukku handkerchiefs for nathanars, oarpodis and sambhandis should be banned. People end up blocking as many as ten seats next to them.

Retire-aana mamas continue to read THE HINDU during the concerts. I thought this was a common sight only at kalyanams.

Hip mamas with Iphones and blackberrys were busy messaging their NRI sons and daughters on what, I don't know.

Music Academy is sooo bleddy Page 3 with paattis resembling RMKV models and item number lipsticks. Aduvum Dark red colour. sahikkala!

Ranjani-Gayatri and Aruna were singing a couple of songs looking at the paper. Bharadiyar should come back and write "Bit adikkakoodadu paapa".
*********************************************************************************
One more to my 2009 resolutions: Should resume my carnatic lessons.

Happy New Year !

14 Responses:

radha said...

Bit adikkalena kutchery lam pootta case dhan. In their concert in San Jose this year,R&G( Yeah both of them) forgot the words of"Ranjani Niranjani" which they briskly started upon a request from a total enna kodumai saravanan case which asked them to sing in Ranjani raagam because one of their names in Ranjani.Both ladies generally thadavified for a whole minute before it hit them. This is what happens when you start singing to please the audience . Aruna is a musician of great stature,but I wish she really does justice to her talents and prowess rather than doing this dandanakka kolukku paadara numbers . the audience's tunes too much. But Sanjay,...aah..he is just getting better and better .

umm oviya said...

you have been tagged.
and enna pakka vandina, naanum paadi iruppen.

Anonymous said...

hey..happy newyear...

u know the pakodas are the best..those are my bribe to leave my mom to the kutcheries..

music academy ladies, looking like rmkv models ...h eh ehe

thanks for linking the songs...they are wonderful...

kaushik

PRG said...

Yes B it was really a 'kutchery holiday' for me this time. I enjoyed both the concerts. No words to say about R&G 's gamakas,kalpana swaras and aalapanas. As we discussed it was really a package for the audience. And coming to Sanjay's concert- First I was really thrilled to hear the kutchery at Music academy. And the RTP in JOnpuri followed by the song 'eppo varuvaro' was brilliant. Though we could manage to identify the raagas only in few songs. Sanjay's 30 minutes Kaamboji aalapana was soooooooper.A song in bagesri.On the whole it was excellent. Let us plan our next trip during music season.

MADHAV said...

Carnatic kutcheris are a speciality of Chennai. Nice that you could attend a few. The kutchery bas section is hilarious, RMKV models with item number lipstick sahikalaa.. How do you come up with these??

Great!! Keep blogging and happy new year to you.

confounded-lady said...

Poatu thaakirkaenga!
Seriously! :D

ambi said...

another LOL post.

ranjani gayathri are known for one peculiar costume. ennanu sollu(nga) paappom..? :))

Aruna sairam is the best esp with oothukaadu's krithis. summaa jathi ellam alwaa maadhiri vanthu vizhum.

U shud have seen sudha ragunathan's concert (not for her pothys pudavai, ofcourse) most of the songs bit thaan adipaanga. :)))

moneykandaan said...

kalakkal...neraga chendru parthu rasithathu pondra nimmathi yerpattathu...nandri.

Maddy said...

கச்சேரி விமர்சனம் பிரமாதம்!!! Kutcheri Bas: உங்க ஸ்ஸ்...ட்டில்!! நல்ல சிரிப்பு

One more to my 2009 resolutions: Should resume my carnatic lessons.
Happy New Year !

அடுத்த வருஷம் உங்க கச்சேரி பார்க்க ஓசி டிக்கெட்-க்கு இப்போவே அப்ப்ளிகேசன் போட்டு வைக்கிறேன்
புத்தாண்டு வாழ்த்துக்கள்

Lakshmi said...

Kalakkal style ma. I don't quite agree with your review of artists (I think Aruna is an Antichrist/curse of Carnatic music), but, love your narrative, neverthless.

Innum konjam naeram velaiyai paakaama vettiyaa indha blog padippaennu ninaikkaraen. Boss thittinaa naan poruppillai.

buddy said...

wow!
i wish i could..but namma karnatic knowledge kandravi...

Artnavy said...

u must resume ur music lessons- let me know how it goes

Teesu (very very Indian, very very good) said...

This post my friend, was too good!

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