December 20, 2009

R K Srikantan - antique bronze masterpiece

...................................... by Sivapriya Krishnan

I heard the 90 year old R K Srikantan , supported on the Mridangam by Sri Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Sri Chitravina Ravikiran on the Chitravina , Sri Karthick on the ghatam , Sri.Ramakant for vocal support at Bharat Kalachar.


RK Srikantan was a master blaster with a ringing voice that would put a 9 year old to shame. !! Such steadiness, range and pitch is enviable and pretty much a miracle for that age.Vande Nishamaham and the swaras that followed it were fireworks. Terediyaka raada with the shuddha madhyama prayoga was delight. A brilliant Hindolam raga alaapana followed by Saraswathi Vidiyuvati. Then came a brilliant and expansive Chakravakam , to be followed by Etula Brothuvo and wonderful swaras at the end of it.

Ramakant the 60 year old son of R K Srikantan has a voice that ranges miles and can travel mikeless. What a unison between the father and the son? One cannot decipher where one starts and where one stops!

Umayalpuram Sivaraman is the untold Chakravarthy on the mridangam and showed that he has attained this status by no mean efforts !! What a Tani in misra chapu ? What crisp fingering and striking beats?

Ravikiran was truly the “silken strings” accompanying the “bronze metal” Srikantan.
Such melody, harmony and smooth accompaniment, shadowing the main vidwan. He did not show his vidwat , but enhanced the main singers vidwat by quietly shadowing him. I think the violin vidwans should learn from Ravikiran on accompaniment to the main artist.!
Dr. Karthick, proved that he is equally capable like any of the other artists on the stage. Undaunted by the the experts on stage he went about his job meticulously and added a lot of colour to the concert.

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