Hemmige Prashanth’s Attempt to Emulate His Mentor’s Style

Hemmige Prashanth’s Performance at Kedaram Isai Vizha 2023

Hemmige S. Prashanth recently graced the stage at the Kedaram Isai Vizha 2023, where he paid homage to his guru, K.V. Narayanaswamy, in his centenary year. The event featured renditions of some of the revered kritis that earned surplus nobility through K.V. Narayanaswamy in the last century, serving as a garland to the guru’s legacy. Prashanth’s performance aimed to capture the essence of his mentor’s music, but it did not quite translate into a refreshing and classical Carnatic soundscape.

Vocal Performance and Critique

Prasanth’s vocal performance was hindered by the under-use of nasality, making it evident in his initial performance of the Vanajakshi varnam. This deviation from K.V. Narayanaswamy’s style distanced him from his guru’s legacy and failed to deliver the quintessential Carnatic music experience.

Despite possessing a bold and open voice, Prashanth’s vocal delivery fell short when attempting to soften certain bends in the following pieces, such as ‘Inta paraka’ and ‘Nadanamakriya.’ His lack of control led to slips and an inability to capture the sweet timidity required for these compositions.

Instrumental Accompaniment

The accompaniment by violinist M.R. Gopinath was a highlight of the performance, with his rendition of the Harikamboji alapana and subsequent solos adding depth and crispness to the overall presentation.

Percussionists Poongulam S. Subramaniam (mridangam) and Alathur Rajaganesh (kanchira) exhibited skill and precision, amplifying the lyrical essence of the compositions through the three-beat rupaka cycle.

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Highlight Performances

Prashanth’s rendition of ‘Ramanannu brovara’ showcased glimpses of K.V. Narayanaswamy’s stamp, particularly in his emphasis on certain phrases. His performance of ‘Annapurne Visalakshi’ in Shyama, although featuring animated passages, added a compelling touch to the concert.

Conclusion and Audience Appeal

Prashanth’s performance, comprising a total of ten kritis, appealed more to the audience due to the presentation and context than the sheer number of compositions. Despite some shortcomings in capturing the essence of his guru’s music, Prashanth’s homage to K.V. Narayanaswamy was evident throughout the performance.

Overall, Hemmige S. Prashanth’s concert at Kedaram Isai Vizha 2023 was a celebration of his guru’s legacy, albeit with certain limitations. The event provided a platform for Prashanth to pay tribute to the musical traditions of his mentor, offering a unique perspective on the timeless compositions that have earned surplus nobility in the world of Carnatic music.

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