In this scintillating performance of Raag Abheri, S. Hari Kumar Sivan plays his piece de resistance, luxuriantly expanding and elaborating the raga in his 7-stringed violin with traditional and contemporary nuances. His lively deliverance is supported whole-heartedly on the mridangam by Neyveli Venkatesh and on the ghatam by RN Prakash.
Sivan’s recitals capture the immediate attention of his listeners by virtue of the newness of the sound he creates with his specially built violin. He performs the alapana with beautiful swarakalpanas. Traversing on to the ‘tanam’ which he announces in the beginning as a deviation from the conventional, Sivan is at his best creative outburst. He revs up this part wth various dextourous movements including an exciting pattern of spiraling phrases that he accentuates occasionally with simultaneous plucking of one of the strings.
The pallavi is rendered with deep emotion where the soaring tanams create awe and inspiration with their rapid upward and downward movements and harmonics. Venkatesh and Prakash follow the pallavi with an outstanding taniavarthanam bringing the ragam tanam pallavi to a striking end.
Abheri is an upanga janya raga of the 22nd Melakarta Kharaharapriya. It is an audav-sampurna raga, which means it uses 5 notes in its ascending movement and all 7 notes in its descending movement. The notes present in this raga are sadja, sadharana, gandhara, shudh madhyama, panchama and kaisiki nisada. Chatusruti dhaivata and chatusruti rishabha occur in the descending movement. Its ascending and descending movements are as follows:
S G2 M1 P N2 Ṡ - Ṡ N2 D2 P M1 G2 R2 S
In Western music notation, if C is taken as the base or tonic note, then the scale is
C D# F G A# C – C A# A G F D# D C
Abheri is a rakti raga, which means it has the power to please the listener’s mind instantaneously. The dominant note is Ga (3rd) and the sub-dominant is Ni (7th).
It can portray rasas like karuṇa (compassion) very effectively, just as it can convey the feeling of devotion or bhakti bhava.
S. Hari Kumar Sivan (7 string violin)
Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
Raag Abheri, Ragam Tanam Pallavi with contemporarily conceived nuances in the improvisations