Sangeetha Shivakumar’s recital in Kochi displayed her indisputable skills in detailing the nuances of a raga.

Sangeetha Shivakumar’s concert in Kochi was predominantly a presentation of Tyagaraja compositions. Her improvisational skills highlighted her ability to capture the nuances of a raga.

Without the regular varnam and short compositions, Sangeetha quickly ventured into ‘Ramanannubrovara’ in Harikamboji raga, set to Roopaka tala. Even though she brought in some variety in the kalpanaswaras, the mukthaippu seemed mundane. Sangeeta gained ground as she reached the higher range in her exposition of Sahana raga and rendered ‘Ee Vasudha’. She fidgeted with the swara endings and repeated the same patterns as she sang kalpanaswaras.

She was ably supported by R. Hemalatha (violin) and Melakaveri K. Balaji (mridangam).

Shyama Shastri’s ‘Mayamma’ in Ahiri raga and ‘Nenarunchinanu annitiki’ in Malavi were pleasant variations. The vocalist was in her element when she elaborated Kalyani raga and her approach was akin to that of other performers in the MLV bani. She mused over short phrases, gradually embellishing them in bits. The swift briga-laden sangatis were an extension of her imagination. Hemalatha was equally adept in replicating the fast, crisp movements on the violin. The tone of her violin was wholesome and tuneful, and her imagination and grip over the craft was striking.

‘Nidhichala sukhama’ stood out for its pace, clarity of enunciation and ripe niraval on the line ‘mamata bandhana yuta’. This was rather packed, and the second speed saw some spontaneous variations with a strict command over the speed. This time the swaras were rather structured and the mukthaippu too displayed some creativity. When the accompanying artistes play regularly with an artiste, they seem to know the artiste’s temperament and follow the pattern of singing with amazing precision. This was again demonstrated in Hemalatha’s bowing and percussion support from Balaji. The latter played a succinct and structured taniavarthanam with Manjoor Unnikrishnan on the ghatam.

‘Broohi mukundethi’ in Kurinji, ‘Aliveni enthu cheyvu’ in Chenchurutti and a Marathi abhang were the closing pieces that went down well with the audience for their cadence and melody.

The programme was organised by Dharani Society.