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Shruti Fete: Youngsters excel

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The Economic Times, December 3, 1989

Youngsters, with barely four years of training in instrumental music, stole a march over their senior co-participants at a delightful evening concert organised by “Shruti”, an institution base in Andheri.

The programme was held on November 25, on the occasion of the fourth foundation day of the institution and it was well attended at the Iskcon auditorium.

“Shruti” was set up by Pandit Ranjan Gangoly, a sitarist and disciple of the sarod maestro, Ali Akbar Khan, to impart professional training in instrumental music. The quality of performance shown by his students showed the earnestness on the part of both the teacher and the taught towards forging ahead in their chosen pursuit.

The proceedings comprised a sitar quintet and an instrumental trio, featuring the flute, the sitar and the sarod. In between, we had solo recitals of vocalist, Shyamrang Shukla and Deepika Shome, who is a niece of the late flute maestro, Pannalal Ghosh.

And it was the two instrumental presentations that proved to be of absorbing interest by reason of their teamwork as well as the innovative quality that marked their presentations.

The programme began with Bhoopali in a drut composition st to teen taal in quintet. The team, lead by the middle-aged Jaswanti Vaswani, a staffer included Jyostna Afzulpurkar, Nita Banerjee, Prajnya Jadhav and Arvind Devsarkar, while young Sanjay Gangoly, a disciple of the late percussion veteran, Karamatuklah, provided support on the percussion.

Playing now individually, now in union, the partners showed their commendable sense of design, tone and rhythm, apart from the team spirit, as mentioned earlier, in putting through their joint effort. This is something of an achievement, taking into account the relatively brief period of grooming at the four-year-old institution. Even so, individually speaking, mention needs to be made of Jyotsna Afzulpurkar for the confidence and abandon with which she played her part. She is an artiste to watch.

Bihag in alap, followed by madhyalaya in teental, a brief drut bandish of Des, also in teentaal, with a Pahadi dhun to round off, formed the repertoire presented by the trio, featuring Anil Sharma (flute), Prabhu Tendulkar (sarod) and Vasant Kumar (sitar). Of the artistes, Tendulkar and Sharma were guest performers and senior exponents of their instruments. Here was a combination of instruments, each with different tone and timbre. The way the partners pooled the complex resources of their respective media to shape a coherent presentation was a tribute to their mutual understanding. Sanjay Gangoly’s tabla was in accord with the trio’s style and approach.

In the vocal category, Shyamrang Shukla’s khayals vilambit and drut each in Puriya Kalyan and Janasammohini, showed his sense of form, design and structure. He sang them in a husky voice and with a kind of confidence born of experience. The only snag was that in his obsession for speed, he was seen to deviate from the tonal track rather too often. Indeed, music does turn distasteful if it is not in tune, and the artiste would do well to remember this cardinal rule.

Deepika Shome, who sang Rageshree in slow and fast tempi and a lighter tune, also gave evidence of sound training in the past. Possibly being a housewife, she did not – or could not – devote enough time to daily riyaz. All one can say is that her recital was just pleasing, with little to write home about.

Krishnanand Shukla and Rajesh Dube provided tabla support to Shyamrang Shukla and Deepika Shome, respectively, while Dayal Singh played on the harmonium with both the vocalists.


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