By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan
Senior vocalist Sangeetha Kalanidhi T.V. Shankaranarayan performed on Sept.9 at 8th Cross, V.V. Mohalla. He was accompanied on violin by Nagai Sriram, mridanga by Tumkur B. Ravishankar and ghata by Sharat Kaushik.
Shankaranarayan’s music is never stale. It is always lively and full of energy, which is transferred to the audience. At 74, his singing is shruti-aligned and high-spirited. Like his uncle, Madhurai Mani Iyer, he is known for many of his signature compositions a couple of which were presented on this occasion.
‘Mohanakara Muddukuvara Shreekara Karuna’ (Neetimati, Koteeshwara Iyer) and ‘Bhuvaneshwariya Nene Manasave’ in Mohana Kalyani by Muttiah Bhagavatar and ‘Eka Radanam Varana Vadanam’ on Lord Ganesha in Hindola echoed the style of his mentor and Guru.
In his delineation of Mohanakalyani, Shankarabharana and Brindavana Saranga, the senior vocalist charmed the listeners with his energetic and brisk swaras and brief brigas which were executed with excellent clarity.
A unique aspect of Mani Iyer’s singing which was his improvisation of long phrases gliding up the scale was taken up by Shankaranarayan in many of his swara essays at ‘Mangalathmaka Mohana Kaaya’ by Purandaradasaru’s ‘Odi Barayya Vaikuntha Pati Ninna’ and Tyagaraja’s ‘Edutanilichite.’ The RTP was chosen in Brindavana Saranga on Lord Ranganatha and the artiste announced that the raga was chosen as it was a favourite of Himamshu, the person behind the entire event.
The lyrics was ‘Sri Ranga Hari Ranga Pandu Ranga Brindavana Saranga’ set to Khanda Triputa Tala, coloured with Ragamalika swaras in Kedaragowla and Behag.
Ravishankar and Sharat Kaushik offered a grand Taniyavartanam for the RTP.
The post tani part included a Tamil viruttam in Hamsanandi and Sindhubhairavi leading onto Purandaradasaru’s ‘Venkatachala Nilayam’, ‘Eppo Varum Varum’ of Mani Iyer’s fame in Jonpuri and the ever-green nottu ‘G,mm rgp, rgs.’
Nagai Sriram extended excellent support on violin and was able to adapt the senior vocalist’s style instantly.