Flute Saxophone Jugalbandhi, Mar 14th, 2010

Jai Guru Datta! Jai Hanuman!

Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple witnessed on Mar 14th, 2010 a grand Jugalbandhi of Hindustani Flute by Nilendu Jani & Carnatic Saxophone by Shyam Murali supported by Neel Bhatt on Tabla & Bala Murali on Mridangam.

The stage was set after a nice introduction of the artists by Dr. V.V. Prakasa Rao.The concert started with the composition Gajananayutham. The raga in the Carnatic system is called Chakravagam and its corresponding name in the Hindusthani style is Ahir Bhairav. The first waves from the saxophone originated for a minute and was quickly followed by the soothing melody from the flute. The artists played the raga and gave it a shape in their respective styles. The song was then rendered by both the players and the tabla and mridangam accompanied the song. The instrumentalists then moved on to play some swaras and intricate patterns. The audience received the song very well and the stage was set for other things to follow.

The next song, Neekala Dayaralu in Sarasaangi, was a solo by Shyam Murali on the saxophone. This was set to Kanda Chappu and supported by Bala Murali on the mridangam. A short aalap was played followed by the song in a brisk pace. Following this was a solo piece by Nilendu Jani on the Bansuri. He selected the raag Kafi which is a raga played during spring, followed by Sri Ramachandra in the roopak taal and another composition in teen taal. Neel Bhatt accompanied him on the table.

The artist then moved to the main piece of the evening in rag Jog. As explained by Shyam, this is a Hindusthani rag but adapted is to Carnatic style on rare occasions. The song was set in a Ragam-Thanam-Pallavi style. The artist rendered the raga soulfully and brought out the richness of the raga in their respective styles. The Carnatic style had extensive phrases filled with gamakas and the Hindhusthani style portrayed the raga soothingly. The artists also played overlapping melodies to create an enchanting impression. This was followed by a brisk thanam. The song then commenced with a single line pallavi. To give context to the pallavi, the words were sung by Shyam. Then the artists moved on to their respective solo sections playing the raag at different speeds. Improvised raga phrases and rhythmic patterns emanated from both the instruments and they were matched on the tabla and mridangam. As the song progressed, the artists also played multiple ragas, including Mohanam & Bindhu Malini during their sections. The raga rendition was ended with a brilliant korvai.

The percussionists then took center stage with their skilled plays. Neel Bhatt on the tabla played with ease and gave a very esthetic sense to percussion play. Murali Bala on the mridangam started slow and then built the rhythm with more and more percussive phrases. The percussionists took a couple of rounds to demonstrate their skill. The naada and laya of both matched and they moved on to some faster nadais. Finally, they culminated with an exhilarating korvai.

After the main piece, the listeners were treated to some short melodies. Nilendu Jani played Vaishnava Janato followed by Shyam Murali who played Sarvam Bhrama Mayam in Madhuvanthi. The concert concluded with Raghupathi Raghava Raja Ram, as a fitting tribute to Lord Rama and his ardent devotee Sri Hanuman.

At the end Dr. V.V. Prakasa Rao, gave a fitting tribute to all the artists and honored them. He highlighted the fact that Shyam Murali, age 18 years, who was brought up entirely in the US has achieved commendable progress in Carnatic music. It was inspiring to hear that he has given several solo performances all over the US including the Cleveland Thyagarja festival and has gone back to India to perform in the prestigious Chennai music festival. Dr Rao went on to add that Shyam is a role model for all youngsters in this country and urged the local community to indulge their children more in the rich cultural heritage that our country of origin, India has to offer. The entire program was very well received by the large audience who graced the occasion.