Saketharaman delivered a splendid concert with all compositions only on Lord Siva, for the MahaSivarathri music festival at Odukathur Mutt, in the company of L Ramakrishnan on Violin, Patri Satish Kumar on Mridangam and Giridhar Udupa on Ghatam.
- KarpagaManohara – Malayamarutham
- ArunachalaNatham – Saranga
- Brihadeeswara Mahadeva – Kaanada
- Siva Siva Siva yaniro – Charukesi
- Thookiya Thiruvadi – Sankarabharanam
- Eesha Pahimam – Kalyani
- Ragam Tanam Pallavi – Tilang
- Chandrachooda Siva Sankara – Darbari Kaanada
- Chidambaram Pogamal – Senjuriti
- Thillana – Pahadi
- Mangalam – Sourashtram
The concert started with a brief sketch of Malayamarutham followed by Papanasan Sivan’s composition KarpagaManohara. The stage was set for the music to flow freely with some effortless singing of Kalpana Swaras that ended with a brilliant Muktayi!
A very small aalapana in Saranga that seamlessly transitioned into a Slokam Darsanath Abra sadasi.. jananath Kamalalaye.. Kasyanthu maranath mukthi.. Smaranath Arunachale. Saketh explained the meaning of Slokam for the benefit of audience and the Diskhitar’s masterpiece ArunachalaNatham flew. The depth of the composition is brought out through Saketh’s nonchalant rendition, with his co-artistes adding the beauty to his presentation.
Kaanada is one of my favorite ragas and it has been quite some time that I haven’t heard it in any of the concerts that I attended. A soulful rendition of his ragam was complemented well by an exquisite Violin return by Ramakrishnan. Brihadeeswara Mahadeva, a composition of Dr. Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna engulfed the packed auditorium that left everyone in awe! I could literally see Balamurali garu himself in a few phrases that Saketh sung in the composition as well as the Kalpana Swaras that followed. Priceless moments of the evening indeed!!! The magical composition, apparently was composed by the MahaVaggeyakara, in just 2 minutes while at Thanjavur Temple**. A quick Siva Siva Siva yaniro, a composition of KanakaDasa in Kannada, was set to tune in Charukesi, by Saketh himself.
A very fresh approach to Sankarabharanam was the one to be savoured. Saketh’s outstanding aalapana with a GrahaBhedam to Revathi drew great applause and Ramakrishnan’s reply was good too. The composition Thookiya Thiruvadi was presented beautifully and the enticing Niraval at Ethanaiyyo… was soul stirring. Multiple ways of singing Ethanaiyyo demonstrated Saketh’s control over not just music and sahityam but also the feelings encapsulated in the sahityam by the great composers. Brilliant swara patterns ended in a Saketh’isque (if I may say) Muktayi to a thunderous applause. Patri Satish Kumar and Giridhar Udupa played amazing Tani Avarthanam. Though a tad too long (almost 30 minutes), it made sure audience were glued to their seats and enjoyed the remaining part of the concert. The organizer’s vote of thanks mentioned the fact that Saketh sang the Krithi which was popular in 40s and 50s through the legendary musicians DK Pattammal and Madurai Mani Iyer**.
(Jagad)Eesha Pahimam, a Lalgudi Pancharathna Krithi of Saint Thyagaraja in Kalyani, was the next composition that continued the Sivamayam mood of the concert.
A soulful aalapana in Tilang by Saketh, demonstrating various phrases of this rare ragam was followed by Ramakrishnan’s brisk Tanam. Saketh summed up the Tanam in his style with audience eagerly awaiting his Pallavi. He chose the Pallavi themed five! Panchanana Jaya Panchakshara Maya Pancha Sarvesa.. Pancha Papahara Pancha Linga Siva Prapancha Maya.. was set to Misra Jhampa Talam (10 beats) in Khanda Gathi (5). It is a charanam from one of Baluswamy Dikshitar’s compositions** that Saketh set to tune in Tilang, a pentatonic scale (5 notes) ragam. The Ragamalika Swaras included possibly all pentatonic scales on the earth, in quick succession enhancing beauty of the whole RTP and the concert! His spontaneity is simply out of the world!!
A soothing Chandrachooda in DarbariKaanada was followed by Gopalakrishna Bharatiyar’s composition Chidambaram Pogamal.. The concert ended with a Thillana of his Guru Lalgudi Jayaraman, in Ragam Pahadi, yet another composition on Lord Siva.
An all Siva composition concert ended with a traditional Mangalam in Sourashtram.
An interesting thing about this concert is that each of the songs was on a different kshetra of Lord Siva.. KarpagaManohara on Mylapore Kapaleeswar, ArunachalaNatham on Tiruvannamalai, Brihadeeswara on Thanjavur, Thookiya Thiruvadi on Chidambaram, Eesha Pahimam on Lalgudi and Chandrachooda on Kumbhapura.**
Note – ** Thanks to the erudite Saketharaman for educating insights!!