Our concert on 29th October in Rutgers University will be in a format different from the usual carnatic concert format. We will be presenting an eclectic selection of songs of various saints and composers from the kirtanas of Tyagaraja and Purandaradasa, Tamil Viruthams to the bhajans of Meera, Tulsidas and Kabir and Marathi abhangs.
In a typical carnatic music concert spanning three hours, starting with a varnam, two to three major compositions with detailed alapana, nerval and swaram are presented. To rasikas who are relatively new to the Kutcheri experience, sitting through the entire concert may be a little difficult. We have had people frequently come up to us and ask us to come up with a concert format that would be a kind of bridge that would help people get familiar with our music, while retaining the sanctity and values of this great system.
This concert is an effort to reach out to people from a wider spectrum, and to give them a taste of classical music. The so-called “thukkadas” which generally appear at the end of a carnatic concert will be woven into the concert from the beginning itself. For the classical music lovers, there is going to be a jugalbandi piece - a Hindustani/Carnatic exploration of a raga which is common to both systems- with all the manodharma aspects like Alapana, Neraval and kalpana swaram.
This concert is also going to be a relatively new experience for us, as we have not sung classical Hindustani music much on stage. Much of our knowledge of Hindustani music is through listening- we grew up in Bombay listening to greats such as Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Smt Kishori Amonkar, Pandit Mallikarjun Mansoor, Gangubai Hangal….An unforgettable experience is a concert that happened in the early hours of the morning and the artiste was the great Mallikarjun Mansoor. Our father actually made us stand and listen so that we wouldn’t fall asleep during the concert! We also learnt briefly from the veteran Hindustani vocalist Pandit K.G.Ginde.
We will be accompanied for this concert on the violin by Sri.H.N.Bhaskar, Delhi Sri Sairam on mridangam and Sri Sai Shyam on tabla.