Pranati – Homage to the Master, Shantanand Festival of Arts 2016

The songs you love and take to singing on a regular basis, I now believe can show the essence of the person you are. Well at least in Pranati, the orchestral tribute to the founder of the Temple of Fine Arts, Swami Shantanand Saraswathi, I saw this theory come alive.

The charismatic personality of the late swamiji, for whom the central VIP seat was reserved at the Shantanand Auditorium where Pranati, Homage to the Master premiered last night, was resurrected for the audience through the heartfelt recitals put up by the institute’s music faculty.

I heard an elderly TFA member waiting at the TFA building entrance after the show softly singing Ganga Ki Naare her eyes moist with reminiscence. She probably had many times personally heard and sang along with Shantanand and other followers, this lovely bhajan in glorification of the swamiji’s guru Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh.

Picking up slowly with the Ganesh Pancharatnam, Jai Shree Ganesha the orchestra crescendoed with the numbers, Shivashankari and Tuhi Ram He. But I personally felt the loud plonking of the piano and somewhat disruptive cymbal sounds of the electronic percussion pad in these two meditative songs could have been softer or absent so as not to drown the beautiful vocals.

However the role of the piano and percussion pad together with the quivering violin music of senior violinist Hariraam Tingyuan Lam in the feet tapping and lilting English numbers, I Ask From Thee Oh Lord, Deep Deep Within Me and Thou Art The Sculptor – was most substantial.

The bows of Hariraam and fellow violinists, Abbirami Balachandran and Sharma Saravanan Pillai were kept busy throughout the show lending credence to the renditions of the alternating teams of vocalists. They were ably backed by the sitarists, keyboardists and percussionists.

It was a memorable night as we left the auditorium, our beings still reverberating with the musical ambience of Swami Shantanand’s legacy. Pranati’s second staging at TFA will be on today.

Review by R. Sittamparam

File Picture courtesy of Temple of Fine Arts.

Sittam Param

Writer, poet, dramatist and former journalist. I have passion for art in all its forms hence my involvement in this portal.

One thought on “Pranati – Homage to the Master, Shantanand Festival of Arts 2016

  • December 2, 2016 at 10:39 am

    The Pranati Orchestra is a great reflection for me that the land of healing lies within the depth our soul’s symphony — ever radiant with the essence of universal peace and love that is sought in a thousand outer directions !
    The compositions rendered brought memories of distant past of my late Mother who very much engulfed me with the bliss to immerse and get overdrunk with ecstacy in these same Bhajans during my formative years as a way to express passionately the inner quest for the Divine ! — Kanna


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