Ravi Shankar's namaskaram to
brought Pandit Ravi Shankar to Chennai, where he presented a concert
to help a research centre named after MS and her
husband Sadasivam. Anoushka, the maestro's daughter, displayed an
aggressive streak in her solo turn
|Star children, whether born of musicians,
artists or sportspeople, have some special advantages and some
inevitable disadvantages. While their proximity to the right
people may make it easier for them to succeed, they also suffer
from constant comparisons with their parents.|
Anoushka Shankar, the
18-year-old daughter of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, has
tackled this paradox in her own way. She has made her
style totally different from that of her father and guru.
Performing in Chennai
for the first time on February 4, she displayed a bold, almost
strident approach to her music. She did not tease the notes out of
her sitar, she rather commanded them to emerge as she wished them
With the two
tabla players (Bikram Ghosh and Tanmoy Bose) and even the two
tanpuras keeping the volume loud, she give a thrilling recital which
the full house at the Music Academy auditorium drank up.
She began the evening
with raga Purya Dhanashri (corresponds to the Karnatak raga
Pantuvarali). The short alaap was followed by a medium and then a
fast paced composition in teen tal (16 beats). Then followed raga
Kiravani with a gat in teen tal, striking a familiar note among the
Karnatak-music conscious audience.
She concluded her solo performance with
Raghuvamsasutha in raga Kathanakuthuhalam, after speaking a few
words in Tamil and dedicating the piece to her mother, Sukanya, who
is Tamil. The rendition was efficient rather than brilliant.
The audience, which
had been requested to rise when the 81-year-old Pandit entered the
stage, went into an awe-stricken silence when he began playing. The
maestro, who was in a mood to please, began with Abhogi-Kanada. The
gat was in jhap tal (10 beats).
The evening was organised to raise funds for
Samudri, the music and dance resources institute named after M S
Subbulakshmi and her late husband T S Sadasivam. Pandit Ravi Shankar
not only performed free and took care of all his expenses, but also
composed a special piece for the occasion at the request of N
Pattabhiraman, who edits Sruti, a classical music and
Samudari, the piece in Maanj
Kamas, which is a raga linked to the Carnatic Kamas but with more
importance to the madhyama, goes like this", said Pandit Ravi
Shankar. Samudari sadhana dhama, with the antara
Madhura sarasa swara samana
dhana danya rahe, amar yeh nama."
He also explained its meaning: "Let
Samudri be a sacred place for endeavour. Let this, which has a
sweet, lilting name, like a note, be prosperous, bestow prosperity
and ever prevail".
As the sitarists played, the tabla
artiste, Tanmoy Bose, who has an excellent voice, sang
Even as the clapping continued, the "eight o'clock
exodus" began. It did not go unnoticed by the great artiste, who has
just been conferred a knighthood by the British government. "People
are already leaving, that's Madras", he said, a smile taking away
the sting from the words.
They perhaps had the desired
effect, as no one got up to go for the next hour, when Pandit Ravi
Shankar, accompanied by Anoushka, played continuously. It was in the
thumri style, a garland of different ragas and folk tunes. The
Panchamsagara saw him in his element, overcoming the
initial difficulties he had faced when his fingers slipped on the
strings, prompting him to beat the sitar affectionately.
listeners were spellbound by the canopy of music, and if they could
not appreciate it with the "wah-wahs" of north Indian audiences,
they paid homage in their own way with a standing ovation that
lasted nearly 10 minutes.
uploaded at 11:25 p.m., Feb 3,
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