When an artist punctuates her concert with informative snippets, she bridges the gap between the performer and the audience. Vocalist Padma Sugavanam presented a concert explaining the context of every song and the reason for its inclusion in the performance held under the Parampara series at Arkay Convention Centre recently.
Her singing style reflected the bani of her gurus Geetha Ramachandran and Seetha Rajan. She presented the compositions in a scholarly manner true to her background of research as well as training in music.
Padma began the concert with Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar's Kanada varnam ‘Nera Nammiti’ in two speeds, followed by theslow-paced ‘Karunanidiye’ in Bauli by Papanasam Sivan. The highlight of the recital was an exposition of Vardhini and the Tyagaraja piece, ‘Manasa Mana Samarthyamemi.’ In this composition, Tyagaraja talks about the power of destiny in our lives, referring to how Kaikeyi's ambition for her son Bharata creates an unexpected turn of events during the crowning ceremony of Rama. Violinist Sanjeev also proved his command over raga Vardhini.
Another beautiful composition, where Padma showcased her impeccable patanthara was Dikshitar’s ‘Kalavati Kamalasana Yuvati’ in Kalavati. She followed this up with a Latangi raga alapana and ‘Marivere Dikkevaru’, rounding off the Patnam Subramania Iyer kriti with niraval in the line ‘Onarimpa Vinavemi Venkateswara.’
The singer had good support from Sumesh Narayanan (mridangam), and N. Guruprasad (ghatam).
Central to the concert was Bhairavi. After an elaborate raga exposition, the singer presented ‘Sari Evvaramma,’ a Syama Shastri composition. Niraval on ‘Parama Pavani Bhavani’ and swaraprasthara completed the rendition.
Not only were her choice of compositions interesting, but also her prayogas. The singer would do well to enhance her niraval and swaraprasthara skills. She concluded with Periyasami Thuran’s ‘Pazhani Nindra’ in Kapi and a Thiruppugazh, ‘Sivanar Manam’ in Jhonpuri.