P.S. Narayanaswamy was one of the most sought-after gurus, having groomed many prominent musicians. One such is Sunil Gargyan.
In his concert for Mudhra, Sunil Gargyan elaborated Hamir Kalyani, true to the PSN bani. According to his guru, a raga ought not to be sung just with the help of a scale and that one must essentially know its bhava. This attribute was evident in the imaginative elucidation of the raga by Sunil. On the violin Kumbakonam M.R. Gopinath also made the raga blossom. Sunil chose Tyagaraja’s ‘Maanamu ledha’. The niraval and kalpanaswaras were at the charanam ‘Ni samukhamuna ravi tanayudu’, portraying the raga’s architecture. Gopinath’s response was equally tuneful.
The thani between Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan (mridangam) and S. Karthick (ghatam), was of a high order. Through the concert, they offered reliable rhythmic accompaniment.
Saint Ramalinga Adigalar, popularly known as Vallalar, had to his credit six volumes of Arutpa, poems of divine inspiration. P.S. Narayanaswamy had chosen select versus and tuned them into 32 soulful, concert-worthy songs. One such is ‘Paal kattum oli vanna’ in Sama (Khanda Chapu). Sunil excelled in the raga alapana, ably assisted by Gopinath.
The Charukesi alapana stood out for his creative touches while the phrases were marked with finesse. The violinist presented some excellent fast-paced sangathis. In Swati Tirunal’s ‘Kripaya palaya sowre’ (Mishra Chapu), the kalpanaswaras were at pallavi.
Sunil commenced his concert with the Thodi varnam ‘Era Naapai’ by Patnam Subramania Iyer. After a sketch of Abhogi, he rendered ‘Sri maha ganapathe’ (Jhampa) by N.S. Ramachandran. The kalpanaswaras were at the charanam ‘Thamara dala netra’. ‘Sri vaidyanatham bhajami’(Atana) by Dikshitar, in praise of the deity at Vaitheeswaran temple, was a neat rendering.
Sunil, thereafter, briskly rendered Tyagaraja’s Darbar kriti ‘Yochana kamala lochana’. After a ragamalika Upabhoga, by Purandaradasa, he rendered a Brindavana Saranga Devaranama, ‘Kandena udupiya krishnana’. This took the concert to a crescendo. He wound up with Lalgudi Jayaraman’s Behag thillana in Adi tala Tisra nadai.