Sunday, April 13, 2008

Buy One, Get One Free

Which is about a jugalbandi

Just got back from Sunday evening concert at the Ravindra Bharati. "Bombay" Jayashri Ramnath in the South corner, and Shubha Mudgal (who even has what seems to be a very up to date blog) in the North.

Now pretty much everyone knows that we have issues with frequencies in general. Cannot tell some in the visual spectrum apart, ditto also with audio frequencies. We have a very eclectic music taste, dipping into this, that and the other. Another way of saying the same thing is that we're tone deaf.

Be that as it may, Ms. Jayashri has long been on the "want to attend live performance" list, and so also Ms. Mudgal (perhaps just a little less, not having heard much beyond ab ke saawan). Tonight was a chance to remedy this, and it really was worth it. Both the ladies seem to have a base octave (or whatever) that is nicely lower than many of their higher pitched contemporaries, which is definitely one reason why we like them.

The whole Jayashri thing started off (perhaps like for most people) with that vaseegara song. This was to Jayashri what ennavale was to Unnikrishnan, and random sampling of more of her stuff resulted in much joy. Then we read Baradwaj Rangan's interview with her. She makes a point which possibly sets her apart from the rest of them.

Because down the ages, we’ve had it drummed into our heads that the essence of Hindustani music is shringara, love, while Carnatic compositions are capsules of bhakti, or devotion. And here’s Jayashri, implying otherwise. Or is she, really? "This is bhakti, but to the music – not to Krishna," she says. "We're not in an era where we're into that kind of bhakti. Because if it's just bhakti, and if it's just about Krishna or Rama, why would I – someone who doesn't come from a very religious or ritualistic background – revel in it? I don't think I love God more than I love music. Why would a European sitting there, who doesn't know the difference between Krishna and Rama, listen to this music for two hours? Why are instrumental concerts so popular? Do we know if the performer is playing a kriti in Kannada or Telugu, or if that kriti is talking about this lord or that deity? Our music is not about religion."

More power to you, lady. Mudgal's blog seems to be very interesting, isn't it great when someone like her has a post called Eeks! Look what I found! with a bare midriff picture of Rakhi Sawant?

Back to the concert: It was 90% good (there was one Hindi song that didn't quite fit too well). Aneesh Pradhan on the tabla and Embar S. Kannan (whom we've heard so often on Worldspace) on the violin, the mridangist and the haromniumist were all very nicely in sync, and seemed to sincerely enjoy the evening, which really helps. The percussion (oxymoron alert) jugalbandi tanniavartanam was a big hit with the audience, these things usually are.

They started off with saraswati namostute in saraswati raagam, did a kamaas/khamaaj thingy and so on. The bestest piece we thought was something called pAyum oLi nI enakku pArkkum/papiihara mat bol, very soulful and tragic. We can find the lyrics to the Tamizh song, but need the meaning. Can't find the Hindustani one anywhere. Help!!

A splendid time was had by all.

pAyum oLi nI enakku pArkkum vizhi nAn unakku tOyum madu nI enakku tumbiyaDi nAnunakku
vAyuraikka varugudillai vAzhi ninran mEnmaiyellAm tUya shuDar vAnoLiyE shUraiyamudE kaNNammA
2: vINaiyaDi nI enakku mEvum viral nAnunakku pUNum vaDam nI enakku pudu vayiram nAnunakku
kANumindOru ninran kaNNin oLi vIshudaDi mANuDaiya pErarashE vAzhvu nilaiyE kaNNammA
3: vAna mazhai nI enakku vaNNa mayil nAnunakku pAnamaDi nI enakku bhANDamaDi nAnunakku
jnAna oLI vIshudaDi nangai ninran jyOti mukham Unamaru nallazhagE Uru shuvaiyE kaNNammA
4: veNNIlavu nI enakku mEvu kaDal nAnunakku paNNU gati nI enakku pATTinimai nAnunakku
eNNi eNNI pArtiDilOr eNNamilai nin shuvaikkE kaNNin maNi pOnravaLE kaTTi amudE kaNNammA
5: vIshu kamazh nI enakku viriyu malar nAnunakku pEshu poruL nI enakku pENu mozhi nAnunakku
nEshamuLLa vAn shuDarE ninnazhagai EduraippEn Ashai madhuvE kaniyE aLLu shuvaiyE kaNNammA
6: kAdalaDi nI enakku kAntamaDi nAnunakku vEdamaDi nI enakku viddaiyaDi nAnunakku
bOdhamuTra pOdinilE pongi varum tIn-shuvaiyE nAda vaDivAnavaLE nalla uyirE kaNNammA
7: nalla uyir nI enakku nADiyaDi nAnunakku shelvamaDi nI enakku kSEma nidhi nAnunakku
ellaiyaTra pErazhagE engum nirai pork-kaDarE mullai nigar punnakaiyAi pOdum inbamE kaNNammA
8: tAraiyaDi nI enakku taNmatiyam nAnunakku vIramaDi nI enakku veTriyaDi nAnunakku
dAraNiyil vAnulagil shArndirukkum inbamellAm oruvarumAi samaindAi uLLamudE kaNNammA


D said...

you really haven't heard shubha mudgal in "Raincoat" or "Hazaaron Khwaaishein Aisi?"

now you listen young man. do that right away and report by evening, ok?!

Veena said...

If you will be nice enough to change (2)vINaiyaDi to vEENaiyaDi (as there is actually a huge difference in meaning), maybe I shall send you the meaning.

Ludwig said...

[d-man] Right, you are. Have actually listened to both, but I guess they hadn't registered as being S. Mudgal numbers. Just very nice songs.

[veena] This isn't personal, is it? What with your name being screwed around with and all...

I humbly beg to submit that the "vINaiyaDi" is actually OK, since it's pronounced "veenaiyaDi", no? The capital "I" makes it "badi eee ki matraa" or whatever and the captial "N" makes it "N" as in "araNa" (=skink) as opposed to "n" as in "gaana".

The defense rests.

Anonymous said...

speaking of b. jayashree and unnikrishnan, you must listen to, no, watch narumugaiyae from Iruvar.