In this highly-charged percussion presentation, Kumar demonstrates different kinds of ‘Korvai’ (flourish) through a shloka which was composed by the legendary Pandit Ravi Shankar. This shloka is a beautiful tribute to the gods of the Hindu pantheon.
Korvai is the highly evolved Carnatic version of the Hindustani tihai, into which, very, very complex mathematics of permutations and combinations are applied to make a flourish in a concert. Kumar of course, admits at the very beginning that he had incorporated a bit of Carnatic or South Indian ‘jatis’ or characteristics into it. Kumar’s ability to create lilting drama through the mridangam syllables coupled with power and mind-boggling math makes this concert somewhat of a thriller.
Artistic Director of Darbar, Sandeep Virdee muses, “Just like the human heart that beats in a particular rhythm, everything outside us, in nature and our surroundings has a rhythm to it. Indian classical music has a melodic framework which is made to fit within a rhythmic framework. How can we not consider percussion as the heart of the Darbar Festival?”
In an interview to Darbar, Kumar reveals an interesting fact about the mridangam. “The syllables om, tat, dhi, nam, namaha were picked up from the ancient Indian incantation or mantra – the Gayatri mantra - and made into the syllables of the mridangam.” Incidentally, the Gayatri mantra is a revered incantation that dates back to the Vedic era and is said to bring happiness and steadiness of actions to anyone who chants it every day.
He is accompanied by one of the most acclaimed groove masters Sekar and Nataraj who enhance and highlight the performance invaluably with their amazing fillers and improvisations. Nataraj gives a fantastic explanation in a short interview of the khanjira where he describes the anatomy and avers, “In the right hands, believe you me, the khanjira can kill an entire drum-kit!”
Patri Satish Kumar (nridangam)
Triplicane Sekar (thavil)
Amrit Nataraj (khanjira)