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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Devasabathalam - a stage experience

Song: Devasabathalam
Composer : Ravindran
Singers : KJY, Ravindran (original)
Movie: His highness Abdullah

Performed by:

Singers: Sathish Menon, Murali
Mrudangam : Bharathan
Tabla : Deepak Shenai
Keyboard : Pulikeshi

A composition by Ravindran which will be talked about for decades to come. A compositional master-class where Hindustani meets Carnatic and the beauty of similar ragas in both the genres is brought out by the master composer. A song which will remain etched in memory in spite of the untimely demise. It is a very difficult song for the amateur singers.

In 2004, I conducted a troupe by name thendral in Atlanta. The notes of the song were completely decoded by me and the troupe was coached extensively which took a toll on my health quite a bit. Sathish Menon – an accomplished singer in Atlanta circles, was very eager to sing this song on stage. He has a deep bassy voice backed by carnatic classical training. So before the performance we rehearsed once. It was ironical that I was sounding more ‘carnatic’ than he did. So we agreed that he should do the Hindustani (KJY) part. His bassy voice, as expected, added elegance. With the extra reverb and super-high quality mics, it was kinda hard to hearback what we were singing and I was forced to close one of my ears tight to keep the shruthi. This song is anyday a tight rope walk, and I had not wanted to attempt this without a proper company (Sathish). But he is the best I could ask for.

Towards the end of the song, though originally only KJY was supposed to sing that portion, we decided to sing that jointly. Came out reasonably well, given the parameters we were working with. The extended dhaadi you see is because of shabarimala maala.

Listen/watch to it and let me know.