Balasubramaniam's forceful rendition at times threw the principal singer into oblivion.
Unlike the South Indian Cultural Association's (SICA) regular music concerts, this time around Udayalur Kalyana Raman launched us into a bhajan-cum- nama sankeertana evening which warmed up the literally rain drenched audience at the Bhavan's auditorium. The opening notes sounded like those of a Harikatha but then the trio singers soon went into a series of guru vandanam starting with Hari Narayana... Some numbers like Sri Dakshina murthim varadey... . Shambho Sankara Sambha Sadasiva, Guru murthi paadamulay... and a Meera bhajan (More laagi lagan guru charan..) were arresting owing to the inherent lyrical quality and the rippling effect of the verse which was so evident in Shambho Sankara. Kalyana Raman's rendition of the Meera bhajan, despite the south Indian intonation, was unique especially, as he manoeuvred a momentum towards the end of the song which spirals up and unwinds uniformly to a close. Violinist S Sivakumar was melodic to the core in recreating the alapana or the verse as the song proceeded. His bowing was close to giving a vocal touch to the strings of the violin. Babu Rajasekhar's mridangam was either too loud (in the beginning ) or just didn't tune in to the singers' voices. The recitation on Kanchi seer, Paramacharya Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi and later the song - Sadguru charanaaravindam... . was profound.
Co-singer S Balasubramaniam was a presence to reckon with. His spirited rendition at times threw the principal singer into oblivion. Pitchumani Bhagavatar, the second co-singer had a melodious but subdued voice. Kalyana Raman's Ashtapadi... Pirye chaarusheelay... did not take off despite the singer following a pattern all through the bhajan concert. Stage rendition of bhajans have to have two important ingredients to sway the audience-either a spiritual presence or a charismatic singer and a super mellifluous voice neither of which were in abundance in the main singer. This The concert was held under the joint aegis of the SICA and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
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