Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mohana Murali

As the name suggests, Mohana Murali is an entire album dedicated to the joy infusing raga, Mohanam. Mohana Murali uplifts you with its all four items:

Mohana Laya Tarangam
Oarsman's Ode

The varnam 'Ninnu kori', the first piece is the album deceives one's prediction by presenting an entirely different perception of the oft-heard composition, sounding almost like a melody unheard so far. As the listener realizes the innovative possibilities offered by this presumably 'beginner's lesson', 'Reflections' flows into the mind. The second piece in Mohana Murali, Reflections only cements the fact that Kudamaloorji is one of what could be called a 'natural' in music. Each phrase in Reflections is completed by one which is a mirror image of the preceding phrase! The melody is not only unhindered by this technique, but seamless.

The listener, at this point is sure to be hooked to the album when Reflections gives way to the pièce de résistance - Mohana Laya Tarangam. A beautiful name, as the beautiful music. Mohana Laya Tarangam speaks to your soul with its remarkable blend of rhythm and melody. One perceives not only Mohanam, but four other ragas, owing to the unique technique applied here, called ‘sruti bhedam’.

Mohana Murali bids a magical farewell with a folk tune, named ‘The Oarsman’s Ode’. For once, the pen is not mighty - definitely not mightier than Sri. Janardanan’s music. So, I say nothing more about this piece, except that it is an unheard melody captured, and made audible.