Bengaluru: What does one expect from hardcore classical musicians? A kriti, dasarapada or raga alapane one would think. Expanding beyond these professional contours is a set of enterprising Carnatic musicians and Sugama Sangeeta artistes, eight in all, who would be presenting old Kannada hits at the Gayana Samaja as part of Sangeetha Sambhrama’s Nirantaram Festival, January 12 , 5.30pm.
“Film hits from classical-based musicians are rare to hear and I wanted this exercise to take form for several years now,” says P. Ramaa of Sangeeta Sambhrama. “Flautist R. Raghunanda of the light music world and me conceptualised and formatted the feature choosing some intensely melodic old Kannada songs that everyone has loved to hum along. It’s not the raga-based flow that interested us, but the challenge that each selected number posed to classical artistes who had to feel the filmi flow.”
Carnatic vocalists Nagamani Srinath, S. Shankar, Nagavalli Nagaraj, Parameshwar Hegde, P. Ramaa, Kalawathi Avadhooth and Sugama Sangeeta artistes Ganesh Desai and Supriya Raghunandan would be taking up 23 old Kannada hits along with 12 musicians in the orchestra.
Ramaa remembers many of the singers who had initially refused the offer for the home-work it demanded, but Ramaa insisted it “only required a different framework of mind with committed practice,” that brought the eight together.
So from a breezy light-hearted ‘Nagunagutha Nali Nali,’ the serene and romantic ‘Yaava Janmada Maithri,’ the enchanting synchrony of voices in ‘Teredide Mane O Baa Athithi” the show will also get in the Hindola-based “Bhameya Nodalu Taa Banda” and “Nudi Mana Shiva Guna” in Yaman Kalyani “but don’t bother about the raga scale, just enjoy their melody” as these musicians would sound lighter with orchestration, than calculating their tala cycles with mridanga, on this show.
Old Classical Kannada film hits by classical singers as part of Sambhrama Festival, January 12, Gayana Samaja, 5.30pm.