Global Indian Special

A Scintillating Indian Classical Music Recital at Houston

A report from USA by our roving critic

Dr. R. Nagaswamy

(L to R) Mayavaram Shiva (Mridangam), Mayavaram Krishnakumar (Kanjeera), Harsha Narayanan (Vocal) and Savitha Viswanathan (Violin)

There was a scintillating concert of Carnatic music at Houston, Texas by four young musicians, all residents of Houston on Saturday 27th June 2009 evening.  The concert was organized by Ram Ganesan on behalf of “Raga Appreciation Group of America”, an organization devoted to exploring the depth of Indian raga system in United States.  Harsha Narayanan was the singer accompanied by Savitha Viswanathan on violin, Mayavaram Shiva on Mridangam and Mayavaram Krishnakumar on Kanjeera.  The audience consisted of mostly technical, medical and as well as administrative professionals serving in the United States.

Savitha Viswanathan who is a Software Engineer who has established herself as an excellent Vocalist of Carnatic music in North America has now mastered Violin under Smt. Sharada Murali.  Mayavaram Shiva who plays Mridangam and a student of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, is a Ph.D student of Civil Engineering at the University of Houston.  Mayavaram Krishna Kumar, a student of Mayavaram Babu in Mridangam and studying Biomedical Engineering showed that Kanjira itself is an excellent independent delightful instrument in a musical concert. 

Harsh Narayanan, a Civil Engineer in Houston has perfected his Carnatic Music under R.K. Padmanabhan of Bangalore and Srirangam Ramanujacharya.  He is a graded AIR artist.  His mastery of the intricacies of classical ragas is amazing as demonstrated by his over three hours recital.

His rendering of the song Swaminatha Paripalayamam on Subrahmanya in Nattai ragam was majestic, while the one on Ma Ramanan Uma Ramanan in Hindolam by Papanasam Sivan was mellifluous.   The ragam Haricambodhi in which Saint Thyagaraja’s Krithi Rama Nannu Brova took off very well.  But Harsha reserved his best for the raga alapana of Muthuswami Dhikshitar’s Mamava Meenakshi exhibited by some challenging swara prastharas that enthralled the knowledgeable audience assembled.  Interestingly, Harsha at the request of the audience demonstrated the variations in rendering the ragam “Varali”.  This was followed by a swift rendering of the song of Saint Thyagaraja’s Sarasa Sama Dana in “Kapi”.  Then again came on alternative Ragam, Thanam, Pallaavi in Karakarapriya ragam.  The concert by this young group of musicians was very rich in classicism and it appeared that Indian music heritage is going to take over American audience very soon.  A word must also be said about the large number of audience here well versed in the form and rhythm of the music and instrumental rendering as they keenly followed the recital.  The number of appreciative classical Indian music is already well established in United States.

 

 

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