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Where distinct styles merge in a
musical confluence ...
It was a grand evening on August 26. The Ball Room at Taj Coromandel played host to a grand spectacle. It was an occasion to rejoice, as two great classical Indian music art forms merged to weave a sublime effect around the audience. It was a duet between two set of artiste-brothers from two geographical regions, who are practitioners of distinct art forms. The Malladi brothers (Sreerama Prasad and Ravikumar) and the Gundecha brothers (Umakant and Ramakant) came together in a unique jugalbandhi for a noble cause. The concert was sponsored by Shriram Capital, Panasonic and State Bank of India. It was a fund-raiser concert for Cancare Foundation, a trust set up to provide holistic care to those affected by cancer. The objective of this newly-formed Foundation is to provide palliative care to terminal patients at their door-step.

Reputed artistes such as O.S.Arun, Aruna Sayeeram, Charumathi Ramachandran, Ramachandran and Shashank were among the audience. The who’s who of Chennai was present to witness the concert. The evening programme was efficiently compered by well-known danseuse Anita Ratnam.

Umakant and Ramakant have performed extensively within India and traveled widely across the globe. They have a very rich repertoire of Drupad music, which has originated from Sama veda. The word `Drupad’ came from `druv’ and `pad’. `Druv’ means pole star and `pad’ means path. Naturally, the music has to be superior. The Malladi brothers, too, have a rich Carnatic music repertoire. All these musicians have been trained by legends such as Nedunuri Krishnamurthy and Dagarvani singers in their respective fields. Not surprisingly, the evening produced an admirable concert.

Malladi Brothers opened the evening with a Papanasam Sivan composition “Gajavadana” (Sriranjani). It was sung with so much dedication. Gundecha brothers followed this with a traditional composition on Ganesh “Shankara Sutha Ganesha” in Bhoopali raga set to sool tal. They set the right tone for a grand evening. The real jugalbandhi commenced with Raga Abheri of the Carnatic music and Bimplasi of Hindustani sangeeth. Raga alap by Malladi brothers in Abheri and Gundecha brothers in Bimplasi saw them indulge in some neatly executed improvisation. As the time factor constrained the alap session, the Malladi brothers took up the evergreen composition of Thyagaraja “Nagumomu”. The Gundecha brothers followed it up with an impressive composition on Lord Krishna. They all excelled in tanam singing. Then the team paired up to sing a RTP (ragam tanam pallavi) in Sankarabharanam of Carnatic and its equivalent Bilaval of Hindustani. The pallavi is on the praise of the Indian music “Sangeethame Maduram Swara Raga Laya Bharathiya”. The exchange was remarkable. The Malladi brothers decorated it with rich swaras and Gundecha brothers, in turn, embellished it with bol tans and sargams attractively in their style. Their voice penetrated deep into the soul and the audience was transported to bliss. There was also this lovely combination of Hindolam alap by Malladi brothers and Malkauns by Gundecha brothers. “Shankar Girija Pati” was sung with great felicity by all the artistes. The evening came to a finish with a mangala slokam by Malladi brothers “Swasthi Prajabya Paripalayantham” and chanting of Om Shanthi. Embar Kannan on the violin was at his inimitable best. Mahadevu Lakshmi Narayan Raju and Akilesh Gundecha on Pakhwaj played with gusto after the RTP session. They all combined well to make the concert a unique one in many ways.


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