The Thaipooyam Music Festival proved to be a treat for rasikas in Thiruvananthapuram.

Rasikas of the capital city were treated to concerts by vocalists who were at their very best during their recitals that were organised in connection with the Thaipooyam Music Festival.

The inaugural concert by Bangalore G. Ravi Kiran began with ‘Entaveduko' in Saraswathi Manohari raga. Ravi Kiran was impressive, right from the word go, with his disciplined style, dazzling swaras and distinctive tone. The involvement of the singer in rendering ‘Ananthamruthavarshini' helped imbue each note, phrase, and sahityam with feeling.

Soothing chittaswarams

A well-delineated Dhanyasi raga was tagged to the kriti ‘Balakrishnan paadamalar' (Roopaka), which had a detailed niravel and swara portion. He expressively conveyed the meaning in ‘Navasidhi Petralum Shivabhakthi' (Mishra chapu) in Kharaharapriya. Ravi Kiran displayed the expanse of Mohanam (main raga) with an exciting visthara that took the scale through different strata, each carrying a special attribute, emotion and technique.

The elegance of the kriti ‘Mohana rama' was evident when due emphasis was given to the details in the kriti, niravel and swaram. The mridangam support by Vaikkom Venugopal was lacklustre. Kadannad V.K. Haridas on the violin and Trivandrum R. Rajesh on the ghatam also accompanied. The concert concluded with a kriti in Nadanamakriya.

On the second day, Trichur Brothers, Krishna Mohan and Ramkumar Mohan, began their concert with the varnam ‘Viriboni' in Bhairavi. The charming rendition of ‘Gajananayutham' in Chakravakam was a class apart. The swaras, built with unbounded imagination, sounded brilliant, especially when they rapidly switched between distant notes.

Their delineation of Poorvikalyani, glued to perfect sruti, was an exhibition of their erudition and innovation in Carnatic music. Intelligent manodharma swaras in the popular Neelakantan Sivan kriti ‘Ananthanadamadu' was a creative application of mathematics in music. ‘Santhakaram' (slokam) was an impromptu exercise in Kamas and the kriti ‘Sreeshapadmanabha' became a gem of a piece with captivating improvisations in niravel. Ragam-Thanam-Pallavi in Vasantha was a perfect package, which contained an unique representation of the raga, fantastic thanam and exquisite syncopations in the pallavi ‘Vikasitha Mugham' set to Khanda Jathi Thriputa tala. The swara transitions from Vasantha to Ananthabhairavi, Bhageshri and Kapi were crafted smoothly. Tani by Trichur Mohan and Udupi Sreedhar was entertaining. Violinist Easwara Varma played well throughout the concert.

The concert by Bombay Sisters, C. Saroja, and C. Lalita, commenced with the stately kriti ‘Mahaganapathim' in Natta raga. The following Neelakantan Sivan composition ‘Oraru Mughane' in Reethigowla was gracefully presented. ‘Mokshamugalada,' a kriti that is synonymous with Saramathi raga, was clad in traditional feel and expression. A sweet essay of Kalyani by Saroja was reproduced by Padmakrishnan on the violin. Both the kritis ‘Jagadambike' (Kalyani) and ‘Karunnai' (Sahana), eloquently sung, displayed the duo's virtuosity once again.

Lalita brought out the grandeur of the Madhyamavathi (main raga) during her raga visthara. The Tyagaraja kriti ‘Vinayakuni Valenu' tagged to it was escalated to heights when the sisters dressed it with niravel and swaras. R. Vaidyanathan on the mridangam and Udupi Sreekanth on the ganjira provided excellent accompaniment.

‘Mani roopa dhari' in Neelambari gave a soft texture to the closure of the concert. The fete was organised under the auspices of the Neelakantan Sivan Sangeetha Sabha Trust.