Cinema

Touch of classicism

Sharreth. Photo: K. Gajendran   | Photo Credit: K.GAJENDRAN

‘Bhavayami Padumente,' a 13-minute song in ‘Meghatheertham,' has won for music director-singer Sharreth the newly instituted Kerala State Film Award for the Best Classical Playback Singer. The film, which was released in September last in certain centres, failed to woo the box office, but the song, composed and sung by Sharreth, has won him his first State film award.

“The last time I won a State award was during my school youth festival days,” says the composer-singer with his trademark satire.

However he is all enthusiasm when he talks about ‘Bhavayami,' which marks the climax of the film. “Director Unni gave me a free hand. I used three ragas – Pantuvarali, Mohanam and Suddha Dhanyasi – and raga bhedas to convey the various moods while swinging back and forth from one raga to another. Linking these ragas was no easy task. I had planned to compose ‘Bhavayami' and get it sung by another singer. But my friend Srinivasan (who plays the mridangam for Rahman) persuaded me to sing it myself,” says Sharreth, obviously delighted that his hard work has won some recognition.

He remembers emotionally how the late Girish Puthenchery had immersed himself in his work, after Sharreth had composed the tune. “He wrote the apt lyrics to go with such a tune in such a crucial situation in the movie and he did it in a jiffy, instinctively finding the right words when I hummed the tune.”

Careful rendering

Sharreth adds that he took great pains while rendering the song to complement the tune and the lyrics. He recorded it in three spells on the same day so as to bring in the required changes in mood. “I also used sruti bhedas (changes in scale) to enrich it further,” he adds.

The award, in a way, rewards Sharreth's devotion to music. Hailing from a musical family in Kollam, he discontinued his college education while doing his pre-degree course and left for Chennai to pursue his musical dreams. He trained under Chidambaranath initially. For over 20 years, he has been a disciple of M. Balamuralikrishna As a teenager, he had sung in a few Malayalam films under the baton of Johnson and Shyam. Later, he had sung for Ravindran in ‘His Highness Abdullah.'

Ever since his debut as a composer in T.K. Rajeevkumar's ‘Kshanakkathu' in 1991, Sharreth has had his share of admirers.

‘Veendum' is an album of non-film songs composed by him.

Sharreth, also a proficient Carnatic vocalist, has now become a household name thanks to his presence as a judge on Asianet's ‘Idea Star Singer.'

Surprisingly, he does not feel that training in classical music is a must for a playback singer. “What matters is natural talent. Without that, there is no use even if a person under takes arduous training in classical music,” says Sharreth. “But a singer with natural talent can definitely polish his skills with that training.”

His forthcoming Malayalam films include ‘Pulliman,' ‘Kannuneerinu Madhuram,' ‘Nalla Pattukar' and ‘Kanyakumari Express.' He has also sung for music director M. Jayachandran in ‘Kadaksham.' Sharreth is now composing the music for Jayendra's Tamil-Telugu bilingual film.

‘Akashadeepam…' (‘Kshanakkathu'), ‘Thalam Ayanju…' and ‘Sreeragamo…' (‘Pavitram'), ‘Mayamanjalil…' (‘Ottayalpattalam'), ‘Maleyam…' (‘Thacholi Varghese Chekavar'), ‘Pranathosmi…' and ‘Nadam…'(‘Sindoorarekha'), ‘Sudhamanthram…' (‘Devadasi'), ‘Palappoo…' and ‘Arikil Nee…' (‘Thirakkadha')


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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 6:15:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Touch-of-classicism/article16366680.ece

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