Abhishek-Abhyankar music reveals Aikya
CHENNAI: March 11, 2016 saw one more edition of Aikya held at The Music Academy here. The mega event this time around was a musical conversation between Sanjeev Abhyankar (Hindustani) and Abhishek Raghuram (Carnatic), two young artistes of distinct styles of the North and South. Aikya is the annual concert series presented by Global Adjustments, a multi-service provider headquartered in Chennai. It aims at celebrating the oneness of India through music. Aikya is a unique annual fund-raiser concert, which is played to packed houses in Chennai, the cultural capital of India. It is an incredible musical experience inspired by themes as diverse as human conflict and gender balance. Aikya also supports Smrutha Dhvani, an initiative of Interface and Global Adjustments, to care for retiring artistes in the fields of music, dance and performing arts. It is also aimed at empowering young women through education and creating self-help groups.
The performance this year was based on an imaginary dialogue between Sita and Mandodari, principal women in the epic Ramayana. It was a well thought out theme. The dialogue goes somewhat like this. Mandodari feels sad that she did not act at the right time to convince her husband Ravana to realise his duty as a king to his subjects and force him to give up his desire to attain Sita. Had Ravana given up his desire for Sita and concentrated on his kingdom, Lanka and his people, perhaps he would have lived a long and happy life. Queen Mandodari and wife of Ravana of Lanka appreciated Sita and Rama for doing their duty with sincerity even during testing times. She even points to the Agnipravesha of Sita (jumping into fire to prove her chastity). King Rama and Queen Sita of Ayodhya do all these to erase the suspicion in the minds of people. But they understand each other so well. Rama even sends Sita to exile on hearing a dhobi speak ill of Sita. Still, he performs his duty as a King. This is the imaginary theme of the concert. The music is composed by Rajkumar Bharathi, great grandson of poet Subramanya Bharathi. Sai Shravanam has been instrumental in all the technical aspects of the concert. One, however, is still figuring out the link between the theme and concert. Nevertheless, the two artistes came to sing together in “Aikya” in contrasting styles, merging with each other in Kalyani of varied kinds such as Mohana Kalyani , Hamir Kalyani et al. Sanjeev Abhyankar switched over to a Mirza Ghalib poem of love while Abhishek sang the Tamil love song of Bharathiyar “Veenaiyadi Ni Ennakku”in Kalyani. Mirza Ghalib poem reveals the pain experienced in love. Bharathiyar’s poem, however, explains the complementary existence with one another. The artistes then delved into swaras titled “One Scale Journey”. The scale chosen for the composition comprises seven swaras. A grand alap and tans and swaras emerged from Abhyankar. His tutelage under Pandit Jasraj came into full flow. Abhishek then took his turn with elegance as he chiselled breath-taking swaras and gamakas in Carnatic music-style. Both artistes were classy. Each accompanying percussion artiste was given his turn for solo performance. Embar Kannan on the vioin, Navneeth Sundar on keys, Sai Shravanam on Tabala, Keith Peters on Bass, Milinnd Kulkarni on Harmonium, Vedanth on Guitar and Ananthakrishnan on Mridangam lend vitality to the whole concert and made the evening a wonderful experience. Finally, the concert came to a conclusion with "Harmony of Rhythms” comprising Thillana and Tarana from Abhishek and Abhyankar. The two `A’s combined admirably. Truly, they served an ace concert that evening. At the end of it all, Abhishek managed to entice Rajkumar Bharathi to come on stage and sing Aikya all over again.
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