Need to focus on ‘sukha bhavam’

dedicated: Vikram Raghavan. Photos: M. Karunakaran.  

There was briskness, training and creativity in Vikram Raghavan's singing. He displayed abundant energy, enthusiasm and dedication. His voice, not yet completely out of its process of breaking, had far reaching effect in the higher ranges, with native briga.

Regrettably, his misplaced emphasis on glamour and flamboyance, substantially marred what could have been a wholesome vocal recital. Much of the responsibility - for both aspects - must be borne by his mentors. His lively varnam in Kedaragowla, Adi, was appropriate in choice. So was the next one, Swati Tirunal's 'Deva Deva' in Mayamalavagowla, Rupakam at a brisk pace, followed by some quick niraval and swara exchanges between Vikram and Aditi Prakash (on the violin). Vikram presented Mohanam with alapana, taking off at a high pitch, abandoning melody here and there. Aditi came up with a restrained and pleasing version of the raga through her own interpretation.

Muthuswamy Dikshitar's 'Narasimha Aagaccha..' in Misra Chapu, not commonly heard, was rendered with commendable gravity, and taken through niraval and swara. Dedication and competence notwithstanding, this turned out to be another tumultuous affair. The only goal the young artist had in mind was to get there fast (where ?) and

start the fireworks. One was reminded of the excitement of boys to rush to the "pattaasu kattu" on Deepavali morning. From the incept he appeared to be straining at the leash to spin out marathon swara korvais, brimming with cliched ‘ta-dhim-ki-na thom's.’

‘Gurulekha’ in Gaurimanohari, Khanda Chapu, Tyagaraja, necessarily fast, was good to listen to (though not so much to see, with the wild gesticulations that accompanied it!) and was a perfect interlude before the main item, Thodi. Here was a different Vikram. The treatment was mature and quiet. Beginning with 'pa,,,,pa-ma-pa-ga-ma-da,,,pa-dha-ni,,, dha- pa,,," he was in no hurry. A profusion of original 'pidippus' and 'sancharas', albeit fraught with stray stridency, spoke of creditable manodharma. With impeccable bowing and

finger work, Aditi offered a very sweet portrait of the raga, covering the manthara sthayi first. There was commendable improvisation, ornate with pleasant modulation and improvisation.

Tyagaraja's 'Dasarathi' came up for serious treatment, with niraval at 1/2- before- start of talam at ‘prakaasa.’ Praveen Kumar (mridangam) accompanied the singer and the

violinist all through with commendable melody and rendered an enjoyable if short thani.

One felt there was excellent kutcheri material in Vikram. He needs to curtail his exuberance and eschew thoughts of stage appearance first, concentrating on ‘sukha bhavam,’ modulation, simplicity and ‘swara suddham.’

If he can do this with dedication, he will be a welcome artist in the next year's series, as his laya-gnana, swara-gnana, patanthara and manodharma are all in place.

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 5:18:19 PM |

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