Raag Behag is the concluding piece of Jayanthi's performance from Darbar 2013.It is a contemporarily conceived folk song, also known as Kavadi Chindu in Tamil, composed by Ganesh and Kumaresh Rajagopalan. A lilting, instrumental piece, the rhythmic structure of which is set to Teeshra Gati (3-3), this lighter piece makes room for ample improvisation.
The playful interaction between Kumaresh’s veena and Patri Satish Kumar’s mridangam is full of mirth and sends the audiences to a rapture.
The main notes of the Carnatic Behag is similar to the Hindustani (North Indian) Bihag – it uses all pure notes with a sharp Ma or 4th in the descent. However, the Komal Nishad or a flat Ni is used in the pakad or central phrase of the Carnatic version. In both the Hindustani and Carnatic disciplines, Behag embodies a celebratory and happy emotion. Watch how gently and perceptibly Kumaresh weaves the phrases in her performance, setting into motion, a jovial conversation of the veena with Kumar’s mridangam.
Accompanying on the ghatam is RN Prakash, who does a commendable job along with Kumar.
Jayanthi Kumaresh learned the veena from her mother Lalgudi Rajalakshmi before leaving home aged 13 to study under her aunt – Padmavathy Ananthagopalan. She also received instruction from her great-uncle, violinist LalgudiJayaraman and noted veena player S. Balachander. Few years later, she became one of the youngest artists to receive an All India Radio ‘A’ grading, earned a doctorate in veena history and founded the Indian National Orchestra, uniting musicians from India’s classical traditions in a large ensemble. On recent recordings, she has experimented with recording seven layers of veena on top of each other, and continues to write for dance and film.
Patri Satish Kumar is one of the most acclaimed percussionists with a spectacular performing career. He was initiated into music by his mother, Padmavathy, who is a violinist herself. Satish has also studied mridangam under gurus such as Sree Ramachandramurthy and Vankayala Narasimhan and has been conferred an honorary doctorate by the University of California, Berkeley in 2018.
RN Prakash is one of the leading Carnatic percussionists in Europe. He was born and trained in India in Carnatic music after which, during his 30’s, he had permanently shifted to the UK. Apart from being a busy concert artist, RN Prakash holds a prime position as a faculty at the London School of Carnatic Music.
Jayanthi Kumaresh (saraswati veena)
Patri Satish Kumar (mridangam)
RN Prakash (ghatam)
Mithila Sarma (tanpura)