Showcasing the art of verbal percussion

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr


In an attempt to preserve fine arts, art connoisseur H.V. Venugopal will launch ‘Unnati’, a platform to showcase ancient art forms.

Flautist Praveen Godkindi will perform at the inaugural ceremony on May 11. A rare ‘Konnakkol duet’ by Somashekar Jois and Karthik R. will be presented on the same day at 6p.m. Unnati is located at 311, I Cross, 8th Main, Sapthagirinagar, Banashankari 3rd Stage.

‘Konnagolu’ or ‘Konnakkol’ is verbal percussion. But, the chaste art form lies in “vocalising the jathis or bols with characteristic voice modulation”, almost mimicking the sounds of percussion instruments such as mridangam, ghata, morsing, khanjira, drums, thavil or dollu, explains Mr. Jois. It used to be part of the vocal and instrumental concerts in Upapakkavadhya grouping, especially in those mike-less days, he adds.

“But with powerful microphones coming in, these melodic verbal expressions were deemed an aural disturbance,” he rues, as “the art form is not being revived for its significance.”

Konnagolu is as old as the mridangam, but new forms such as African Beat Boxing is seeing annual global championship events. Here we are trying to revive this rich form, more relegated to being part of fusion ensembles or tala vadhya concerts, says Mr. Jois. “In Konnagolu breathing, voice intonation and timbre come into play. We have adapted a softer, stylised format for the mikes that seamlessly integrates with the main artistes’ music. For the revival of the classical form, lec-dems and workshops would be beneficial,” he says.

Write A Comment