Guruvayur T.V. Manikandan's evolution as a musician was evident when he performed after a long gap recently.
Twenty-two years is a long period in the career of a musician. But to be able to listen to him after this interval is a rare privilege for any rasika. So when Guruvayur T.V. Manikandan sang in Thrissur recently, there were at least a few among the audience who had heard him in Guruvayur, in 1990, where he sang under the direction of maestro Thrissur P.Radhakrishnan. Manikandan has graduated into a seasoned performer over this period during which he was seriously pursuing the art in the capacity of a student, teacher, composer and researcher. Presently, he is assistant professor with the music department of Delhi University.
Manikandan opened with Muthuswamy Dikshitar's ‘Vara siddhi vinayakam' in Roopakam. The Natta number revealed perfect sruti alignment and a harmonious combination of voice and instruments that turned out to be the hallmark of the one-and-a-half-hour concert. The energising delivery captivated the attention of the audience right from the very onset of the composition.
Manikandan chose next the Tyagaraja number ‘Sobhillu saptaswara', a Jagamohini composition in Roopakam. Even as the fast number heightened the tempo of the concert, it had much in common with the venue of the concert – Chetana Institute of Vocology, the only one of its kind in Kerala. Incidentally, vocology deals with the science of voice production and Tyagaraja has described the same in this kriti. As for the rendition, the musician exhibited voice stability and clarity of swaras as he scaled the higher sthayi, a laudable feature of his artistry.
Performing with ease
Effortless movements along the sthayis and a keen sense of sruti were discernible as the vocalist entered into an extended alapana of Hamirkalyani raga. The selection was Swati's famous composition ‘Gangeya vasana' in Adi tala. The slow tempo in two kala exuded remarkable placidity. ‘Brovabharama', again a Tyagaraja kriti, in Bahudhari and Adi, followed. The delineation of the raga, though short, and the kalpana swaras, were noteworthy.
The main raga for the evening was Subhapanthuvarali. The prolonged and full-throated alapana brought to the limelight varied shades of the raga. Gopalakrishna Bharati's ‘Saranaagatiyanai' was the composition. Abdul Aziz's avartana on the violin was in the right proportion but it bore the stamp of his individuality. Niraval in the charanam at ‘Mananaadikal Ariyen' was creative and the kalpana swaras were bountiful. Percussion duo Guruvayur Sanoj on the mridangam and Manjoor Unnikrishnan on the ghatam added a delectable tani to the number. Manikandan wound up with the Desh composition of Arunachala Kavi in Ramanatakam, ‘Rama naamame sthuthi'.
The concert was held as part of the ‘Chetanotsava – 2012' organised by Chetana Music College.