FRIDAY REVIEW

Evolving his own individual style

V. JAYARAMAN

STRIKING THE RIGHT NOTE: Kavalam Srikumar.

STRIKING THE RIGHT NOTE: Kavalam Srikumar.  

Carnatic music concerts become wearisome when a vocalist pays more attention to the aspect of lakshana (prescribed) than to those connected with lakshya. A fascinating aspect about Kavalam Srikumar is that he manages to sail ahead eschewing the trodden path to move daringly on his path, causing the conservative rasikas to take his version with a certain reserve.

One can hardly expect popular ragas or familiar compositions during a Kavalam vocal recital. Yet, his conviction that he can hold an audience in rapt attention with his chosen path has been paying rich dividends. His recent vocal concert under the auspices of Sree Poornathrayeesa Sangeetha Sabha at Thripunithura impressed the audience. By constant practice he has been able to enrich his voice and evolve a style of his own in the rendering of swaras.

Srikumar is well aware of the significance of the varnam which gives an opportunity to the vocalist to do away with any impediments in the voice, besides helping to usher in the appropriate mood. He began with a varnam (`Vande Nanda') in raga Parppathi, also known as Samudrapriya, composed by his mentor B. Sashikumar. An enticing ragamalika comprising Gurupriya, Gambhiranatta and Saraswathi through Pranathosmi by the same composer followed.

Who knows the greatness of Siva and his cosmic dance, asks Gopalakrishna Bharathi in `Aarukkuthaan Theriyum,' in raga Devamanohari, popularised by the late S. Ramanthan. Kavalam embellished with a dainty cluster of swaras.

Poorvikalyani had a sturdy framework and the concert picked up with `Aananda nata' by Neelakanta Sivan, in Roopakam, which was ornamented with jathi patterns. The mellifluence of Dvijavanthy was exploited to the hilt by the vocalist and supplemented by a high-quality lyric (`Saantham Sachinmaya'), again by Sashikumar.

`Paripaahi Paahi' by Kutty Kunhu Thankachi in Rasikapriya was warmly applauded by the audience. Madhyamavathi played the pivotal role in the concert, with `Pannagasayana Padmanabha' by Deekshithar in Aadi.

Edappally Ajith handled the violin with zest and imagination, supporting the vocalist at every point.

Naanchil Arun brought forth the lustrous nature of Shucheendram `bhaani' on the mridangam, while Mangadu Pramod skilfully handled the ghatom.

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