Abhisek Lahiri concludes his performance at the Darbar Festival 2011 with the sweet raga, Chayanat. His exposition of the melody is serene as well as a welcome choice after a majestic Shree which precedes this piece.
Lahiri performs a gat (composition) in medium tempo in Rupak taal (7 beats) in which, he roots on the phrases of Chayanat with its signature combination of Pa-Re (5th – 2nd). He weaves the phrases in this section, leading to an explosion of the raga’s finer vignettes in the lower and middle octaves.
The faster tempo composition follows in Teental where Sukhwinder Singh brings in a sweet interplay with the tabla and brightens the mood of the recital several notches up. Lahiri combines brilliant bol-kari with gamaks and khatkas to summon a well-rounded and pleasing rendition of this lighter evening melody.
Supposedly a blend of ragas Chaya and Nat, this popular and beautiful raga stands on its own. Both Chaya and Nat are out of circulation now although their ang-s (features) are visible in several ragas such as Chayanat, Hem-Chaya or Nat-Bihag, Nat Bhairav etc. There is a Chayanat in Carnatic stream as well, but apart from the same name there is no similarity between the two.
Chayanat is derived from the parent scale Kalyan. It uses all the notes in the octave with Pa (5th) as the dominant note and Re (2nd) as the sub-dominant note. It deploys both pure and sharp 4th (shudh and teevra Ma) and both pure and flat 7th (shudh and komal Ni), although teevra Ma and komal Ni have a weaker application. Chayanat applies the same notes as in Hameer, Kedaar and Kamod, yet it maintains its identity very distinctly. Shudh Ni is vakra (convoluted) in the ascent while Ga (3rd) enjoys a detour in the descent. Komal Ni is a vivaadi swara (dissonant note) and yet beautifies the raga with its sparsely touched appearance in the ascent. The curious glide from Pancham to Rishabh (P-R) is its emphatic signature. All these designs give it a playful character.
Abhisek Lahiri (sarod)
Sukhvinder Singh ‘Pinky’ (tabla)
Priya Sarma (tanpura)
Raag Chayanat, Thaat: Kalyan, Samay: second quarter of the night (9pm-12am