Blend of styles of Omkar festival

Blend of styles of Omkar festival

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The three-day event Omkar festival provided a platform for artistes to chart their own musical course

The three-day event provided a platform for artistes to chart their own musical course

The three-day Omkar music festival began with the launch of the book Re-imagining One Nation, One Music (Shubhi Publications) authored by the three musicians – Hindustani vocalist Iman Das of Patiala gharana and the director of Omkar Music Academy, and Carnatic violinists M. Lalitha and Nandini. This was followed by instrumental, vocal and solo tabla presentations, which included a jugalbandi between Iman Das and M.D. Pallavi.

Rimpa Shiva (tabla).
| Photo Credit: Jaydeep

Rimpa Shiva began her solo tabla recital with a peshkar set to Teental of 16 beats. She explored the sonic nuances through peshkar, kaydas, and chakradhars, and chose several compositions by her father Pt. Swapan Shiva of Farrukhabad gharana and compositions by Ustad Keramatullah Khan. Satish Kolli accompanying on the samvadini played a riveting sequence in Kirwani.

M. Lalitha and M. Nandini.

M. Lalitha and M. Nandini.
| Photo Credit: Jaydeep

Sisters Lalitha and Nandini began their violin duet performance with Dikshitar’s ‘Maha ganapathim’ in Nattai. They handled the raga with aplomb, marked by succinct improvisations through kalpanaswaras and quickly moved to delineating the composition, ‘Paratpara Parameshwara’ by Papanasam Sivan in Vachaspathi. The sisters negotiated gracefully, playing in sync, each engaging with the myriad dimensions of this raga. The ‘sawal-jawab’ sections between the violinists and mridangam artiste H.S Sudhindra were noteworthy for the rhythmic vibrancy. The popular Lingashtakam (‘Bramha murari’) was imbued with bhakti rasa with tinges of Shivaranjini.

Meticulous approach

Hindustani vocalist Muddumohan, a former bureaucrat and disciple of Pt. Basavaraj Rajguru, began his concert with the afternoon monsoon melody, Sur Malhar. In his delineation of the traditional vilambit bandish, ‘Garjat ave’, followed by the famous drut Teentaal composition, ‘Badarwa barsan ko aye’, he unravelled the subtleties of the raag, using the note-by-note badhat of Kirana singers. Vishwanath Nakod’s sangat on the tabla for the drut khayal ‘Barkha ritu bair hamari’ was noteworthy for its rhythmic virtuosity and galvanising tihais. Surya Upadhyay on the harmonium impressed with his reproduction of musical phrases in the drut Teentaal composition ‘Sundar surjanwa’ in Multani.

Iman Das.

Iman Das.
| Photo Credit: Jaydeep

Iman Das, disciple of Pt. Kalyan Basu, who belonged to Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan’s legacy, commenced his vocal recital in the sandhiprakash raag Shree. It was quintessential Patiala gharanedar gayaki that emphasises on correct enunciation of swars. Iman Das rendered the raag in vilambit Jhoomra taal bandish ‘Sanj dhali’, Jhap taal bandish ‘Hari ke charan kamal’ (popularised by the illustrious Paluskar), and a Lakshan Geet. Then came a Tarana, his own composition, in the same raag. Susanmoy Mishra’s accompaniment on the tabla enhanced the layakari and execution of sargams, while Surya Upadhyay on the samvadini added to the appeal of the raag.

The festival drew to a close with Jayateerth Mevundi’s concert. He was accompanied on the tabla by Keshav Joshi and on the harmonium by Satish Kolli. Kindling a sense of nostalgia, Jayateerth began with a sublime rendition of the famous ‘Charan dhar ayori ‘ in raag Abhogi, reminiscent of Pt. Bhimsen Joshi’s inimitable style. His breathtaking taankari came to the fore in the drut Ektaal chota khyal, ‘Laaj rakho mori, hum garib tum daata’.

Satish reproduced every gamak and taan with zeal. Jayateerth’s singing of the classic bandish, ‘Rang na daro Shyamji gori pe’, cast a spell. Keshav’s execution of phrases added to the appeal of the bol taans. The vocalist concluded with an emotionally charged rendition of ‘Bhavani dayani’ in Bhairavi, the signature song of Begum Parveen Sultana of Patiala gharana. He paid his tribute to Pt. Bhimsen Joshi with a sublime rendition of the bhajan, ‘Jo bhaje hari ko sada’ eliciting applause from the audience.

The Bengaluru-based reviewer is a trained musician.



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