Those who went to see Bombay Jayashree Ramnath should have returned disheartened
- she did not turn up. But the musical experience was probably just as good -
for, Ramnath's expected concert was replaced by a surprising and stimulating violin
recital by young Sriram Parasuram, an artist who has put himself on the map of
musicians at a young age.
The multifaceted Parasuram began his career in Carnatic music under the able guidance
of Ramakrishna Sarma, and then learnt Hindustani under Pandit C Vyas even when
he was a boy. A Masters in Western Classical Instrumental Music from the Akron
University, Ohio, and a B Tech and an MBA from Bombay, including a Ph D in Ethno
Musicology, young Parasuram is currently one of the directors of 'Sampradaya',
an institution working on archiving and documenting the performing arts. Parasuram
is proficient in Carnatic and Hindustani, as also in Western classical, music.
In a display of his musical prowess, the artist brought in the energy of Western
classical, the devotion of Carnatic, and the emotional depths of Hindustani music,
to the fore.
In this particular performance, Parasuram appeared to be in his element from the
moment that he played the first string of his violin. Surprisingly, he carried
a traditional aura as he commenced his recital with a Tanavarnam in the melody
of Natakuranji. In Hamsadhwani "Gam Ganapati", the strings almost spelled the
devotional poetic words of Muthai Bhagavatar. A grand Pancha Ratna Keertana of
Thyagaraja, set to a Ghana Raaga Nata, stood out for its high-flying excellence
in composition and for the manner of its rendering. The celebrated "Jagadananda
Karaka" streamed out of the strings effortlessly while the artist, along with
the audience, went into an ecstatic spell.
Choosing a soulful tune of Subhapantuvarali - "Sri Satya Narayana" of Dikshitar
- he created a sudden change in the mood. And a more rare combination of raagas,
a blend of languages like Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu in composition - "Bhashanga
Bilahari Upanga Saveri" -, and a popular Des Raaga Tillana of Lalgudi Jairaman
comprised the evening's program. The supporting artists included the percussionist,
D S R Murthy, and the ghatam artist, Nemani Somayajulu.