The Akkarai Sisters proved that they are good vocalists too.
Akkarai Subbulakshmi and Sornalatha are not only good violinists, they are good vocalists too. Playing accompaniment to different musicians has also exposed them to various musical ideas. The first part of Thodi varnam ‘Era Napai’ was sung with not only the usual two kalams but also in tisram. A short essay of Shanmukhapriya by Subbulakshmi presented the essence of the raga in a nutshell. ‘Siddhi Vinayakam’ came adorned with fast paced swaras. ‘Mayamma’ in Ahiri was rendered leisurely bringing out the mood of the composition. Sornalatha developed Sahana gradually without missing the characteristics of the raga. She would sound far better if she would open her mouth and sing. The chosen song for this was ‘Emanadichevo.’ The Sisters followed it up with ‘Ketta Varam,’ a composition of their grandfather Suchindram S.P. Sivasubramaniam in Ganaragamalika, Nattai, Gowla, Aarabhi, Varali and Sri, which also had lively swara portions in each raga. An exhaustive Thodi was rendered by Subbulakshmi with Grahabedam leading to Mohanam. The alapana brought out the eminence of this ever popular raga effectively; she had a good reach above the tara sthayi ‘Sa.’ Usha Rajagopalan on the violin played a neat alapana undaunted by the much too frequent power failure. Tyagaraja’s ‘Emi Jesithe’ was handled with niraval at ‘Varamantra’ followed by swaras. It was nice to see the Sisters having a good rapport with Usha as well as the percussionists Poongulam Subramaniam on the mridangam and Sundarkumar on the ganjira. They accompanied with understanding and presented a good thani. The concert concluded with ‘Kalai Amudam’ in Neelamani, yet another composition of the Sisters’ grandfather, which was an elderly listener’s choice.