The OMR music festival organised by Rasikapriya had just begun, marking its début. The very atmosphere was unconventional in every sense- the place, and the event by itself. An evening which wasn't for an esoteric crowd- quite clearly threatening to melt the heart of even a layman. Jus Fusion- Kriya, as the band was named, were unfazed by the predictably unpredictable Chennai rains. The music they created was a euphoric treat amidst the breezy, neatly mowed locale of OMR.
The band consisted of S.Muralikrishnan on the Drums, Karaikal Venkatasubramanian on the Violin, Madurai B Sundar on the Mridangam, Varun on the Keyboard and Mridul on the Guitar. A set of 11 songs they played were a transportation of sorts to joy land. Murali was quite charming on the mike too- announcing the names of each composition and the ragas in which they were composed. No question of being raga-illiterate there, the hunger was well-fed in terms of music and knowledge.
The names of compositions were just as stimulating: Ganesh in raga Hamsadhwani, Walking in the Dream set to the raga Malayamarutham, Brahma- in raga Jog, Lotus Colony in ragas Chala Nattai and Pantuvarali, Chennai Rain- in raga Madhyamavathi and Out in the Wild- in raga Kalyani: one outdid the other. However, Chennai Rain takes the cake, for it was a contemporary piece that blended seamlessly with the wet weather in Chennai. The other songs that ensued were Yentharo Mahanubhavulu , Raguvamshasudha, Bho Shambo, Kurai Ondrum Ilai and Vande Mataram- not to forget the thaniavartanam which was incorporated into the fusion with so much ease.
Engineers by profession and musicians by passion - could be a one liner to describe this beautiful band of musicians. A special mention to the violinist, he easily zipped past the sounds of all fellow accompanists, making sure to lure us with every sound he produced. Nevertheless, Murali's power with the drums could never go amiss despite a power outage for a few seconds- he continued to play on without letting an eyelid batter. That happened exactly during the song Chennai rain- just as unpredictable! Drums power was royal during the song Bho Shambo- as powerful as the deity that was being invoked. Something as simple as 'hara hara shankara jaya jaya shankara' blended with the raga Revathy was magnetic.
Carnatic music is certainly treading along newer realms with each season witnessing a sense of novelty. Jus Fusion-Kriya was one such. Thanks to the band for an exotic evening.
Photo courtesy: S. Murali Krishnan (Drums Murali)