Milpitas; January 3, 2016. The Bay Area music lovers were enthralled to listen to a galaxy of Vocalists and Musicians who performed on four popular Hindustani Classical Raags- Pooriya Dhanashree, Puriya Kalyan, Sohoni and Marva, which will herald a New Year of MusicalExtravaganza.
Two important music icons- Violin Maestro Satish Gadagkar and Ustad Surinder Mann, a Tabla and Sitar Maestro, who werepresent at the Concert adjudged the Concert as well conceived, planned and well executed.
At the outset, a popular Hindustani Vocalist Ms. Madhuvanti Bhide who has experience of classical music over 20 years having been trained by Dr.Alka Deo Marulkar, a legend in the classical music and a Musicologist, had chosen to perform Raag Marwa and gave the special features of the Raaga and sang a Bandish as well as a Bhajan based on Puriya Kalyan. While explaining the nuances of the Raag Marwa, she pointed that this raag comes under “Thaat Marwa. It is a sunset raag, and therefore chosen, in the evening. It has “Komal Re” and Teevra Ma. There is No Pa, in this raag. Vadi- Komal Re and Samvadi is “shuddha dha”. Madhuvanti sang a bandish "Laagi Lagan Guru Paayi, Sakal jagat bisarayi", in Taal Ektaal, with slow “alaps and bol tans” After performing this piece, she presented a melodious Meera Bhajan, composed by her guru Dr. Marulkar -"Guru Bina
Kaun Lagave Paar, Naav Padee Majhdhaar, teri". This Bhajan was based on “ Puriya kalyan, with Marva combination. Madhuvanti was accompanied by Preeti Pisolkar on the harmonium, Shripad Torvi on the tabla, and Vocal accompaniment by her student Sangeeta Koilada.
Ms. Sandhya Shankar, an accomplished Vocalist both in Carnatic as well as Hindustani classical, who has been teaching music in the bay areea over the last fifteen years was the next Vocalist. She has been a senior student of Pandit Lakshmi Ganesh Tewari, Emeritus Professor of Music, Sonoma State University Santa Rosa, California. Sandhya introducing the Raag Puriya Dhanashree succinctly explained its distinct characteristics.
She mentioned that this Raga belongs to “Purvi Thaat” and is a Sampoorna raga, having all the seven notes. It can admit both simple and vakra chalan in its presentation. It is characterized as “Sandhiprakash Raga” sung at the time of dusk. This raga is equivalent to Carnatic Raag “Panthuvarali, 51st Melakartha raga. Further, related closely to this Raga with considerable different melodic structure, is “Raga Shree” of which she presented a dhrut Bandish , with her mellifluous voice. She was accompanied by Shripad Torvi and Preeti Pisolkar on Harmonium.
Ms. Swasti Pandey who was the next Vocalist presented for a variety, another theme Raag “Sohoni” which belongs to Marwa thaat (root raga family). Its characteristics were that the “Re and Pa Swaras (notes) excluded” in the ascent (aaroh) whereas only the “Pa” note is excluded in the descent (avaroh). The Re note is soft (komal) and Ma note is sharp (teevra). Prominent notes of the raga are Dha and Ga. This raga is best suited for pre-dawn time between 3 AM to 6 AM.
The mood of the raga is melancholic but, yet it has a joyous intensity. Swasti gave a delightful jugalbandi performance, with a couple of Jhaptal Bandish and Devotional songs in which her advanced student Ashwini Guruprasad also joined. Swasti sang using Harmonium as her accompaniment.
In the musical segment, Sangeet Dhwani had chosen a proficient Flute Maestro, Shri. Priyank Desai who has received his earlier training from his Guru Shri. Hemendra Dixit –Disciple of Pt. Pannalal Ghosh. He has also flair for Hindustani classical music and learns it as he felt that it helped in embellishing his performance on Flute. Priyank has been performing in Radio in India and US and also has played Bansuri Scores and sound track for movies like Flavors. Priyank’s performance on Puriya Kalyan was lauded as splendid and spell binding, He was ably accompanied by a skilled young musician Ajay Sunder Rajan on Tabla.
Movie songs segment; Sangeet Dhwani’s Zankaar series include Movie Songs governed by one of the Raags chosen as theme raags for the particular concert. In order to delight those members of the audience, (who do not have scientific knowledge of Classical Raags), each such concert includes a few novie songs associated with the theme raags and selects award winning artists to present them. Needless to say here that the Music composers and Directors of the Golden Era Movies (1940s-1980) harnessed the Classical Raags in order to achieve perfect melody in the songs
One of the most appropriate song suited for this concert, was “ Kuhu Kuhu Bole Koyaliya” which was composed by the famous Music Director P.Adi Narayan Rao, in the Movie “Swarna Sundari “. This song was based on four raags-Sohoni, Bahar, Jaunpuri and Yaman, The song was melodiously presented by two lady singers –Sangeeta Heble ( Shenoy) and Sandhya Gayathri, as Jugalbandi,which mesmerized the audience.
Another song “Jhumati Chali Hawa” associated with Raag Sohoni –(sung for the film “Tansen” by the legend Mukesh ) was renditioned by Shri. Pramod Korwar, on Karaoke tracks. As the grand finale of the event, Smitha Maiti sang melodiously Asha Bhosale’s song “Jeevan Jyot Chale” from the film Grahasti, without the support of any music tracks or live music, which the audience enjoyed fully.
The Event was emceed by Jagruti Shah who anchors on 1130 Am Radio, with her entertaining tit bits as to the origin of the song, its lyricist, music director or the playback singer. The sound was efficiently managed by Dilip Shah and program coordination was handled by Nishikant Shirpurkar.
The event concluded with a Vote of thanks by the Sangeet Dhwani President, Pradeep Joshi.