Salem Sriram has an elegant stage presence. So also has his music. The bright start with the Hamsadhwani kriti of Patnam Subramanya Iyer, ‘Manasu Karuga’ in Rupaka talam with a brisk swarakalpanas alerted the listeners for a variety in the concert.

After a short viruttam in Hindolam, Sriram took up Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Nambi Kettavar Evarayya’ from the anupallavi. The niraval at ‘Andru Seyalizhanda’ was crisp. It was refreshing to listen to a sumptuous

Hindolam, which is rare on the concert dais nowadays.

The portrayal of Pantuvarali raga displayed the creativity of the singer. R. Satishkumar on the violin exhibited a similar account of the alapana making the grandeur of the raga fill the cozy auditorium. Purandaradasa’s ‘Yake Ninagishtu’ was the kriti. The innovative touches in the sangatis and the niraval at ‘Saku Ninna Sarasa’ were the highlights of the day’s concert.

A relaxed ‘Amba Neelambari’ composed by Ponnaiyya Pillai of the Thanjavur Quartet followed. While a swift short composition could have set the concert ready for the main piece, Sriram decided to do away with it. He went on to elaborate essaying of the raga Mukhari.

The strong but mellifluous voice takes Sriram through the octaves with ease and comfort. While sticking to the tradition, he can boldly include a few fast paced kritis in his concerts.

The neat presentation of the Tyagaraja kriti ‘Ksheenamai’ brought out the exclusive melodic identity of the composition well. Violinist Satishkumar added vibrancy to the concert otherwise tending to go slow with the rakti ragas presented one after the other.

Thiruvidaimarudur Sankaran has a unique style and the resonating chapus did add beauty to the rhythmic session. Chandrasekhara Sharma arrived late and joined the concert in the second item. He was quick to catch up with the

main artist but could not lift the tani avarthanam and left it to the mridangam player to battle it out in major parts. Sriram concluded the concert with Tyagaraja’s ‘Narayana Hari’ in Yamuna Kalyani.