2016 rAmanavami Season Review

Here is a take representing the best of best of the concerts that I attended during rAmanavami 2016 :
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Being one of the busiest for me (I could cover around 25 concerts in 30 days - 20 odd posts [few combined] and 5400 visits to my page), I had to take a break from both music and work to return to my regular schedule. Hence you see a long break from my previous post to update the whole season experience.

The best part of the season in Bangalore in contrast to Margazhi is that all the concerts are held in evening, barring the budding artists who occupy the first evening slots early. Inspite of early office schedule, I have foregone the whole junior artist concerts and their reviews. That is a great miss as SRSM this year conducted RTP concerts as a competition for the title "pratibhAkAnkshi". Attending them would have helped me add new artists to my "To Attend" list for future.

Soaring heat during the day time ensured smooth traffic as people sought shelter to roads and did drain my energy too. It was for the first time in these many years of listening, I started carrying water to the hall instead of wincheater / rain coat! 

With many artists on my list clashing on few days, I had to make a tough choice to cover the concerts in atleast 1 sabha during the season. 

I regret missing Malladi @ Vani School, MS Sheela @ Vani School, Saketaraman @ SRSM, Mysore Brothers @ SRSM and Aruna Sairam @ SRSM.

Disclaimer.
This is a ranking of my experience. The categories listed well before the season, and few added on the go during the season, considering the charm out of the performance. I may have certainly missed a better one for the very reason of being possible to attend at one place.

Others can pitch in with their attendance / experience. 

Particular Concert (= Man of the Match)
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Best Vocal (solo / duet): 
Vijay Siva @ SRSM
TMKrishna @ SRSM
Malladi @ Seshadripuram

Best violin accompaniment: 
Charumathi Raghuraman for Vijay Siva
HK Venkatram for TMK @SRSM

Best Mridanga accompaniment : 
K U Jayachandra Rao -(ChitavINa ravikiran @ Vani School)
R shankranarayanan ( K-JK @ Vani School)

Best Upa pakkavadya accompaniment : 
Giridhar Udupa - with Sowmya
S Krishna - with Vijay Shiva

Whole Season (Player of the Series)
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Best violin accompaniment : Charulatha Ramanujam
Best Mridanga accompaniment : K U Jayachandra Rao
Best Upa pakkavadya accompaniment : Giridhar Udupa

Best Songs of the Concerts
Best opening
Best opening piece: TMK tODI (ShrI kriShNam bhaja mAnasa)

Best Sub Main
Sanjay - kArubAru (mukhari) @ SRSM
Malladi Brothers - nI maDi challaga ( Anandabhairavi)  @ sEshAdripuram

Best main 
?? - tough choice

Most intricate pallavi / Tala
Vijay Siva (7*7 - there were plenty of 8*5s)

Neraval is really tough! 
A tie between 
Aragimpave (Malladi @ Seshadripuram ) with 
mANikya makuTa hAra valaya dhara (VS @ SRSM)

Best non rAma main song
Vijay Shiva with best non Rama main

Best stand alone item: 
Bhairavi swarajathi  (TMK @ SRSM)

Best short AlApanE: 
nAyakI  (Sowmya @ SRSM)

Best violin response to an AlApane : 
Gaula by HK Venkatram (TMK @ SRSM)

Best mELakarta of the season
Quite difficult to zero on one,  many familiar and repeats.. diluted this category

Surprising mELakarta of the season
None worth the mention, many familiar and repeats..

Best each grama janya rendition
A test for myself.. I have not yet put a thought about it

Best Swaras 
nATTakuranji RTP JK @ Vani School 
kharaharapriya ( Nagavalli Nagaraj - Vani shcool)

Best tani
K U Jayachandra Rao  / N Amruth - wtih ChitavINa ravikiran @ Vani School
R shankranarayana / Giridhar Udupa ( K-JK @ Vani School)
ArunPrakash / SKrishna (TM Krishna @ Seshadripuram)

Ranked Double Headers
1. TMK
2. RKM
3. Malladi 

Best Fillers / Best tukkada
guru karuNa honduvudu parama durlabhavayya kIravANi Adi p.dAsa (KJY @ SRSM)
yAre rangana - (K-JK @ vANi SChool)
karuNinchi brOva rAda bangALa Adi mysUru vAsudEva AchArya  (Nagavalli Nagaraj @ Vani School)


Best Viruttam / sloka: 
Tie between S Shankar  and Vijay Shiva

best R .. best T..  best P
Raga: Mohana by Sanjay @ SRSM
Tana: shanmukhapriya by Sowmya @ SRSM
Pallavi : Vijay Siva  @ SRSM

Most seen artist 
Charulata Rmanujam - 7 concerts

Best veteran of the season
K J Yesudas @ SRSM

Best Kannada song rendition by a non kannada mother tongue artist - 
RKM @ sEshAdripiuram and 
RKM @ SRSM

Best main worth song rendered in short
pakkala nilabadi (Malladi @ SRSM), (TMK @ SRSM)

Best vilambakala krithi
Sri Krishnam bhaja mAnasa by TMKrishna @ SRSM

Best leisurely ending - 
Mangala by Nagavalli Nagaraj @ Vani School

Most repeated Raga 
(madhyamavati , shankarabharana , manirangu, .. the list goes on..)

Least repeated popular Raga
shankarabharana !

New Songs of the season
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viribONi kEdAragauLa miSra jhampe rudrapaTNam venkaTaramaNayya 
srImati janaka jAte rAmAyana guNa bhUte darbAri kAnaDa Adi Dr shatAvadhAni Ganesh
tillAna sumanEsaranjani Adi Dr shatAvadhAni Ganesh


Trivial:
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1. Best on time delivery sabha
SeshAdripuram
SRSM - Fort High School
Vani School

2. Best ambience / Background Stage Setup
Vani School
SRSM
Seshadripuram (too much background light)

3. Best sound system engineer
Vani SChool
Seshadripuram
Fort High SChool

4. Most interesting vot
By Dr Shatavadhani Ganesh @ Vani School after Dr. Nagavalli Nagaraj concert.

5. Refreshing changes of the season
a. pendal at vani shcool- saved atleast 3 concerts from washout in the last leg of this season
b. improved sound system at Seshadripuram
c. canteen at SRSM

6. Desiring for more
a. leakproof SRSM pendal
b. ontime closure of junior concerts at Vani School (to provide full slots for seniors)

It was quite a miracle for organizers and artists to keep performing despite all the soaring heat at Bangalore. The regular rain coat in my bag was replaced by a full water bottle.

The season also introduced me to a couple of new friends who are in touch with me even after the season has ended. The organisers at SRSM made an announcement of start of the next season - Apr 5th 2017. Looking forward for an engaging season and more coverage for larger rasika community.

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