Press Reviews

A promising performance on santoor

CHANDIGARH: Santoor is synonymous with Shivkumar Sharma as the maestro and the instrument are intertwined into such glorious and presumably everlasting peak that people hardly bother about the pertinent question "After Shiv, who?". However, it came as fresh air that santoor would not cease to provide the titillating notes as three of his disciples are slowly making his presence felt. And the Bhaskar Rao Auditorium at Pracheen Kala Kendra witnessed on of them proving his mettle. The evening it self was path-breaking as the percussion instrument was handled by India's only female tabla player.

Satish Vyas and Anuradha Pal were an enthralling combination and the compositions in raag Yemen turned out to be the treat of the evening. The recital took off in the traditional manner with 'alaap', which moved into mood-setting 'jhod' before sliding into foot-tapping 'jhala'. To enjoy Satish's Santoor, one has to occlude the towering maestro from entering one's mental landscape. For though Satish's hands strayed into perfection, on close scrutiny, he definetly has a future charmer's wand in his grip.

Being son of C.R.Vyas, a well known classical vocalist, Satish had music running in his veins and though he insisted on entering the realm much earlier, it was only after finishing MBA, that he was allowed to become the disciple of Shiv. Till then he learnt the rudiments of vocal music from his father which helped him in understanding the intricacies of Santoor. Ever since he became Shiv's disciple in '76, there was no looking back. "Whatever I am today is due to Shivji's training," noted Satish during a brief chat with Chandigarh Newsline before the programme.

So, Shiv has given us, besides Satish, Harjinder Pal Singh and Kiran Pal of Ludhiana-based Namdhari Kala Kendra and Nandu Muley, settled in Germany. It will be an experience to hear a Santoor Symphony involving them led by the 'guru' himself, an idea put forward to Shiv by Satish. Anuradha, in contrast, does not have a similar lineage at home but her moulding was done by none other than the ruling giants of the world of tabla, Ustad Allah Rakha Khan and his son Ustad Zakir Hussain.

Anuradha's grip over various 'taals' is commendable as she began learning at the tender age of seven and gave her first performance at 11. The only professional female percussionist, Anuradha is a rare breed as she has accompanied titans of both vocal and instrumental music besides giving solo performance.

In '96, Anuradha formed 'Stree Shakti', the first All Women North-South Percussionists. Ensemble, which has accompanying artists of both Hindustani and Carnatic styles as members.

This evening Anuradha was unstoppable as the beats flowed from her hands smoothly which at times dominated Satish's soft Santoor. But Satish also rose to prove his lineage as the latter compositions stood testimony to his dexterity over the instrument and the different notes flowed like cascades.

By The Indian Express.