Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar’s flute created an engaging symphony

She spoke briefly and restricted herself to giving details about the composition during her recital. But her instrument, the flute, spoke elaborately for her, bringing out the raga bhava and sahitya bhava of the compositions she played. There was no restriction either in the melodious music that flowed from the instrument. Such was the quality of Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar’s flute recital at the Trimurthi Festival organised by Shri Venkateswara Fine Arts Trust recently. Mala played in detail a composition of Papanasam Sivan — “Devi neeye thunai” in raga Keeravani. Mala’s manodharma (creative) talents came to the fore while she delineated the raga, presenting niraval of the phrase “Alaimagal kalaimagal pani keervani” from the charanam of the composition and the subsequent swaraprastaras. While presenting two of Shyama Sastri’s compositions, “Maayamma” in raga Ahiri and “Tharunamidhamma” in raga Gowlipantu, Mala brought out the emotive aspects of these ragas and the lyrics.

As the central item of her recital, Mala presented “Bhajareremansa”, a composition of Mysore Vasudevacharya in raga Aberi. Here again, Mala delineated the raga in a detailed manner bringing out its complete features, handled the composition well and presented creative swara formats towards the end. Even miscellaneous items Mala presented after the tani avartanam (percussion solo) like “Kuzhal uudi”, “Venkatachala nilayam”, “Kurai ondrum illai” and “Kattrinile varum geetam” were captivating and had a telling effect on the auditorium of the India International Centre. The festival was organised in association with IIC and supported by the Sahitya Kala Parishad, Delhi.

V. Sanjeev provided excellent support on the violin. His delineation of ragas Keeravani, Aberi and his takes while presenting swaraprastaras in these ragas were delightful. Sadly, the support from Delhi youngster D. Kartik Narayanan on the mridangam lagged behind. K. Ramamurthy who accompanied on the ghatam tried his best to lift the percussion support, but in vain. Ramamurthy even helped Kartik to tune his mridangam midway through the recital.

Healthy involvement

In another concert, organised jointly by Rasika Priya and Asthika Samaj at Shri Aiswarya Mahaganapathy Temple complex, Keshavapuram, it was heartening to see children who are pursuing Carnatic music filling up more than half the concert hall. While many of their friends would have been treating themselves to a movie, these children, including a few tiny tots, were tapping their hands to the laya (talam) and enjoying themselves during the two-hour concert of Guruvayur T.V. Manikandan during Navaratri celebrations. Whether it was for the finishing korvai during the swara formats of Manikandan, or of violinist Arvind Barathi or the percussion solo of K.N. Padmanabhan (mridangam) and J. Harinarayanan (ghatam), their tapping of hands for the laya was in sync with performing artistes. The compositions Manikandan presented were predominantly on Goddess Devi. Rasika Priya, Asthika Samaj, the artistes, parents and gurus of the children deserve appreciation for their effort.