Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

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Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#1  Postby tyagarajadasa » 03 Jun 2012 09:42

The first thing that struck me as I listened to Dr. Pantula Rama was her beautiful, deep and classical voice (much like that of Rama Ravi and the like). Her alapanas were amazing. The continuity in the phrases, the links, the jArus and the perfect balance between aakaram and gamakam based ideas made the experience very aesthetic.

Here is the list (May not be complete)

1. shrI vEnkata girIsham - surutti (R- short sketch)
2. tuNai purindaruL - varamu (R,S)
3. paramAtmuDu - vAgadIshwarI (viruttam - verses from bhagavad gItA)
4. vEnkaTashaila - hamIr kalyANi (R,S)
5. bhOgIndra shAyinam - kuntalavarALi
6. O rangashAyI - kAmbOdi (R,N,S,T)
7. RTP - kApi - khanda triputa (laghu in tisram and dhrutam in chatusram)
Pallavi line: nandabAla navanIta chOrA AnandalIlA gOvinda mAm pAhi
Ragamalika swarams in kadanakutUhalam, durgA, darbAri kAnaDa
8. srInivAsa tiruvenkaTa - hamsAnandi

9. An Annamacharya kriti in mAnDu tuned by Pantula Rama
10. kandarpa janaka - kalAvati (not sure of the composer)
11. Tillana in sindhu bhairavi

All the post RTP items, except the hamsanandi song were new to me. Smt. Rama's alapanas were so fulfilling. Especially the hamIr kalyani, kAmbodi and kApi ones. Extremely refreshing, new ideas interspersed with popular phrases made the alapanas delightful! The pallavi was really good. The way Smt. Rama moved on from kApi to kadanakutUhalam was amazing. I also thoroughly enjoyed her kriti renditions, paramAtmuDu in particular.

In general, there were some small tAlam slips (like missing a dhrutam, etc.). In fact what surprised me most was that the kOrvais that were sung for "bhUlOka vaikuNtham" and the RTP had very similar uttarAngams (From a purely aesthetic point of view, I would not have preferred this!).
Nevertheless, the highly aesthetic and "jnAnamaana" ideas and the "hAy" (extremely relaxed way of singing) in Smt. Rama's music made up for such minor things I may have noticed.

The volume for the violinist (Smt. Rama's husband) was way too loud for my comfort level. That in fact even drowned the volume of the Mridangist (Shri Trivandrum Balaji). Balaji's accompaniment was superb. His khanda nadai was especially stellar.

Overall, it was a memorable experience - one that will stick on for a long time.
Last edited by tyagarajadasa on 03 Jun 2012 19:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#2  Postby Ranganayaki » 03 Jun 2012 18:49

Thanks for the review T-dasa..

Just a correction to the Pallavi line:
Nanda Baala, Navaneeta Chora, Aananda Leela, Govinda Maam Paahi

I've noted the Annamacharya Kriti in Maand as "Govinda Hari".. I'm rather surprised now to see that I have not written more of the words. I was struggling to concentrate during the concert and I also missed many details too, that I would normally have been sensitive to.

Just noticed that your list has three #3s. There were 11 krities in all.

#8/ #10 Rageshri??!!.. I am not familiar with Rageshri, except for Lalgudi Jayaraman's tillana, and I didn't hear that at all. The Kriti goes "Kandarpa (Kandarbha??) Janaka Garuda Gamana" I was trying to decide between Valaji and Janasammodini.. I looked it up and found the song here: Here's the link: http://www.esnips.com/displayimage.php?pid=1637948 (not sure who is singing here)
but it is supposedly Kalavathi... I did not remember that Kalavathi sounded so much like Valaji.

I agree with you on the volume of the violin. It was a little too loud.

I felt that some of the violin returns were like fingering exericises - I am unable to elaborate.

I noticed that she sang kriti after Kriti on Srinivasa/Venkateshwara/Ranganatha/Govinda/.. the tillana was the only piece that deviated: it was on Muruga.
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#3  Postby tyagarajadasa » 03 Jun 2012 19:05

List corrected!

It was kalAvati and not rAgeshri - sorry - I was writing around midnight, when I was too sleepy- so too many errors crept in!

--Gokul
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#4  Postby mahavishnu » 03 Jun 2012 19:08

Thanks Tyagarajadasa and Ranganayaki.
PR performed the same pallavi at the Music Academy last season. She might have even won an award for it.

I think it is wonderful to open a concert with a majestic composition like Sri Venkata Girisham. Sets the tone for the rest of the kutcheri.
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#5  Postby Ranganayaki » 03 Jun 2012 19:35

Wondering about the difference between Kalavathi and Valaji.. Please discuss. Thanks.
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#6  Postby mahavishnu » 03 Jun 2012 20:01

Ranganayaki: Hindustani kalavati is similar to valaji.

But Kalavati in south Indian music is very different. See a short demo by Prof. SRJ on this topic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3J3WQcftuU

The most famous song in Karnatik kalavati is Dikshitar's magnum opus with the raga mudra in the first line. Here is the first rendition I could find on youtube by Smt Vijayalakshmi Subramaniam. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOscV8zFgAw
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#7  Postby Ranganayaki » 03 Jun 2012 20:13

Found this discussion about Kandarbha Janaka here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=656&hilit=kalavathi

Post # 16 discusses Kalavathi, so I thought I"d share it (in response to my own qu.)

I listened to Okapari chooda/jooda and it seems to me that the arohanam-avarohanam of Kalavathi (in this Thyagaraja version) would be srmpds/sndpmgrs (from Chakravakam).. Please correct me if this is wrong.

I listened to MD'S kamalaasana Yuvati in Kalavathi and that ragam seems to be completely different, with a D1 and N1 again, haven't listened carefully yet.. Again please correct me if I am mistaken about those swaras..

I thinkthe version I remember is the Thyagaraja version of Kalavathi sung at the Philadelphia concert of the Priya Sisters last year.

I wonder what the point of referring to Valaji as Kalavathi would be, other than adopting the Hindustani name.. is there a significant difference between valaji and hindustani kalavathi that a song set to "Kalavathi" cannot be said to be in Valaji?
Last edited by Ranganayaki on 03 Jun 2012 20:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#8  Postby Ranganayaki » 03 Jun 2012 20:17

Ramesh, thanks.. I listened to the Vijayalakshmi Subrahmanyam song for the MD version..

Please go over my post and give me your opinion on the swaras if you can and discuss my other questions. It appears there are three versions of Kalavathi.
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#9  Postby rshankar » 03 Jun 2012 21:14

Ranganayaki - it is kandarpa (manmatha), and not kandarbha - kandarpa janaka refers to vishNu, as the father of manmatha. IIRC, the tuning in kalAvati was done by Sri Nedunuri (the Malladi Brothers sing this frequently)...
Another song in the carnatic version of kalAvati is the very peppy siddhi vinAyakanE by Kavi Kunjara Bharati. Lji had provided the lyrics for it earlier.
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#10  Postby Lakshman » 03 Jun 2012 21:20

scale of kalavati:
(sampURNa mELA 16-cakravAka) : S R1 M1 P D2 S* / S* D2 P M1 G3 S R1 S
(asampUrNa mELA 31-yAgapriyA) : S R3 G3 M1 P D1 N1 D1 P S* / S* N1 D1 P M1 R3 G3 M1 R3 S
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#11  Postby ashasiva » 03 Jun 2012 21:40

(not sure who is singing here)


It is none other than Sri Voletigaru singing Kandarpa Janaka
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#12  Postby Ranganayaki » 03 Jun 2012 22:05

Thank you all..
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#13  Postby mahavishnu » 03 Jun 2012 22:24

Ranganayaki: Just to summarize.
As has been discussed previously, there are two Carnatic kalAvatis. The SSP, as one would expect, refers to Dikshitar's kalAvati (yAgapriya in the sampurna mela, # 31). This is the one I was referring to in the clip that I posted earlier.

okapAri is in Tyagaraja's Kalavati, janya of chakravagham.

Re: Hindustani kalAvati and valaji, they are really only different in syntax (prayogam in this context) since the scales are identical. I have a commercial recording of Jayanthi Kumaresh and Gaurav Majumdar doing a jugalbandi in which they each play their versions. You will notice that when playing the scalar structure, their interpretations converge.

Here is a live version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwLmLs7HG5M

My guess is that the difference in labeling would come from the composer's intention and the specific prayogams used. I do not know enough HM to talk about their kalAvati.
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#14  Postby arasi » 04 Jun 2012 00:50

T's ennaDu jUthunO ina kula thilaka is another one in kalAvathi which sounds similar to siddhi vinAyakanE.
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Re: Pantula Rama @ SSVT Maryland

#15  Postby Ranganayaki » 04 Jun 2012 19:33

Thanks, Ramesh and Arasi. Ramesh, I'm afraid that video was to noisy for me to really grasp nuances. But will try to listen to kalavathi (valaji) and regular valaji and try to find out more for myself.

Glad to have sorted out the various Kalavathis, Post 16 in that other thread was great too.
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