Unnikrishnan’s alapanas and swaras were superb, but the songs were a weak point.M. Ramesh
Stunningly imaginative alapanas, brilliant swaras but, in between, weak singing of the songs — what a mystery! Listening to the undoubtedly talented and accomplished vocalist, P. Unnikrishnan, one felt like grabbing the singer’s shoulders, give them a shake and telling him, ‘Sing properly, man.’ Indeed, Unnikrishnan doesn’t have to do anything more than to just will himself to open his mouth and let the music flow.
The highlight of the concert was a superb Vagadeeswari. The slow glide on the signature ‘ri’ in the mellifluous voice of Unnikrishnan brought in a meditative effect — you close your eyes and listen and you feel like you are floating in space.
Pretty much the same can be said of the Shanmukhapriya alapana that came later. Some superb music, indeed.
But when it came to singing the compositions — the popular ‘Paramaathmudu’ and ‘Marivere Dikevaraiya’ — well, it sounded like some language spoke in Northern China and no one with lip reading abilities could have identified the compositions without difficulty.
The words were delivered from within a closed mouth and flitted lightly over the notes.
Earlier, Unnikrishnan sang Swati Tirunal’s ‘Saroruhasana’ in Pantuvarali and ‘Karpaga Manohara’ in Malayamarutham. Both were adorned with plentiful swaras. Embar Kannan on the violin, Trichy Sankaran on the mridangam and V. Suresh on the ghatam accompanied Unnikrishnan.