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Classical Indian Carnatic Music: The Torch Bearers of the Lalgudi Bani, at Scandinavia House
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Classical Indian Carnatic Music: The Torch Bearers of the Lalgudi Bani, at Scandinavia House

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Classical Indian Carnatic Music
The Torch Bearers of the Lalgudi Bani

Lalgudi G. J. R. Krishnan on Violin
http://www.lalgudigjrkrishnan.com/
Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi on Violin
http://www.lalgudivijayalakshmi.com/profile.php
Trichy Sankaran on Mridangam
http://www.trichysankaran.com/
Tripunithura Radhakrishnan on Ghatam
http://www.indiansarts.com/tripuimridangam.htm

At
Scandinavia House
www.scandinaviahouse.org
58 Park Avenue @ 38th Street
New York, NY 10016
212.779.3587


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 4, 2014


Program and History - Courtesy of Chitra Baskar.

Program:
“Charukesi varnam of Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman”
“Raga “Sudha Rasa” in andolika tyagaraja”
“Swara” exchange: Part of the raga, “Sudha Rasa”
“Needayaradha in vasanthabhairavi”
“Latangi”
“Karaharapriya” – “Annamaiyas Okapari”
“Bilahari”, “Naajivadara”
“Swaras”, exchange followed by "Tani”. percussion interlude.
“Varali". Ragam thanam Pallavi in varali.
“Engirundhu varuguvatho”
“Krishna nee begane”
“Tirupughazh”
Followed by two Thillanas in "Maand" and "Sindhubhairavi",
compositions of Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman.



This afternoon, I was transported to the South of India, during a Carnatic classical music concert by four renowned virtuosos. A tonal, electronic drone resounded throughout the intermission-less concert, that extended for several hours. Most of the audience seemed familiar with the instruments, harmonic songs, and rhythmic styles, but, for this viewer, I was an observer and absorber. I observed the chemistry and closeness of brother and sister, Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, both on upside down violins, seated together. Each one repeated the other’s complicated phrases, in the second hour of the concert. This most engaging phase of the experience illustrates the legacy of Lalgudi Bani, the unique style created by the late Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman, father of the duo violinists. Although there were no vocals or dancers today, the absorbing music was lyrical, melodic, and filled with fascinating ornamentations.

Those ornamentations were added by Trichy Sankaran on mridangam and Tripunithura Radhakrishnan on ghatam. Dr. Sankaran played the percussive instrument, mridangam, laid flat on a cloth on his knees, occasionally hammering the top and bottom with a tool, resembling a flat rock. This was to keep the instrument tightly tuned. The sound was evocative of the Hindu culture; in fact the mridangam often appears within Hindu sculptures. The side, center circles of this cloth-wrapped instrument are played with the palms of the hands. The ghatam was played by Mr. Radhakrishnan with his fingers, creating soft, clicking sounds. The ghatam is a clay pot, formed with special types of mud and brass, thus the sensational tones emanating from different sections of the round, red instrument. Throughout the concert, I noticed some members of the audience clapping along with the familiar tempos, leaning forward to see how each artist responded to the compositional phrases of the others, as each performer expanded and enhanced the moment, along with the Ohm drone.

Lalgudi G. J. R. Krishnan began learning the Bani style of playing the violin, at the age of five, and performed at thirteen years old. He not only performs with his sister, but also with Hindustani Indian musicians, and wrote a recent film score, as well. Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi began learning the Bani style violin at the age of six and also first performed at thirteen years old. She not only plays solo, or duo with her brother, but also plays in Jugalbandhi concerts in India. Dr. Trichy Sankaran is known around the globe, not only as a percussion virtuoso, but also as an Indian music scholar and composer. Tripunithura Radhakrishnan is the son of a guru on the ghatam and has played Carnatic Indian music on stages around the globe. He leads a percussion ensemble called “Laya Vadya Tharangam”. You can check the schedules of these four musicians on their websites and through links to Carnatic music concerts.



Trichy Sankaran on the Mridangam, Lalgudi GJR Krishnan on the Violin
Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi on the Violin, Tripunithura Radhakrishnan on the Ghatam
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Trichy Sankaran on the Mridangam, Lalgudi GJR Krishnan on the Violin
Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi on the Violin, Tripunithura Radhakrishnan on the Ghatam
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Trichy Sankaran on the Mridangam, Lalgudi GJR Krishnan on the Violin
Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi on the Violin, Tripunithura Radhakrishnan on the Ghatam
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net