musings on music and life

November 5, 2012

Abhishek-Anand video

Filed under: Carnatic Music — sankirnam @ 5:32 pm

I found this on a friend’s facebook page, and thought it was worth sharing:

The Anand/Abhishek Rhytmic éclat – [Climax of Khanda Nadai] from Abhishek Raghuram Fan Page on Vimeo.

I have discussed Abhishek’s music before here, and even though I really want to maintain variety, Abhishek’s music is just so good that it deserves repetition. Of course, the highlight of this piece is the thani by Anand. As I have mentioned before, Abhishek Raghuram and Anand (Anantha R. Krishnan) are cousins, grandsons of the late Shri Palghat R. Raghu. Anand’s playing is exactly like how Raghu sir used to play when he was young and at his peak (not a trivial achievement, considering that that was almost 40-50 years ago). Raghu sir had a lot of other students who are also distinguished vidwans today (including Trichur C. Narendran, Manoj Siva, Trivandrum Balaji, Bombay Balaji, and others), but Anand is the cream of the crop in my opinion, having inherited all the traditions of Palghat Raghu sir’s bani and having his genius in his blood.

I vividly remember attending Abhishek’s Music Academy concert back in 2008, when he was still in the subsenior slot. It was a drowsy afternoon, I had just had lunch, and I sat in the balcony to relax and digest while listening to world-class music. I remember he sang Kaapaali (Mohanam) for the main piece, and the thani that followed by Anand was something I still remember to this day and will never forget for the rest of my life. He played some very intricate khanda nadai (5 counts per beat) patterns that day, and those were ringing in my ears for the next few days, so much so, that I ended up playing khanda nadai and that same korvai in my next concert at Mylapore Fine Arts Club a few days later! Since then, I have always made it a point to listen to Anand’s concerts wherever possible, both in US and during the December music season in Chennai.

In this video, Anand also plays khanda nadai, featuring an interesting variation of one of Palghat Mani Iyer’s classic korvais, adapted for khandam. The transition from khandam to tisram (3 per beat) is done absolutely effortlessly. This kind of playing shows how much practice Anand has put into the art, and also how much concert experience he has at this relatively young age – both are not trivial things, and in no small way have contributed to his current standing.

I’ll stop my gushing here lest this sound too sycophantic…

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