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A classical-cum-contemporary show by Shashank
It was a controlled demonstration of his mastery. He had a complete sway over the gadget he held in his hands. As they bend to his blowing in quiet submission, the bamboo flutes produced fresh, vibrant and resonating music. The child prodigy Shashank has come a long way. Today, he is a mature musician. Gone was his uncontrolled jest for brashness. A sense of responsibility was obvious in his approach, even as he showed up his natural propensity to innovate. He produced a well-bundled classical-cum-contemporary concert. "Sarasijanabasodari…’’ in Naga Gandhari, a composition of Dikshitar’s, must have warmed the hearts of traditionalists. If there was style in the way he played this kriti, the substance in his repertoire came out clearly. "Manavyala kimpara…’’ in Nalinakanti and the Ritigaula piece `Janani…’ too showed up the tempered facet of the evolved artiste. As his wont, he offered a choice to the listeners. Between Pantuvarali and Purvi Kalyani, the listeners’ pick was Pantuvarali. Shashank was scintillating, as he sketched the raga in all its splendour in the RTP (ragam, tanam and pallavi) phase. As he embarked on his Pantuvarali trip, he literally went unstoppable. He dipped deep, exploring the myriad hues of the raga. As he traversed different octaves, his hands instantly reached to flutes of different pitches. The use of multiple flutes of varied pitches brought out assorted facet of the raga in a telling and glorious way. He also demonstrated how to alternate between two octaves simultaneously. "This requires little bit of practice,’’ he said, sending peels of laughter among the audience. `Sharavanabhava Guhane Shanmuga’ was the pallavi line. It was set to 16 beats. The take-off and landing in each round of pallavi-playing were smooth and perfect. The percussion support was in the form of tavil by Thiruvalaputhur Kaliamoorthy and mridangam by Parupalli Phalgum. He was also accompanied by violinist Nagain Sriram. One felt that tavil was a bit of a noise to go with an instrument such as flute. But the tavil artiste re-adjusted himself very well with the flautist and played well within the freedom available to him. In the `thani’ session, there was a lively duel between the tavil and mridangam artistes. The violinist did an exemplary job and let the spotlight firmly on Shashank. The fag-end pieces - `Krishna Ne Begane…’’ in Yamuna Kalyani and "Chinanchiru Kiliye…’’ in ragamalika – were played to perfection. Shashank brought the curtain down with the fast-paced "Raguvamsa Sudha…’’ in Kathanakuthuhalam. It was indeed a joyous end to a lovely evening concert on December 21 at Sivakami Pethachi Auditorium for Brahma Gana Sabha.
D Govardan -
That was a very good review. Even a lay man like me was able to understand a little bit about the instrument and the ragas...Keep it up. In fact, I heard about Shashank as a child prodigy from my friend Rajesh Chandramouli. But, I have never heard him play the flute.