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Music > Review
Sid Sriram Musical charge
29 December, 2019

Tamil Isai Sangam is celebrating its 77th Isai Vizha in a grand manner. There is a restriction that only Tamil songs can be rendered here. Actually it started as a movement for Tamil Isai way back in 1943 and has continued its existence till date. All eminent singers, M S Subbulakshmi included, have sung here.

Sid Sriram who in a short period has been catapulted into fame gave a performance here. He had made a discrete choice of familiar Tamil songs that sought to satisfy his rasikas who had gathered in large numbers at the venue. His choice was Devi Neeye Thunai (தேவி நீயே துணை) in Kiravani of Papanasam Sivan, Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s Sabapathikku (சபாபதிக்கு வேறு தெய்வம்) in Abhogi and Thanthai Thai Irundhal (தந்தை தாய் இருந்தால்) in Shanmukhapriya among others. To crown these came two raga alapanas in Mohanam and Thodi, the songs being Kapali (Mohanam) and Kundram Kudi Konda Velava (Thodi - குன்றம் குடி கொண்ட வேலவா). Of these Thodi has been classified as one of the heavy ragas in the pantheon of ragas, while Mohanam belongs to the more flexible category. For both of these during the alapanas his approach was marked by certain evenness as he progressed till the top shadjamam. Then he seemed to take a different avathara. The loudness he produced after this was certainly beyond the decibel level that a human ear could tolerate. These days when the mic is at your disposal and has reached a stage when the slightest sound gets amplified, there is no need to raise your voice while traversing the top octaves. Contrarily there should be only an attempt to modulate or beautify your voice. That has been the approach of many a musician. On a casual browsing we get to understand that Sid Sriram is a multi-faceted “musician” who is adept not only in our music but music of other genres, like Western too. How the fact of sensitive mic-systems and their deployment in today’s music concerts did not get the attention of Sid Sriram is something that remained inexplicable!

Take for instance the two songs Vazhi Maraithirukkudhu (வழி மறைத்திருக்குது) in Nattakurinji of Gopalakrishna Bharathi or the famous Enna Kavi Padinalum (என்ன கவி பாடினாலும்), a  song that has become Madurai Somu’s own. For both these songs he was able to impart a keen musical sense to their rendering as if to indicate that there is so much of music residing in the innermost recesses of his mind. For the Nattakurinji he just sang the briefest of alapanas and launched the song immediately. A singer who was able to reach such high dimensions in musicality for these two songs, how did he flout his own musical sense for the other songs remained inscrutable. Imagine yourself at the seashore with an intention of freeing your mind. When the waves gently dribble your feet, there is an absolute sensation of silent joy. What would happen if the same waves charge you with an untold ferocity? Wouldn’t you be angered at this “act” of the mighty sea?

His other songs were Eppo Varuvoro (எப்பவருவாரோ) in Jonpuri of Gopalakrishna Bharathi, Ullathil Nalla Ullam (உள்ளத்தில் நல்ல உள்ளம்) from the film Karnan in Ahirbhairav and towards the end, a Thiruppugazh , Viral Maranaindhu (விறல்மாரனைந்து) of Arunagirinathar.

On the violin H N Bhaskar showed his deep understanding during the raga alapanas and his quick-wittedness came into play as he assimilated the swara patterns and presented them with his own creative elements. Neyveli Venkatesh on the mridangam and Sunderkumar on the Khanjira presented intricate laya patterns that were in plenty presenting with them with great gusto.


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