Music

Sid Sriram needs to adopt a relaxed approach

Sid Sriram with H.N. Bhaskar (violin); B. Sundarkumar and H. Prasanna on mridangam and ghatam at Bharatiya VIdya Bhavan, Mylapore.

Sid Sriram with H.N. Bhaskar (violin); B. Sundarkumar and H. Prasanna on mridangam and ghatam at Bharatiya VIdya Bhavan, Mylapore.  

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Sid Sriram brought enough energy to the concert, but long-drawn-out phrases marred the impact

Sid Sriram seems to be a bundle of energy. A delectable voice apart, confident approach marks his classical concerts. His forays into raga essays, niraval and swaras exhibit his potential and he navigates through the tough classical terrain with ease. He conveys the essence of the raga as effectively as imbuing his raga treatises with extended sruti-aligned phrases.

His concert at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan began with ‘Era napai’ the popular Thodi varnam. After a brief outline of Sriranjani, Sid Sriram chose ‘Sogasuga mridanga’ (Tyagaraja) and presented niraval and swara pack on ‘Yati vishrama sadbhakti.’ Then came the Kalyani exposition, intrepid and powerful. ‘Birana brova’ by Tharangampadi Panchanada Iyer was the kriti. The charanam line ‘Nee pada pankajamu’ was chosen for niraval and swaras. An outline of Subhapantuvarali was followed with ‘Ennaallu oorake’ of Tyagaraja. Here again there was a swara section on ‘Konnallu saketapura.’

Surfeit of swaras

After a fast-moving ‘Sarasa sama dana’ (Tyagaraja) in Kapi Narayani, Sid Sriram settled for the main course, Bhairavi. His exploration was extensive. In general, Sid Sriram’s raga essays look like the bold and bright strokes of a modern painting; but he is careful enough not to distort the raga imagery while touching upon the vital aspects of the raga with brigas and karvais. Though his raga treatises are flamboyant, they also carry enough gravitas.

In Bhairavi it was Dikshitar’s ‘Balagopala’ and again a long-drawn-out niraval and swaras on ‘Neela neerada.’ As expected it drew applause. The audience expects musicians to indulge in showy and protracted swaraprastharas and Sid Sriram didn’t disappoint.

Nevertheless, a concert should also showcase some sobriety. Relentless swara passages for every piece does not augur well for the overall impact of a performance. Certain amount of restraint will enhance the appeal.

H.N. Bhaskar (violin) playing was as forceful as the singing. He too participated in the exchanges of swaras with the same vigour. B. Sundarkumar and H. Prasanna on the mridangam and the ghatam provided able support and a stimulating thani avarthanam.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 6:07:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/sid-sriram-needs-to-adopt-a-relaxed-approach/article30105465.ece

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