Seven years in the past, a temple in Thrissur invited Nedumbally Rammohan and Okay.N. Meera to current a live performance. Initially hesitant to sing collectively in public, the skilled classical musician couple lastly accepted the supply.
It was after the success of this 2013 live performance at Vishnumaya Kshetram in Peringottukara that the couple went on to carve a profitable joint profession. The journey broadened and deepened the couple’s repertoire, which primarily contains Kathakali music in addition to Carnatic and Mohiniyattom compositions moreover just a few bhajans, people and even movie songs.
Even larger viewers
Early this April, when the nation and far of the world was reeling beneath the lockdown, Rammohan and Meera bought a request from a Fb group to current a reside live performance. They started with the ‘Kathakali Sekharam’ video, and adopted it up with a collection of collaborative music performances.
After that, the couple has been even busier than common. This has not meant any extra revenue, “however that isn’t the intention,” shrugs Rammohan. “To our shock, we discovered that there was a steep rise in viewers numbers, larger than anticipated,” provides Meera.
The preliminary months earned the couple a couple of lakh views, a majority of them from Malayalam talking individuals, together with expatriates within the Gulf and the U.S. “There are techies in America and Europe. In addition to attorneys and engineers in Kerala,” says the 45-year-old Rammohan. “And the opposite day, a physician known as to thank me for the ‘therapeutic worth’ of our renditions.”
On the opposite finish of the spectrum are consultants and maestros. As an example, Carnatic vocalist S. Sowmya “instructed we sing Kerala-based ragas reminiscent of Puraneera and Kanakurinji. That was a pleasing shock,” smiles Meera. “It was unbelievable when the musician instructed us subsequently that she has been following us on Fb.”
On Fb, the couple has no accompanists, in contrast to their stage reveals, the place they’re supported by the violin and flute, moreover mridangam, tabla, ghatam, chenda, maddalam, idakka and sometimes the keyboard.
The response to the reside reveals has been extremely encouraging, says the couple, who each have a Masters in Carnatic Music from the College of Calicut. “Listeners write to us about associated topics reminiscent of a padam that reminded them of a yesteryear grasp or a Kathakali present seen a long time in the past,” says Rammohan, who’s a disciple of vocalist Kalamandalam Sreekumar.
Thematic concert events
The couple has been engaged on numerous combos in current occasions. Thematic concert events primarily based on the Ramayana, for instance. Rammohan renders a Kathakali verse on Hanuman whereas Meera responds with a Carnatic kriti hailing the monkey god.
Or Rammohan sings a Kathakali music with a very folksy tune, to which Meera replies with a bit from the standard Kaikottikali dance the place ladies usually sing and clap whereas dancing in a circle. Says Meera, “Initially, discovering a mutually viable sruti was an issue, appropriate for the female and male voices. Quickly we labored it out.”
Meera, who discovered the artwork of Kathakali singing from Madambi Subrahmanian Namboodiri, does stage collaborations with vocalist Deepa Palanad. Rammohan had his preliminary coaching beneath a few gurus together with his father V.N. Narayanan Namboothiri. As a youngster he was additionally initiated into Kathakali beneath Kalamandalam Soman of the Kalluvazhi stream.
For 25 years now, Rammohan has had a busy profession as Kathakali vocalist however has additionally been a arithmetic trainer in a faculty since 2010.
The author is a eager follower of Kerala’s conventional arts.