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Sikkil Gurucharan’s Concert at Music Academy’s December Music Festival, 2023
Sikkil Gurucharan, a highly involved musician, showcased his good self-awareness regarding the reception of his music during his concert at the Music Academy’s December Music Festival in 2023. The performance initially had limited momentum for over an hour, but Gurucharan re-engineered it significantly towards the end, delivering a well-rendered main piece in Kalyani and the RTP.
Assessing Form and Situational Parameters
In Carnatic concerts, there exists the concept of “power play,” which holds its own contextual relevance. It is during the early period of a concert that a performer must quickly assess their form and various other situational parameters that can impact the concert outcome. Gurucharan’s power play was subdued, with initial renditions of the Mayamalava Gowlai varnam ‘Sarasija nabha’ by Swati Tirunal and ‘Sanatana Paramapavana’ by Tyagaraja in Phalamanjari creating a flat impact, possibly due to the song choices.
Reshaping the Performance
The concert still felt taxing as Gurucharan proceeded with ‘Dayajuda manchi’ (Syama Sastry, Misra Chapu) and ‘Sri Varalakshmi’ (Sri, Dikshitar). However, the mood changed as he reached the Kalyani alapana, where he displayed an imaginative and multi-layered rendition of the raga, accompanied by violinist V Sanjeev. Gurucharan managed his time quotient well, keeping ample space for later elaborations.
The Main Piece and Collaborative Excellence
The rendition of the Kriti, ‘Karu velpu nilku’ of Tyagaraja in 2 kalai Adi, and the subsequent niraval and swaras showcased Gurucharan’s musical prowess. The presence of Umayalpuram Sivaraman and Ghatam Karthick further elevated the performance, with Sivaraman’s tani being a brief avalanche of several nadais and kalams. The grandeur of the music continued with the pallavi in Khanda Jampai, Khanda nadai ‘Namakkini bhayamedu,’ demonstrating excellence in laya pulse and exciting swara segments.
A Vision for the Future
Sikkil Gurucharan, despite the initial subdued power play, demonstrated his musical acumen and flexibility in reshaping the performance into a memorable experience for the audience. With his smart and strategic approach, Gurucharan will undoubtedly continue to evolve and adapt, knowing the changes he needs in his gameplan for future performances.
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