It is an untold truth that the artiste's deep involvement reflects the emanating standards of music. Srikanth Chary's stirrings of sublime musical awareness was a narrative countenance. In a recital spanning little over three hours, Srikanth exuded his expertise of presentation apart, the listeners could not overlook the felicity of flow at every turn, reflecting the eternal grace and grandeur of Carnatic music. The concert epitomised Lalgudi's principle of the musician's faith in the traditional enrichment of Carnatic music. The very pith and substance of paramparya music was evident in all his sancharas, the sookshama of "nada" embedded in his fingers as he handled the veena with consummate artistry expanding the language to a halo of spiritual sacredness. His varnam in Andolika was filled with lyrical beauty. This was followed by Dikshitar's Sri Mahaganapathe in Gowlai.
Thereafter Srikanth raised the musical consciousness for an invitation to appreciation on the part of the listeners at a higher level. The raga lines of Nashika Bhushani displayed well cultivated refinement and the kirtana rendered (Maravairi Ramani-Thyagaraja) had a touch of freshness and finesse carrying the imagery of his guru Lalgudi Jayaraman.
The contours of Kalyana Vasantham (Nada Loludai-Thyagaraja) was technically faultless. There seems to be a strange magnetism associated with this tune. Though Srikanth deferred from elaborating the raga, the kirtana by itself was able to develop pensiveness and invocation to higher levels of consciousness. Perhaps it is the sacredness and spiritual core of the composition that sets the mood for expansion.
The weighty raga Srikanth played was Charukesi. Here again Srikanth epitomised the radiance of the raga with punctuating phrases and layers of lyrical silences, the silences outlining his depth in glorious shades. Not only were his communication of Charukesi sensitive, but there was also a stamp of reverence to his guru Lalgudi Jayaraman in his tonal development of the sancharas . The kirtana Srikanth selected was Tamasam Enduku (Ashok Madhav - Pittsburgh). Though the composition was new to the Sydney audience, the language of musical instincts made the rendition enjoyable. The swara portions were rhythmic and were rendered with great persuasiveness.
Srikanth followed the pensive Charukesi with the brisk and vibrant Kunthalavarali (Bhogindrasayinam-Swati Tirunal) before settling down to an elaborate Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi in Kalyani which was patterned with soft and sombre movements. "Ananda Natana Prakasha, Sabesha, Natesha" weaved dainty delights on the listener, with beautiful swara aksharas following in Ananda Bhairavi, Kedaram, Surya, Madhuvanthi and Desh.
The later part of the concert was filled with some popular tunes in Ragamalika (China Chiru Kiliye-Bharatiyar), Khamas (Edatupatham-Papanasam Sivan), Revathi (Nanati Baduku-Annamacharya) and the ever flowing Hamsanadham (Bantureethikolu-Thygaraja) being the listeners choice. Srikanth chose to end the concert with another "gurubhyonamaha" in Dwijavanthi. The tillana apart from being perfect in aksharas, also slowly reminded the audience that the end has come to a truly wonderful evening. Laghuthaas's percussion was vibrant and at times exuberant.
An evening of chaste Carnatic music. Will linger in the mind for times to come. - Hari Subramanian, Sydney, Australia