The last weekend, I had the opportunity of attending a festival of dance and music, Parampara organized by Natya Tarangini. Parampara 2010 was focussed on contemporary interpretations of dance and music. It feature distinguished exponents – Guru Raja Radha Reddy’s Kuchipudi dancers, Guru Gangadhar Pradhans’ Odissi troupe and kumidhini Lakhia’s Kathak group. The music jugalbandhis were – Pt. Vishwamohan Bhat with Pt. Ronu Majumdar; Violin brothers Ganesh and Kumaresh; Sitar and Veena Jugalbandhi between sitar maestro Gaurav Mazumdar and veena vidhwan Jayanti Kumaresh.
Every performance was an enlivening one. While the group performance of dancers explored the boundaries of the dance forms, the jugalbandis in the second half have been a revelation.
One of the jugalbandis that stood out was of Ganesh and Kumaresh. Being brothers, their understanding of each other is so deep that you can see the mannerisms reflected in one another. There are many instances when you would see both have same expressions on their face even while they are not looking at each other. The music was so melodious and the play between them was entwined. If one listens to the audio, one may not even realize that there are two players. They started off at a wonderful pace that mesmerized every one in the audience.
I realized that, not only Ganesh and Kumaresh stand out because of their renditions on violin, but also the way they use technology. The stage was full of electronic gadgets. The personal MACs that take inputs from their respective violins, go on to record the performances, modulate the sound that is given as input to the audio system in the auditorium etc. So, unlike other artists, G&K just plug in their laptops and gadgets and start playing. They do not worry about adjusting, as the laptops are configured to give the outputs with the pre-adjusted settings. The jack of the audio system is just plugged into the amplifier / mixer that is connected to their MACs and Voila, it is time to go on air… I was even sharing with G&K, that they can conduct a workshop for all open minded musicians on how to use technology to enhance the experience for themselves and the audience too… Why not?
While I was busy photographing the event, with G & K sitting just a row ahead of me, I realized that a familiar voice is emanating from under my chair. I slowly pulled up my camera bag to realize that the voice synthesizer of my mobile is busy reading all messages from my in box. I calmly switched the mobile off… Kumaresh, sitting in row ahead of me, narrated an interesting episode of how technology plays truant. In one of the concerts in the US, the show just began and Kumaresh’ laptop control started declaring that the show is about to end and he had to fix it as the show was in progress…
All in all it has been a great weekend. You can check out the pictorial documentation of the Parampara festival, including those of Ganesh & Kumaresh at http://www.flickr.com/photos/sreenivasan/sets/72157624553865259/with/4870939853/