The emotional content of the kritis was beautifully brought out by R.K. Sriram Kumar.
In his violin solo recital, R.K. Sriram Kumar, through his soulful rendering brought out the the serenity of the kirtanas ‘Meru Samana’ (Mayamalavagowla), ‘Rama Nee Samanamevaru’ (Kharaharapriya) and ‘O Rangasayee’ (Khambodi). Despite the fact that in an instrumental concert, the sahitya cannot be explicit, Sriram Kumar’s fine playing fathomed the emotional depth of the songs.
Playing as part of Sri Krishna Gana Sabha’s Gokulashtami series, Sriram Kumar provided gentle images of Carnatic music, seeped in grace, elegance and the sublime. The environment he created was a haven of peace.
Adherence to values was the building block of his grace in lifting the quality of presentation. The Mayamalavagowla kriti ‘Meru Samana’ was arresting in its artistic format and was a smooth blend of his art with his performing experience. The song rendered with great feeling, heightened the impact of Sri Tyagaraja’s composition.
There was exalted nobility in ‘Rama Nee Samana’ and ‘O Rangasayee.’ Particularly grand was the Khambodi kirtana where Sriram Kumar was sensitive to the loftier implications of a devotional approach. The interpretation was suffused with passion. The sangatis in the first line of the song, the depth of the raga in the anupallavi line ‘Saranga Darudu’ and the tranquillity in the beginning of the charanam, ‘Bhooloka Vaikuntam’ were entrancing without being over-indulgent.
While playing the melodic Dwijavanti piece ‘Cheta Sri Balakrishnam,’ Sriram Kumar proved himself to be a worthy violinist by capturing the spiritual spirit of the song. Rendering of such a song, he seemed to say, was not the same as experiencing its subtle beauty.
The most welcome aspect in his kutcheri was the importance he gave to kirtanas and that too to the monumental magnificence of the items he chose to play.
Kharaharapriya and Khambodi were taken up for alapana with minimal expansion.
As a mridangam accompanist, Srimushnam Raja Rao underlined his value to the concert. His capacity in unfolding gentle rhythms both while playing for the songs and later in the tani sprang from his laya manodharma. There was penetrating depth in his korvais and ebullient patterns in association with the ghatam artist E.M. Subramanian.