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When values, voices & violins merge ...
CHENNAI: Violinist-brothers Ganesh & Kumaresh and top-notch vocalists Sudha Ragunathan and Bombay Jayashri came together for a dazzling concert for Aikya 2015 on March 7, 2015 at the Music Academy. Organized by Gobal Adjustments, Aikya, an annual fund-raiser event, was held here in Chennai to a packed house. Aikya is intended to support musicians in the autumn of their lives. Aikya 2015 was different in that it was for the first time that two leading ladies of Carnatic music came together on a common platform and that too in Music Academy. The ever-charming violin brothers made for a grand show. Together, they took the audience to a 90-minute spiritual quest and enlightenment. The whole concept was designed and spearheaded by the violinist-brothers. Ganesh and Kumaresh, undoubtedly, have a brilliant command over their music. And, they staged a coup of sort by bringing together Sudha and Jayashri. The evening saw many leading personalities of Chennai seated at the Academy, and the concert was a special one as the two lovely voices seamlessly merged into the sounds of strings to transmit a fabulous music. It was an exciting moment for the connoisseurs also, as this was the first time that the two popular vocalists, hailing from different schools, perform together in a concert. Well, it was akin to an IPL cricket match where the crowd get to see great players form a team to provide an elevated contest. Music can bring harmony, peace and unity. Many yester-year composers/musicians had shown this to us. This was well conceptualized by Ganesh and Kumaresh while articulating their thoughts on music and values. "Values and dharma change in all the four yugas. In Krutha yuga or the Sathya yuga, there was a fight between the devas (celestials) and asuras(between the heaven and the earth). In Tretha yuga, the fight was between two kingdoms - Sri Ram of Ayodhya and Ravana of Lanka. In Dvapara yuga, during the times of Krishna, the fight was between brothers (cousins). Now, in Kali Yuga there is a debate between ourselves about the good and evil,'' explained Kumaresh.It is difficult to strictly adhere to the values that we hold. "Do we speak truth always? We know we should not jump the signal while the red light is on. We still do it … at midnight when no one is around or when the police is not present,’’ Kumaresh said. He went on to explain how the "mother is most important as she taught us the values’’. With the Women’s Day just waiting to arrive in a few hours, the violinist-brothers wanted to bring in two female stars for the concert, and out came Sudha Ragunathan and Bombay Jayashri to a wild applause from the audience! Kumaresh welcomed the `most beautiful lady’ Sudha Ragunathan and the lady vocalist Bombay Jayashri, who made the whole country proud with her Oscar nomination. The subject of the concert was based on Mahabharath. The team of musicians then went on to present a fine music, swaras and alap based on the Mahabharath war. Would the Mahabharat war have taken place had Pitamah Bhismacharya accepted the throne instead of sacrificing it? What would have happened had Acharya Drona fulfilled his son’s wish, seen Ashwatthama’s contentment, and instilled moral values in him instead of teaching the princes? What would have happened had warrior Karna taught the art of archery to those who were deprived of opportunities like him instead of fighting for Duryodana? Based on such visualizations, the music was composed. All the four artistes combined to sing the composition of a Sanksrit scholar from Kanchipuram Agni Varadharajan recalling expressions from Bhagavat Gita “Namo Dharmaya Mahate” in Nattai. The two vocalists combined it with a stream of ragamalika swaras. And, it was absorbing.
Then, they sang "Vaazve Mayamendru” in Nayaki raga. Ganesh and Kumaresh played various namasankeerthan’s of deities in ragas such as Andolika, Katanakutuhalam, Abheri,Ahiri, Kalyana Vasantha, Mohana, Yamuna Kalyani, Hamir Kalyani, Hamsanandi, Sama, Kapi et al, and the compositions such as Nagumomu, Raghumvamsasudha, Raga Sudha Rasa etc were played parallel to the ragas. It was an exhilarating presentation. Then there was a bhajan on the greatness of our country, and all thoughts converged into one God “Govinda Bolo Gopala Bolo” (Sindhu Bhairavi). All God’s names - ranging from Govinda,Allah, Mahavir Buddha - were brought here, and the concept of “Unity in Diversity” articulated by Mahatma Gandhi and our ancestors of the past were showcased. Yogesh Samshi on tabala, Navneet Sundar on the keys and ipad, Trichy Krishna on mridangam and Akshay Ganesh on the special instrument displayed excellent skill to make the concert a great success.

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