Confident and full-throated

SIKKIL GURUCHARAN has a sweet and malleable voice which he uses skilfully to turn out pleasing phrases and idioms adopting the thick and thin technique. He is slowly giving up his old habit of muffling the voice in the higher regions and sings full throated with commendable confidence.

The alapanas are well planned and the descent or ascent is smooth. The ragas get a glint. He was at his best when rendering the chic Natabhairavi and continued the same quality in Papanasam Sivan's popular kriti, "Sree Valli Devasenapathe".

The swaras sung at different speeds received full nod from the audience whose heart he had captured from the very start of Karur Devudu Iyer's Sriraga varnam, "Sami Ninnekori" at an even pace followed by the not-frequently heard Kalyani kriti, "Ganapathe" with dazzling swaras.

After a moving alapana in Sahana, the artiste's rendition of Patnam Subramania Iyer's "Rama Ikanannu" was more than appropriate carrying the spiritual fervour of the composer. The swaras gave added charm. Swati Tirunal's "Saramaina" (Behag) was reposeful, as usual. Nagai Sriram's violin support was more subtle than forceful. Tanjore Ramdas's tani avartanam was brief and effective. The concert was held at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan mini hall for Kartik Fine Arts.

Stylistic swaras, commendable manodharma, forceful renditions gave verve to Srividya Ramnath's concert for Nalinakanti. She was supported by Venkatasubramaniam (violin), Ramnath Ramdas (mridangam) and Narasimhan (ghatam). She has a free-flowing robust voice which helps in not restoring to muffling when on the higher octaves as is common enough among several of the present day musicians. The ragamalika varnam, "Valachi" by Kottavasal Venkatarama Iyer was a rousing starter.

There was a lot of viruviruppu as she rendered Dikshitar's "Srimahaganapathi" (gowla). The detailed alapana in Shanmukhapriya for Papanasam Sivan's "Parvati Nayakane", neraval and swaras evoked cheers. "Rama Mantravajapiso" (Purandaradasa), "Muruganin Maruper" (Behag - Surajanandar) and Guruji Viswanathan's "Kalavilasa" (Pantuvarali) deserve special mention.

Though his phrases and idioms lacked weight and depth, V. K. Manimaran maintained a rapport with the audience through his musical sense and sruti alignment at his Nada Inbam concert (Raga Sudha). In thin-voiced renditions, the decibel would become so low especially in mandra stayi, that but for the sensitive mike it would be hardly audible. Manimaran, however, has commendable manodharma, thanks to his tutelage under well-known masters. The Kalyani alapana, rendered unhurriedly and in a detailed manner too for Tyagaraja's "Etuvunara" with pleasing swaras, stood out. Mullaivasal Chandramouli's violin support gave more glitter to the exercise. The alapana in Malayamarutam for Papanasam Sivan's "Karpaga Manohara" as also the rendering of the kriti, evoked well-warranted cheers. Tyagaraja's "Niravadi" (Ravichandrika), "Ramabhirama" (Dhanyasi), "Bagaayanayya" (Chandrajyoti) and "Uyyala Luguvayya" (Nilambari), "Kadaikan" (Begada - Ramaswami Sivan), "Kandanaal Mudalai" (Madhuvanti - N. S. Chidambaram) were other kritis of mention in a well-drawn up programme. Trichur Narendran's mridangam beats were quite effective and telling.