By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan
On the 10th day of the music series at 8th Cross Ganeshotsava, Sikkil Gurucharan presented a vocal concert with Mysore Karthik on violin, mridanga legend Umayalapuram Sivaraman on mridanga and Kartik on ghata.
The concert had everything that one can look forward to in a vocal concert — good voice, good manodharma, shruti co-ordination of the vocalist and all the other artistes on stage, crystal clear sahitya pronunciation, bhava, good Sangatis, emotive content, sitting posture, good looks, dignified stage presence and stage manners, variety in raga and tala, balance in kalpanaswaras with no over-doings, maintenance of the vocalist’s integrity of pathantara and a good rapport between the artistes on stage with mutual encouragement.
Gurucharan commenced his concert with ‘Samininne kori’ varna in Sri raga set to Adi tala by Karur Devudu Iyer. This and the next number furnished a rich and fertile tonal space for elaboration. Kannadagowla unfurled through highly nuanced improvisations in alapane leading onto the expected ‘Sogasujooda tarama’ by Sri Tyagaraja. Delineation of ‘Dattatreya Trimurthyroopa’ in Ranjani by Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji set to Mishra Chapu tala was marked for its lyrical fervour. ‘Sanatana Paramapavana’ in phalamanjari by Sri Tyagaraja was a rare treat. Gurucharan concentrated on each and every syllable in sahitya and improvised the compositions in varieties of good sangatis.
Gurucharan’s raga delineation of Shankarabharana was satisfying and unforgettable. His mellifluous voice traversed through the octaves to recreate the grandeur of the raga.
The Neraval and swaras for the charana part, ‘Saama gaana vinodini’ for Sri Shyamashastri’s ‘Saroja dala netri Himagiriputri’ was a testimony to the creative versatility of the artiste. Scintillating Taniyavartanam by the mridanga maestro with Kartik on the ghata created a hypnotic effect bringing the audience to a standing ovation.
The choice of the devaranamas in the concert was unique too. ‘Dharmashravanavidetake moorkhage’ by Purandaradasaru in Durga (Shuddha Saveri) and a second rare devaranama ‘Mosa hodenallo’ in Shubhapantuvarali also by Purandaradasaru brimmed with emotional poignancy.
Mysore Karthik surprised the listeners with his effective bowing. He looked at his father Nagaraj again and again for his approval, whose face brimmed with pride and joy.