The New Zealand Carnatic Music Society hosted a wonderful vocal concert by O S Vaidyanathan (popularly known as O S Arun) for its Annual Carnatic Music festival ‘Sangeethothsavam.’
He is indeed a gifted soulful singer who touched the hearts of many New Zealanders who were present at the auditorium on June 6, 2016.
His ability to connect with them was evident as the stream of request slips were submitted to him even before he commenced the Concert.
The opening piece, a Varnam in ‘Nattakurinji’ Ragam (composed by his Guru T R Subramanian) set a great tone to the evening.
This was followed by a lively ‘Alapanai’ in Ragam ‘Hamsadhwani’ for the Papanasam Sivan composition ‘Karunaisevai.’
The ‘Swara Prastharam’ livened up the atmosphere with excellent support by Embar Kannan on the Violin and J Vaidyanathan on the Mridangam.
Arun brings in the melody of Hindustani to the Carnatic genre as he did at this Concert. It was an interesting presentation of Ragam ‘Vasantha.’
Spring in Music
He asked the audience to visualise Spring with cuckoo birds singing.
He brought some lovely Hindustani phrases to create this effect and at the same time retained the essence of Carnatic music.
The ‘Neraval’ and ‘Kalpana Swarams’ brought out the manodharma element beautifully for the Swathi Thirunal composition ‘Parama Purusha Jagadeesha.’
The ‘Jayadeva Ashtapadi,’ ‘Priye Charusheele’ bought the ‘Saki Bhava’ in Vasanthi raga. He explained the story behind the last two lines of this ‘Ashtapadi.’
The Raga, the lyrical beauty of the ‘Ashtapadi’ and the explanation saw the audience lapping up every inch of this musical presentation.
The ‘Alaapanai’ in ‘Poorvi Kalyani’ was superb. The resonant crystal clear voice brought out the ‘Swarakshara’ beauty of Muthuswami Dikshitar Krithi ‘Meenakshi Mudamdehi.’
The ‘Neraval’ and ‘Swara Prastharam’ were beautifully matched on Violin and Mridangam. Embar Kannan has an extraordinary bowing quality which is remarkably sweet, replete with clarity, soulfulness and energetic.
J Vaidyanathan seemed to be playing ‘Sangathis’ through his Mridangam.
He embellished Kritis with interesting ‘Tekkas,’ ‘Nadais’ and ‘Arudis.’
Arun has created a niche for himself in the field of Bhakti Sangeetam. This was evident in the ‘Abhang Saka Panduranga’ and Sai Bhajan.
Those present at the Concert chanted ‘Panduranga’ in perfect synchronisation with the artiste. It was amazing to see children and adults swaying to his tunes in their chairs, clapping and joining in the Bhajan.
The three-and-half hour Concert also had all-time favourites like ‘Jagadodhara’ and D V Paluskar’s ‘Payoji Maine.’
Arun ended his performance with Lalgudi’s ‘Behaag Thillana.’
The Concert was entertaining with a good mixture of regular and Bhajan music.
Priya Vijay is a renowned Carnatic Musician and teacher. She has several public performances to her credit in New Zealand, India and other countries. She lives in Auckland and conducts regular music lessons for beginners and advanced students.
O S Arun accompanied by Embar Kannan (Violin) and J Vaidyanathan (Mridangam) in Auckland on June 6.