In this concert, Darbar’s attempt to position UK-based artists along with India-based musicians was a phenomenal attempt. It wasn’t a cross-over concert in terms of music, but the musicians ended up exploring entirely exciting new paths of creativity through each other’s music in this series of curation.
Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth was presented alongside Neyveli Venkatesh on the mridangam. Adding textures to this piece with the khanjira and ghatam, RN Prakash played a sublime role. This piece, ‘English Notes,’ is a traditional Carnatic composition by P. Sambamoorthy. Composed during the first half of the 20th century when India was under the colonial rule of the British, Dr. Srikanth announces that it is a brilliant concoction of both Carnatic and English sounds.
Professor Sambamoorthy was a musicologist who trained in vocal music and violin. He graduated in law but chose to work in the field of music. He was awarded the highest civilian award by the Government of India for his contributions in the field of Carnatic music.
The composition clearly has strong influences of staccato notes of western classical music in C Major scale intertwined interestingly with the oscillating Carnatic notes close to Raag Shankarabharanam. It was an apt choice by Dr. Srikanth given the Darbar audience which mainly consists of a wider mix of British and non-Indian listeners.
Dr. Srikanth is supported beautifully by Venkatesh and RN Prakash in an exciting flurry of lyrical rhythmic variations in this piece.
Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Neyveli Venkatesh (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam and khanjira)
English Notes, traditional composition by P. Sambamoorthy (1901-1973)