Raag Marwa, Thaat: Marwa, Samay: sunset
Raag Basant (seasonal raga), Thaat: Poorvi, Samay: anytime during spring
A section of the Darbar Festival in 2011 had honoured the guru-shishya parampara as a tradition. This Director’s Cut features one of those recitals where a young and promising vocalist, Sameehan Kashalkar performs the demanding Raag Marwa along with a seasonal raga - Basant.
Having a father and guru as Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar (who was also part of the festival) usually raises the expectations of the audience. A situation as this also presents itself as mounting upon the artist. But Sameehan surprises everybody with his spontaneous performance, establishing in his own way, his credentials as an artist.
He begins Raag Marwa, establishing its essence and identity within the first 30 seconds of the alap itself. Kashalkar’s extempore of its progression, gently magnifying the emphatic resting points - Re and Dha (2nd and 6th),is done with earnestness.
Marwa omits Pa (5th) from its scale and is a deeply reflective raga; It consists of a sea of overwhelming possibilities capable of being handled by seasoned players mostly. But here, junior Kashalkar proves his worth with a gripping rendition of bol-alap and bol taans strung with appropriate nuances of this colossal melody.
He establishes the middle-octave with unwavering notes and touches the upper Re with resonating clarity and timbre. He swoops from the upper Re to the lower Re with ease, quickly unveiling the brighter, stand-out moments of this somber, meditative raga.
Next, he presents ‘Kanha rang baan daara’ in Raag Basant set to Adhya taal (a variant of the 16-beat teental). This song was composed by the prolific Pandit Dinkar Kaikini (1927-2010).A tarana follows henceforth, sung soulfully in the same raga, concluding the concert.
Kashalkar’s ornamentations are gentle and winsome but what makes this recital absolutely charming is the sureness with which he delivers every bit of the concert. There is not a single moment in this performance that is not seeped in melody and repose created by this young and talented singer.
UK-based Manjeet Rasiya offers a spontaneous interplay on the tabla, gliding through the performance with great anticipation and steady tempo. Chinmay Kolhatkar accompanies beautifully, unfurling a kaleidoscopic view of Marwa and Basant with his support on the harmonium.
There are many in the audience who came to this concert that day not knowing what to expect. While selecting an artist for our festivals involves a lot of research, it is also gumption that drives the process. There was no way the gumption would have been fueled but for the support and good wishes of all of you - our valued audience - which we appreciate from the core of our heart.
Enjoy the melodious voice of Sameehan Kashalkar – he is an artist to look out for in the future.
Sameehan Kashalkar (khayal)
Manjeet Singh Rasiya (tabla)
Chinmay Kolhatkar (harmonium)
Shobhana Patel & Gunwant Kaur (tanpuras)