June 22, 2021

4=5, a unique tala ensemble

The ensemble led by vocalist Abhishek Raghuram weaves various and thrilling rhythm patterns

The operate of rhythm in a composition is to keep up stability within the music as Prof. Sambamoorthy defined. The well-known aphorism, ‘Sruti Matha, Layam Pitha’ (Sruti is the mom and layam is the daddy) brings out the significance of singing to correct sruti and time.

The presumption about tala is that it’s within the Chatusra gathi, i.e., 4 matrais between two beats. This timeframe, which accommodates 4, could be made to accommodate three, 5, seven or 9 as nicely. Then they develop into tisra, khanda, misra or sankeerna gathis. Based mostly on this, well-known musician Abhishek Raghuram and his workforce have conceptualised a singular tala ensemble, named 4=5. As 4 turns into the brand new 5, so do a number of different numbers change as nicely.

Attention-grabbing combos

In an 18-minute video, Abhishek Raghuram, on the kanjira, initiates the tani avartanam within the primary chatusra gathi (4) at a medium tempo in chathusra jathi triputa talam. He’s joined by Sai Giridhar (mridangam) and Krishna Sriram (ghatam). The trio slowly switches over to Khanda gathi (5) after which divides the Khanda (5) into fours, making the tempo of this ‘fours’ in khandam as adi talam, and will increase the tempo. They then play chatusra in these fours of khanda and proceed to play tisram on that new chatusra gathi. From this, they arrive at one other new, fast-paced chatusram, solely to play khandam once more. That is additional divided right into a fast-paced chatusram and the trio performs misram (seven), ensuing in an interesting crescendo of the laya vinyasa within the new, superfast chatusram. All these variations, performed with mathematical precision, are based mostly on the preliminary Chatusra nadai.

All three artistes vie with one another in maintaining with the growing tempo. Abhishek Raghuram has proved once more that he’s a worthy grandson of the legendary mridangist Palghat Raghu. That Abhishek efficiently straddles his ardour for laya alongside along with his devotion to vocal music deserves appreciation.

The audio recording and mixing by Shri Sainath deserves particular point out. Equally, video and modifying by S.R.Manivannan, Muthu Krishnan and Balaji Manivannan are sensible. Stage design and background are by Nandini SaiGiridhar. This video could be watched on Abhishek Raghuram’s YouTube channel.

As their journey continues, their quest deepens, because the scope for innovating, experimenting and evolving new ideas is infinite.

The Chennai-based writer writes on music and tradition.

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