Hungarian musician Rozs Tamas blends Eastern and Western music, captivating the audience with enchanting fusion melodies.
“Oh, East is East and West is West, And never the twain shall meet,” sang the poet. Trying to prove Rudyard Kipling is always fun. And that is exactly what a couple of musicians, from the East and West, tried to do at the K.T. Muhammed Regional Theatre of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi recently.
When Rozs Tamas, a musician from Hungary exploring Indian music, especially the ragas and ‘vaithari,’ landed in Kerala seeking a platform for interaction with local musicians, the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi promptly arranged the occasion. A quickly put-together ‘musical happening,’ led by the noted composer P.S. Vidyadharan (Vidyadharan Master), the Akademi vice-chairman Pushpavathi Poyppadathu, harmonist Prakash Ulliyeri, and tavil artist Alappuzha S. Vijayakumar, came together to create some impromptu magic along with the cello and vocals rendered by Rozs Tamas.
After Tamas started off, Pushpavathi followed up with a rendering of ‘Devadevakalayamithe…,’ followed by a mini thaniyavarthanam by Prakash and Vijayakumar, with Tamas taking up the vocals and cello once it was finished. Next, Tamas took up the poem of Sándor Petőfi, the Hungarian national poet. Pushpavathi followed him up with a burst of ‘Sakalathum orthu vekkappedum…,’ the Malayalam translation of Aamir Aziz’s famous poem, ‘Sab Yaad Rakha Jayenga.’ As the songs wound up, Prakash Ulliyeri told the audience, with a smile, “You know what, he was singing our Keeravani!!!” The song that Rozs sang had a resemblance to Keeravani raga, as Prakash pointed out.
Then, Pushpavathi sang ‘Krishna nee begane baro…” with Rozs accompanying on cello and vocals. After that, she followed up with ‘Nee mattrume en nenchil nerkkiraa…,’ a poem by the Tamil writer, Perumal Murugan, composed by herself. The next one was a vibrant Hungarian folk melody during which Rozs requested the audience to accompany him with claps. When Prakash Ulliyeri followed it up with a ‘Kuttanadan punchayile…’ on the harmonium, applause rose.
When Prakash asked the audience, “Can we stop now?” the answer was a collective ‘No!’ Obviously, the audience was finding the exchange quite delectable. So, two more songs followed, with Pushpavathi taking up a beautiful rendering blending the Western and Carnatic streams effortlessly, accompanied by the cello, keyboard, and tavil. The evening wound up with a Finnish song from Rozs. Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi secretary Karivellur Murali had made the introductory speech, and Abheeshta Nath compered the event