1. Varnam: Chalamela, Natakurinji
2. Devadeva Kalayami, Mayamalavagowla, Swati Tirunal
3. Sarasiruhasana priye, Naata, Puliyoor (Pallavi) Duraiswamy Iyer
4. Amba Kamakshi, Yadukula Kambhoji, Shyama Sastry
5. Niravadi sukhada, Ravichandrika, Thyagaraja
6. Narayana ninna naamada, Suddha Dhanyasi, Purandaradasa
7. Kapali, Mohanam, Papanasam Sivan
8. RTP Saraswathi Pallavi: Shruti Laya Nivasini Saraswathi Shaarade Vidyaprade
9. Sree varalakshmi namastubhyam, Sreeragam, Dikshitar
10.Alaipaayude, Kanada, Oothukadu
11.Ranjani mridu pankajalochani, Ranjani ragamalika, Thanjavur Shankara Iyer
12.English note, Harikeshanallur Mutayyah Bhagavatar
Shruti Laya opened its 2009 season with a grand concert by the Carnatica Brothers Sri. Shashikiran and Sri.Ganesh, accompanied by Sri.Jayshankar Balan on the Violin, and Sri.Guruvayur Durai on the Mridangam.
The brothers' interactive concert style grabbed the audience's attention right from the beginning. Most unusually for musicians at their level,they encourage the audience to submit requests! They then asked the audience to vote for the varnam to start with, and started with the popular favourite, Natakurinji! This was followed by Swati Tirunal's "Deva Deva kalayami" in Mayamalavagowla. During the swarakalpana phase of this kriti, Ganesh sang all the sarali varisai to keep the youngsters hooked.
The unique feature of this concert was that every single song rendered was from a different composer (see song list). Sri.Shashi Kiran and Sri.Ganesh took care to bring out the special flavour of each composer. From the gentle unhurried notes of "Amba Kaamakshi" (Yadukula Kambhoji, Shyama Sastri), each phrase dripping with bhakti, to the highly energetic Niravadi Sukhada (Ravichandrika, Thyagaraja), the audience was mesmerized at every turn. The main ragam for the evening was Mohanam, with an elaborate aalapana. Just when everyone was expecting a Tanam to follow, Shashikiran took a vote between the requests he got for this ragam, and went with the audience choice of Kapali (Papanasam Sivan). The Tani that followed showed everyone again why Sri.Guruvayur Durai is held in such high regard. It was a virtuoso display of percussion fireworks that had the entire audience cheering.
The RTP which followed was a special treat - a pallavi composed specially for Shruti Laya in Ragam Saraswathi: "Shruti Laya Nivasini Saraswathi Shaarade Vidyaprade". They brought out the lush beauty of this ragam, following with swaras in Saraswathi Manohari and Manohari.
This was followed by a smorgasboard of beautiful pieces, notably the Ranjanimalika krithi "Ranjani mridu pankajalochani", and even the famous "English note". The concert came to an auspicious conclusion with an uncommon mangalam "Makutake mangalam".
Sri.Jayshankar Balan ably supported the vocalists with his crisp and quick responses and showed his own mettle in the alapana segments. Of special pride to Shruti Laya is the fact that he is a US resident, but a graded AIR artist in his own right.
Smt.Sharada Chityala, Director of Shruti Laya, introduced the artists and briefly spoke of their accomplishments. Sri. Sreenadh Jonnavithula, Director of Shruti Laya, thanked the artists for this wonderful concert, and for the special pallavi composed for Shruti Laya. Following Shruti Laya tradition, a senior member of the audience, Sri. Balachandran was invited to give a musical appreciation. Members Sri. P.S.Ramesh, Smt. Meena Mani, Sri.Chidambaran and Director Smt. Sumathi Sumangali honored the artists with shawls.
Shruti Laya would like to thank State Bank of India, whose generous sponsorship helped us stage this program. We also thank our tireless volunteers Subu, Ashok, Mani, Sundar, Abhinav and Vamsi for help with setting up the hall, and Sanjay, Ishwarya, Saipriya, Gautham for manning the front desk. And of course, we thank our members and rasikas, whose support and encouragement made Shruti Laya possible.