Sreevalsan J. Menon merged musicality and proficiency in his concert in Kochi.

Sreevalsan J. Menon’s concert at Mattancherry, Kochi, was filled with aesthetic expressionism and some rare kritis.

‘Swami daya juda’, a varnam in Kedaragowla raga, and a madhyamakala rendition of Pattanam Subramania Iyer’s composition ‘Dhanyudevvado’ in Malayamarutha raga provided the right start to the concert. This composition was embellished with some exquisite swaras. The kriti extols a blessed soul who sings with devotion, accompanied by the mridangam, tanpura and veena.

Sreevalsan took up Sreeragam for rendition and the kriti chosen was Dikshitar’s ‘Sreevaralakshmi namasthubhyam’ in Roopaka tala. The vocalist explored every subtle curve and nuance in the composition. The inherent melody in his rendition and the right tempo he chose for the compositions created the right emotive impact in the songs.

He cleverly blended in elements from the Tyagaraja Pancharatna kriti in Sreeraga during the swara prasthara and Idappally Ajith Kumar did a good job at replicating the same on the violin.

Balakrishna Kamath brought in all the variants in the swaras on the mridangam as Sreevalsan effortlessly showcased the vakra sancharas to the korvai.

Sreevalsan made headway through the upper sancharas for the niraval in the Pantuvarali kriti ‘Siva Siva enerada’. However Todi (Deshya) seemed a bit fleeting and the vocalist mainly hinged on fast sancharas during the alaapana. ‘Raju vedala’ in Roopaka tala had a niraval in the same first line and this was executed well. The composition describes the stately procession of the idol of lord Rangaraja.

Ajith had his own unique phrases to play on the violin as he responded to an Arabhi alaapana from the vocalist. Sreevalsan brilliantly performed the tanam, which was perhaps the piece de resistance for the day, followed by a pallavi. Ragamalika swaras in Behag were another high spot.

However the audience almost marred a perfectly played taniavarthanam by tapping too loudly along with the beat of the percussionists.

Vazhapilly Krishna Kumar was on the ghatam. The event was organised by Goshree Sangeeta Sabha.