A Delightful Violin Arangetram

By Shankar Krish,  Wexford, PA                 e-mail:    shankar.krish@gmail.com

Shankar Krish has learned Karnatic music on the violin and is a familiar face among Indian classical music lovers in our area.

I had the pleasure of attending the arangetram of Saarang Mulukutla on the violin in July 2017. With Sumesh Narayanan on mrdangam and Ravi Balasubramanian on ghatam, it was a melodious, engaging and enjoyable debut solo recital.

As a student of well-known violinist L Ramakrishnan (who is a disciple of the veteran violinist A Kanyakumari), Saarang has absorbed the style of playing the instrument as well as rendering the compositions with equal emphasis on the lyrics and melody. Starting with the varnam, and through the many compositions, the tillana and mangalam, Saarang exhibited maturity and consistency on the violin.

The highlight of the concert was his detailed alapana in raga bhairavi, a complex raga with unique phrases and characteristics. He rendered it quite well considering that this was his maiden concert. He brought out the highlights of bhairavi in the alapana and the composition ‘upachAramu jesEvAru’ to the best of his abilities.

Sumesh and Ravi, the professional percussion duo, provided supportive rhythm accompaniments throughout the recital, encouraging Saarang all through. They played a fantastic tani avartanam (percussion solo) showcasing their expertise of their instruments.

I had heard his guru Sri L. Ramakrishnan, a great teacher, just a week earlier. So, I could see that Saarang has absorbed the teachings and style of his guru. That Ramakrishnan taught Saarang mostly through online classes tells a lot of the dedication of both the teacher and the taught.

Growing up in a family steeped in music, Saarang has clearly taken advantage of the environment at home and support from his family. With his hard work that I have personally observed, Saarang has blossomed into an excellent musician. Arangetram is only the first step, and I expect he will continue to improve on his skills, repertoire and the nuances of the Indian classical music tradition.

At the end of the concert, Kumari A Kanyakumari, the chief guest of the evening, blessed Saarang on his maiden performance and offered words of encouragement. Saarang will certainly cherish the presence and blessings of the veteran A Kanyakumari that are bound to motivate him to set higher goals in his musical journey.   ♣


  1. No comments yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.