Indian handcrafted bamboo flutes and classical bansuri music by Ravi Shankar Mishra

Gentle and Steady

Bansuri World

Courtesy of THE HINDU

Article by V. NAGARAJ

Ravishankar Mishra’s Bansuri recital (Rag Milan Trust) catered to all the needs of ardent listeners of a contemplative predilection. Rajendra Nakod (tabla), Varun V. Naik (flute) and Milind (swaramandal) accompanied the artiste. On the occasion , Swamy Muktidananda of Shri Ramakrishna Math released two pre-recorded CDs of Ravishankar Mishra.

When the artiste with an uncompromising commitment to foster the melodic aspects fortified himself with profound involvement, there remained least resistance for the audience to enter into an abode of reposing quietude.

Consider Yaman, in which thoroughly honed dexterity faithfully served the delicacies of the art form. He developed alaap with profound maturity: even the introductory phase getting its due importance in the poorvanga of the sapthak and the whole of mandra sapthak. Consequently, swaras and the swaraguchas shone brilliantly, highlighting the serene beauty of Yaman. This reminded of the Subbarama Dikshitar’s guideline – treat the Raga as one aesthetically adorns an adored one for a sublime ecstasy.

Ragvistar entered into madhyalaya as the progressions ascended the octaves. Consistency in blowing and gentle fingering facilitated smooth flow of extempore, rendering the taans and the gamaks tender and pleasing.

Drut section preserved the same melodic tempo, but with a welcome enhancement in the rhythm-patterns and swara-complexities, consequently with more interesting sams and enticing tihayis. All along, the percussionist closely sensing and enjoying the lead artiste’s musical perceptions exercised discretion and worked to enhance the general impression.

Malkauns proved a perfect epitome of soothing passages of pianissimos. Nevertheless, one could sense occasions of faint discrepancies at microtonal levels. Other presentations with similar positive impacts were a theme in Mishra Shivaranjani and a Dhun in Bhairavi.

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Deepa Shrinath presented Bharathanatya (Nadabrahma Sangeetha Sabha, accompanied by Ramesh Chadaga (vocal), Brinda (natuvanga), H.S. Thandavamurthi (violin), Smitha Kiran (flute) and Thulasiram (mridanga).

Young artiste’s appreciable proficiency convinced the spectators of her potentials, particularly in the abhinaya sections, which she could have elevated to greater heights through profound involvement.

A shortcoming in the choreography in not employing the nritta sections in the expected quantum and with the required vigour softened the overall impact. It aroused curiosity (as to the feasibility) when she selected “Sogasuga Mridanga Taalamu” (Sriranjani-Thyagaraja), on the following grounds:

The krithi, in spite of recognising mridanga as one among other indispensable ingredients of a celestial music, is not rhythm- oriented; and the very nature of its general flow will not allow any interludes by nature of jatis (which demand intricate rhythmic structures). In the present instance they proved tenable - the jathis did not suit the general flow: an element of flaccidity weakened the connecting links. Further, supportive sequences would have rendered navarasas interesting and impressive.

Similar ideas and expressions (“Maatru Vatsalya”) constituted the major portion of the three compositions presented in succession: Muthayya Bhagavathar’s Daru (“Mathe Malayadhwaja” - Khamach) and two compositions of Purandaradasa (“Kadagola Thaarenna” and “Enumarulade”).

V. NAGARAJ