Sunday, December 10, 2006

Remember Shakti

Remember Shakti - a fusion music concert was held at Kamarajar Arangam on December 7. For the first time in Chennai (for a fusion concert) the hall was totally packed and the police had to divert vehicles coming in due to the parking lots overflowing. Needless to say, the show was simply fabulous! At the end of the show, the audience gave a standing ovation for a couple of minutes to all the artists!

John McLaughlin who originally belonged to the band shakti, created a whirlwind of fusion with carnatic and indian strains on his guitar. The eclectic blend of instruments and artists created a totally different musical ambience which was truly distinctive. Besides McLaughlin, the band had percussionist Ustad Zakir Hussain on the tabla and drums, the prodigy U. Shrinivas on the mandolin, V. Selvaganesh (Vikku Jr.) playing the kanjira, and Shankar Mahadevan on the vocals.

The surprise package was (who else but) Vikku Vinayakram himself! One of the veterans in Shakti. Vikku was pacy and totally rocking on his Ghatam with energetic rhythm. It was an aural and visual treat for any connosieur of music. Selva Ganesh, Vikku’s son proved that he is an undisputed master of the “kanjira” albeit he also performed on the mridangam and ghatam.

Zakir created new strains, thumps and beats with his repertoire of instruments. The best part came when he was playing two different rhythms at the same time, one hand generating one rhythm and the other a different beat altogether and it seemed as he was doing it with such an “ease of expertise”! - and as he ended his solo, the audience shouted back “WAH USTAD”!

Shrinivas was the fastest among the lot when it came to speed and fast-paced strains. His hands moving as fast as a speeding bullet! That was simply stunning to watch! Shankar amazed the audience with his speed, voice modulation and perfect timing with the rest of the group.

“The music was heavenly” danseuse Shobana told Shankar as he and the team came out backstage to meet some of us gathered there.
Starting from Chennai, the group will perform in four other cities — Mumbai on December 9, Pune on December 10, Bangalore on December 13, and Goa on December 15. John McLaughlin’s `Mahavishnu Orchestra’ was an electric band that established fusion as a new and growing style within the jazz and rock worlds. After the band split McLaughlin worked with a low-key acoustic group called `Shakti’. This group combined Indian music with elements of jazz. Shakti was formed in the mid 1970s and has fans across the globe.


Aartz said...

Hey Shriram

Well,i've been to 2Shakti foundation concerts at Music academy and they are always mind blowing and amazing...
The music,musicians and the whole atmosphere just keeps you glued and mesmerized...

Glad you enjoyed this one..i wasnt in town and so missed it...

Barani said...

Wow !! Lucky you !! Anyways I watched their videos in Youtube. and I can Imagine what a pleasure it would be to watch these stalwarts in action. Hope I can watch them live sometime.