Born to sing : A centenary tribute to MS Subalakshmi

Born to Sing - A centenary tribute to MS. Subalakshmi

MS. Subalakshmi’s songs have enriched the lives of a lot of carnatic music enthusiasts and others. Having woken up many a time, listening to her mellifluous rendition of ‘suprabhatham’, having listened to her rendition of ‘vishnu-sahasranamam’ in nearby temples and being passionate about listening to her carnatic audio recordings, I could rightly say that her music was intertwined with my childhood. The concert organised by Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) came as a tool for me to rekindle that experience.

The concert was held at the Singapore polytechnic auditorium on 21st August 2016 and was rightly titled “Born to sing”. I felt that it was a very well organised concert. Rather than just a musical performance, it gave the rasikas a glimpse into the life of MS Subhalakshmi. I should say, Gowri Ramnarayan literally wove an intricate garland comprising of both the life and the music that influenced the legend: MS Subhalakshmi.

Aditya Prakash and Sushma Somasekharan were the singers. They were accompanied on the violin by Shreya Devnath, on the flute by B. Vijayagopal and on the mridangam by Praveen Kumar. Aditya is truly blessed with a rich timber in his voice and Sushma whose voice has the power to enchant a crowd of thousands gave very memorable performance.

The concert started with the rendition of enthayum thayum in raag Desh. It stirred patriotism in me and almost everyone assembled in the concert hall.The concert progressed with the rendition of arul purivai karunai kadale, ma ramanan, yenta matura muna, brocheva and jagadhodharana with excellent kalpana swaras and beautiful alpanas by both the vocalists. The flute accompaniment by B.Vijayagopal for the song ‘Manamohananga’ from the movie ‘Sakunthala’ was nectar to the ears. I was moved to tears by the violin performance by Shreya Devanath when Dr.Gowri was explaining about a Rabindranath Tagore’s poem which was later sung by the singers. The concert ended with a classical piece of M.S.Subhalakshmi, ’Dava vibho’.

Bron to SingI felt that the concert was a perfect homage to the maestro. Being a singer myself, I know how important it is to create the ambience to show the performance of the artists in a better light and so, it is quintessential that I give due credit to the sound engineering team for making the music sound rich and wonderful to our ears.

At the end of the play, I left knowing lot more of one of my favourite musician and the urge to hear the songs I heard on that day in her voice. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank SIFAS and the organisers for putting up such a wonderful visual and aural treat for the Indian classical fraternity in Singapore.

Review by: Ganesh Bharadwaj CV