Young Mridangam artiste Avinash Jeyashankar proved that he has gained mastery over the instrument at five concerts held in quick succession in Chennai, India during the recently completed annual musical season.
Appearing with well-established and emerging vocalists and other accompanying artistes, he displayed poise, energy and skilful interpretation of Classical music and support to the main performers, proving that in Carnatic Music, teamwork is essential to bring out the nuances of various Ragas.
Thirty-five years ago, music maestro Ilayaraja presented ‘Mahaganapathim,’ a Muthusamy Dikshitar composition without the Mridangam. It was praised for its novelty but connoisseurs of Carnatic Music felt that the song (rendered for the camera by actor Shivakumar for ‘Sindhu Bhairavi’) lacked its full impact.
Two years ago, in a review of Avinash’s performance (Indian Newslink, March 15, 2018), we had said that he has a natural flair for rhythmic art forms and mental agility.
“This has enabled him to master the most complex patterns in rhythmic art. Through dedicated practice and perseverance, he has emerged as a performer with musical sensitivity and expansive improvisational capabilities. At his performances, he will be in concert with well-established Carnatic musicians,” we had said.
He proved yet again his proficiency in Mridangam in Chennai.
He performed on the Mridangam at the following concerts in Chennai:
December 18, 2019: Vocalist Annjana Thirumalai, Violin T Kishore at a Carnatic Musical Concert organised by Madhuraahwani. At Arkay Convention Centre, Mylapore
December 20, 2019: Hamsadhwani (NRI Festival) Concert Sudarshan Mohan (Vocal), Gyandev Pappu (Violin) at Youth Hostel, Indiranagar
December 31, 2019: Concert at Kothandaramar Temple, Washermanpet with Thirubuvanam Athmanadhan (Vocal), and Amaravathi Sundaram Krishnan (Morsing)
December 31, 2019: Music performance organised by Kartik Fine Arts Musical Concert at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, with Shravan Kumar Ramani (Vocal), Vignesh Thygarajan (Violin) at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore
January 1, 2020: Carnatic Music Concert organised by Parampara at Srinivasa Sastri Hall, Mylapore with Mathangi Kailasanath (Vocal), M Shrikanth (Violin)
About Avinash Jeyashankar
Born in New Zealand to Jay and Shakthi Jeyashankar, Avinash began his musical journey under the guidance of Auckland-based Suresh Ramachandra.
Mridangam is a powerful but challenging percussion instrument, demanding hours of training with dedication and discipline. It has long been the prerogative of South Indians, especially Tamil-speaking people.
Over the years, maestros from India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries where Tamil is widely spoken, have been imparting knowledge of the instrument and its playing to thousands of young aspirants.
Avinash presented his Mridangam Arangetram on March 24, 2018 and received the title of ‘Layaanjali,’ from the Temple of Fine Arts, New Zealand.
The New Zealand Carnatic Music Society honoured him with the ‘Vadhya Vishard’ Award for completing the requirements of Carnatic Instrumental Music.
Since then, he has been regularly accompanying artistes in New Zealand and elsewhere at their vocal concerts in New Zealand, Australia and India.
Avinash’s passion for music has led him on many adventures, discovering the nuances and beauties that the different forms of music offer.
Maintaining his cultural background, Avinash has learnt Carnatic Vocal, Violin Mridangam, as well as the Tabla.
He is currently pursuing his third year undergraduate study (Health Sciences) at the University of Auckland.
Avinash Jeyashankar at his Arangetram on March 24, 2018 (Picture Supplied)
Avinash Jeyashankar at Hamsadhwani (NRI Festival) in Chennai on December 20, 2019 (Facebook)