Baby Sreeram captured the attention of the audience in Palakkad with her rich and resonant voice and her self-styled but chaste bani.

With her unadulterated and alluring voice that was soaked in soulfulness, accomplished vocalist Baby Sreeram, stole the hearts of connoisseurs and laity alike at a concert at the Vithunni Saneeswara Temple, Palakkad. She kept the audience spellbound with her particularly rich and depth-laden ragalapana that revealed her passion for classical music.

Hailing from a musical family, and initiated into music by her father Bhagavatheeswara Bhagavathar, Baby chiselled her skills under veteran musician Anathalakshmi Venkitaraman and also further trained under maestro T.M. Thyagarajan. All of this training added with rigorous sadhana has enabled her to make her mark as a vaggeyakara, teacher and performer. Baby has managed to carve a niche for herself with her self-styled and chaste bani. Her resonant voice mastering both lakshya and lakshana, and which brimmed with bhava made for an imaginative presentation. V. Sindhu (violin) and Kodunthirappully Parameswaran (mridanagam) provided admirable support.

Well-enunciated niraval

Opening with Papanasam Sivan's ‘Gajavadana karuna sadana' (Sreeranjani), straight away, Baby charmed the audience with her pleasing and dignified stage presence. Tyagaraja's Mayamalavagowla kriti ‘Thulaseedalamulache' was decorated with delectable and well-enunciated niraval and manodharma swaras, woven into Dhattu prayogas at ‘Saraseeruha punnaga….' Systematically arranged raga sancharas of Ranjani glittered with tonal eloquence.

Swati Tirunal's rarely-heard composition ‘Kalaye Devadevam' was laced with rhythmic chittaswaras. Thyagaraja kriti ‘Etti yojana' (Kiranavali) and Dikshitar's ‘Sreemathrubhootham' that followed a good alapana of Kanada, paved the way to the high point of the concert, an immaculate and masterly delivery of Thodi. Her almost caressing treatment of the raga showcased her vidwat, purity of padanthara, and her skill at bringing to fore its different swaroopas. Varied and resplendent shades by way of nishada and gandhra prayogas also cast a spell on the audience. Sindhu's essay on the violin was equally discerning in expression and magnitude. Baby's presentation of Dikshitar's Navavarana kriti ‘Kamalambike'(Roopaka tala) stood out for its unhurried flamboyance, impeccable pronunciation and brilliant manodharamaswaras.

Tani was excellent with combination of nadais woven into intricate patterns. In the latter half of the concert, Baby sang Tamil compositions replete with bhakti bhava and lyrical beauty. ‘Poonkuyil koovum' (Kalki-Kapi), her own composition ‘Kathal keleti', and a haunting virutham, ‘Kalan varum munne' was followed by ‘Nambikkettavarevarayya' (Hindolam) and a ragamalika of Bharathiyar's ‘Suttum vizhichutar'. Baby concluded the concert with a self-composed thillana in Bindumalini. The concert was organised by Swati Sangeeta Sabha, Palakkad.