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Chitravina Concert to Benefit Orphanage in Kerala

December 2006
Chitravina Concert to Benefit Orphanage in Kerala

Child prodigy and now internationally acclaimed veteran of the Chitravina—the world's oldest "slide" instrument which is also considered one of the most exquisite of Indian musical instruments—Ravikiran performed in Atlanta for the benefit of an orphanage in Kerala.

"For Ravikiran, music is literally child's play," says The Hindu, one of India's prominent Dailies.

Child prodigy and now internationally acclaimed veteran of the Chitravina—the world's oldest "slide" instrument which is also considered one of the most exquisite of Indian musical instruments—Ravikiran performed live at the Griffin Middle School in Smyrna on November 11. Accompanying him were Vishaal Sapuram, also on the chitravina, and Dr. Ram Sriram on the mridangam. The event organized by Mata Amritananadamayi Center of Georgia was a fundraiser for the benefit of Amrita Niketan Orphanage in Kerala.

Ravikiran began the concert with an invocation to Lord Ganesha, varnamukha in the raga hamsashadvani (Composer: Koteeswara Iyer). The brisk pace deftly played by Ravikiran set the tempo for the remaining concert and increased the audiences' expectation. He followed this with a composition by the famous composer Sri Papanasam Sivan in the raga mukhari. The virtuoso handled this difficult raga with utmost ease and enthralled the audiences with his neravals and swara korvais. The exchanges between Sri Ravikiran and Dr. Ram Sriram during these computations kept up the audiences' anticipation and when the climax swara strings were completed, the audiences responded with a big applause.

Sri Ravikiran later rendered a mellifluous sahana raga alapana. Sahana is a raga that expresses emotions such as karuna and santa. To truly bring out these emotions, a performer must be capable of effectively combining the gamakas with the swaras. And who is more qualified to do so than Ravikiran? Indeed, this was beautifully rendered and brought out a supreme sense of contentment in the minds of the audience. The young Vishaal, disciple of Sri Ravikiran later followed his master's raga alapana by his own elaboration and did a very good job of bringing out the nuances of this raga.

The main piece of the concert was smaramyaham sadarahum in the raga ramapriya and set to rupaka thalam. Although the alapana was short, Ravikiran handled the raga and the kriti excellently. This was followed by a thani (mridangam solo) by Ram Sriram, who showed that he is not only an accomplished mridangist but also an accomplished musician who understands the nuances of each kriti. His accompaniment during the various kritis embellished them and gave an emotional uplift.

During a brief intermission, The Amma Center of Georgia presented an introduction to Mata Amritanandamayi and the extensive seva her organizations have been involved in. While heart rendering, the video also showed the laudable services that the organization provides and the devotion of the volunteers of this organization. The audiences left the auditorium with the satisfaction that they were part of a great experience and that they could participate in a worthwhile cause.


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