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Monday, August 29, 2011



A unique musical treat mesmerized the audience at the 65th Independence Day celebrations at Leila Barlow Theatre in Montgomery, Alabama.

It all started when multiple porcelain bowls filled with water were set on stage. Music lovers had an evening to remember with the artists Vikash Achutaramaiah playing Jal Tarang along with Sanjeev Mishra on tabla.

Jal Tarang is one of the rarely heard instruments in today's modern world. Jal Tarang meaning “waves in water” indicates motion of sound created with the aid of water. A set of porcelain bowls of varying sizes are filled with water according to the required note and the bowls are arranged in a semicircle. The pitch depends on the volume of water. To create music, the water -filled bowls are usually struck with a pair of wooden sticks and it takes immense patience for the artist to tune this instrument.

Vikash says, “We cannot buy this instrument at any musical instrument store and it is the musician who has to make his own and recreate it on stage for each and every performance”.

Vikash A. jal tarang montgomeryStarting the concert with the most famous krithi “Vatapi ganapathim” composed by Muthuswami Dikshitar in the raaga Hamsadwani, at a brisk pace, the artists played different swara patterns for every avartanam (beat cycle). The gentle tinkle of  the Jal tarang continued with the Yamuna Kalyani, raaga Alapana and then a sloka on Lord Krishna followed by Vyasaraya’s  ”Krishna nee begane baro”  set to Misra Chapu taala. Vikash blessed with a soulful voice is currently under the tutelage of “Gana Kala Sree” T.V.Ramprasadh. The musical command that the duo exhibited made the audience glued to their seat till the finale.

The melodious “Vaishnava janato”, Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite bhajan in the raaga Kamas composed by Narsinh Mehta, was very pleasing to ears. This was followed by “Theertha Vittal”, a namadev Abhang in Marathi. The “Vittal” namavali at different speeds and variations reverberated the theatre which made audience chant Vittal Nama spontaneously. Finally, Vikash played the famous Garba Song in the raaga Mohanam and his improvisations with various rhythmic patterns. The song was played in four speeds and the swaras rendered were marked with crisp mathematical precision. The percussionists excelled, competing with each other with exquisite and intricate rhythmic patterns

Vikash said that he is under the guidance of Jal Tarang Maestro Anayampatti S. Ganesan to pursue his passion to learn this rare instrument through his sincere efforts. The concert was well planned with all musical flavors of India - Carnatic, Hindustani and Folk and it was an evening to cherish for the audience. An accomplished artist full of promise Vikash is driven by commitment and excellence.

By Dr. Sapna Jain

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03:35 pm

its heavenly rain originates from the bowls of water in earth. Thanks to the hands which showered the musical drizzles with fantasy smile

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