Sikkil Gurucharan Churns it Out
This time it was a young artist of repute, Sikkil Gurucharan accompanied by BU Ganesh Prasad – violin Neyveli Skanda Subramanian – mrudangam. Sikkil Gurucharan’s greatest assets are his melodious and attractive voice and a boy next door attitude to his performances which lent a charm to the evening’s concert. He gave a concert of about three hours in keeping with Pallavi tradition in Sydney. I have been told that three hour concerts are quite rare even in Madras season.
Well with an audience that lapped every phrase he was emitting out Sikkil Gurucharan kept their attention for the entire three hours effortlessly or so it seemed. Not a person for greatly holding on to lists I acknowledge the help of Mohan Ayyar who has provided the following list of songs that Silkkil rendered on the night.
Of particular interest was his main ragam, a favourite of mine, Karaharapriya. There is something about this ragam that borders on the heavy however capable of being given a treatment with unique touches. It seems that karaharapriya sung by different artists would lend a different flavour. Sikkil sang “rAmA nIyaDA composed by Thyagaraja in Adi talam [2 kaLai[ giving it the full treatment with an AlApana, swaram at “dhana sowkhya” however without any neraval reminds Mohan Ayyar, followed by tani Avardhanam. There was a half hearted attempt at a greha bedham in the alapana to ragam senjuruti which woke me up. As I waited in anticipation for the violinist to prove I was right, I noted that the violinist quietly continued playing Karaharapriya.
The Ragam Thanam Pallavi that followed in a Hindustani Raga called Shudha Sarang was appealing. The line set to Kanda Jati Triputa thalam in the words “sAmagAna mridanga nAda priyE – vINA vENu sangIta” with melodious explorations in a ragamalika comprising sAvEri, surya, vasantha, kuntaLavarALi and a short swaram in Shuddha sArang, sAvEri and kuntalavarAli.
On another note as Sikkil wound the concert singing “Eru Mayil Eri” a thiruppugazh in raag Bageshri there were some tears flowing in the audience. After the concert I approached Sikkil to congratulate him on a great evening’s concert and asked him how he maintains the hectic schedule. Sydney performance was the last of the lot in Australia. Sikkil simply said “ I try not to think too much about it. I usually take a couple of weeks off before starting tours again but this time I came after recently finishing my tour in London. As I stood beside him I could not help thinking how young he looked”.
The other songs he sang were as follows:
1. ErA nApai – thODi (varnam) – Adi – Patnam Subramania Ayyar
2. gaNapatE mahAmatE – kalyani – Rupakam – Ambi Dikshitar; neraval and swaram at sOmasUryAdi
3. nEnendu vedukudurA – karnataka behag – Adi – Thyagaraja (swaram)
4. bAlakrishNan pAdamalar – dhanyAsi – Rupakam – Papanasam Sivan (AlApana, neraval and swaram at gOkulam brindAvanam)
5. chinna nADenA – kalAnidhi – Thyagaraja – Adi
6. srI mAthrubUtham – Dikshitar – kannaDa – Misra Chapu; swaram at suhAsita nava
7. rAmA nIyaDA – kharaharapriya – Thyagaraja – Adi – 2 kaLai – AlApana, swaram at dhana sowkhya (no neraval), followed by tani Avardhanam (greha bedham in the alapana to senjuruti)
8. rAja rAja rAdhitE – nirOshtA – Adi (Tisra) – Harikesanallur Muthaiya BhAgavathar
9. RTP – Shuddha sArang – kaNDa jAti triputa –
“sAmagAna mridanga nAda priyE – vINA vENu sangIta”
neraval in sAvEri, surya, vasantha, kuntaLavarALi + short swaram in Shuddha sArang, sAvEri and kuntalavarAli
10. taruNi jnAn – dwijAvanthi – swAti TirunAL (manipravalam)
11. virutham followed by nANamA unakku nANamA, mAnd (song on Lord Muruga)
12. Ashai mugam maRandu pOchE – jOnpuri – Adi – Subramania Bharati
13. chelinEnEtlu (javali) – paras – Adi
14. hari tumaharO – Bhajan – darbari kAnaDA – Adi – Meera
15. thom tanana dhirana (tillana) – hamsAnandi – Adi (kannada)
16. Erumayil – bAgesrI – khanda chapu – thiruppugazh
17. mangalam kOsalEndraya followed by Sri rAma jaya mangalam – Surutti – Adi – Papanasam sivan