Three sessions packed with vocal and instrumental artists saw the young, the very young, the old and the very old on the stage.
The first session on 17 September featured vocal music by Kaushik Aithal accompanied by Gurumurthy Vaidya (tabla) and Guruprasad Hegde (harmonium). Coming from the glorious lineage of Basavaraj Rajguru and trained by his direct disciple Parameshwar Hegde—after his early training by Humayun Harlapur— Aithal did not disappoint. Gifted with a high quality voice across the range of octaves, no doubt the result of endless riyaz, he came across as an artist of the future (as the organisers have chosen to classify him) and the near future at that. In the opening Multani, in executing the swara patterns Aithal seemed to sail between the base and high tones with consummate ease. His second rendering in raga Yaman (Jhap taal) was arresting in its exploration and enthralling in the execution. Surely a youngster to watch out for. The seasoned accompanists in Vaidya and Hegde joined hands to elevate the programme with balance and composure.
Santoor maestro Tarun Bhattacharya from West Bengal and of the Maihar gharana set off with Ragesree moving through the alap with gentle manipulations of the strings with the mezrab, fingernail and creating the unique undulating hum with the fingers, Bhattacharya displayed extraordinary sensory-motor coordination. It was melody all the way with the young but ingenious Jyotirmoy Roychoud