TUSTIN, CA - Chinmaya Mission Los Angeles, through its cultural arm, Kalanjali hosted yet another musical treat in their center Rameshwaram’s Auditorium on Sept.14. This time, it was a mesmerizing Hindustani violin concert by the maestro Kala Ramnath, accompanied on the tabla by the...
Kala Ramnath who hails from a legendary musical family was mentored by her aunt, the renowned violinist Dr. N. Rajam and has benefited from a long tutelage with living legend Pandit Jasraj. Ramnath is known for her versatility including for the spectacular music score of the Hollywood film ‘Blood Diamond’, her several collaborations with western music artists and earned recognition for her own album ‘Miles from India’ which was Grammy nominated
Despite her forays into fusion and experimental music, her strong roots and true passion in Hindustani classical music was evident in her evening rendition of the opening piece which she described as the ‘twilight raag’, a Samyukth raag denoted as Suddh Varaali, an admixture of three unique raags, Marwa, Reva and Bibhas. She started her vilambit in a deeply self-meditative mood, unabashedly slow, but then building up to explode into pyrotechnics showing her extraordinary mastery of the instrument balancing between three raags dexterously, nevertheless producing a single garland of melody.
This is where the discerning fan crowd gasped and applauded repeatedly, especially with Banerjee shadowing her every step of the way and answering her through his tabla, syllable by syllable, to the crescendo. Banerjee proved that his tabla can be as much a ‘gayaki’ as the violin could be.
Banerjee, who has performed several times at Kalanjali concerts is an illustrious percussion disciple of Pt Jnan Prakash Ghosh and has learned vocal music from Pt Ajoy Chakrabarty and violin from Ma Annapurna Devi. He is the founder of Dhwani established in India and North America.
When Ramnath and Banerjee fused into a short piece on raag Des, there was melody and subtle emotions merging from both instruments, and when Ramnath followed that with a short dhun in Mishra kamaj, there was bubbly chirp, and the favorite Meera bhajan tuned in raag Bhairavi and popularized by her master Pt. Jasraj, brought to life the famous lyrics ‘Mai Sanware Rang Rachi’.
The fans applauded generously at the conclusion of the concert with a standing ovation.
Swami Ishwarananda, the head Acharya of CMLA at the conclusion, while speaking about the violin maestro said that Kala Ramnath was a favorite of the worldwide head of the mission, Swami Tejomayananda, for who she has played.