K.P. Karthik, the winner of ‘The Hindu and Saregama MS Subbulakshmi Award 2018 Voice of the Year’, lived up to the title at his concert for Hamsadhwani. The Kerala-based singer’s pliable voice made his performance a pleasant experience.
Karthik displayed his expertise in both raga expositions and swara passages. He was accompanied by a team of youngsters — Sayee Rakshit (violin) and M.L. Vadiraj (mridangam).
Karthik’s elaborate expositions of Ritigowla and Kalyani were rich in bhava and the nuances were effectively highlighted.
Karthik’s elaboration of Ritigowla in the lower, middle and upper regions displayed his skill in bringing out the beauty of the raga phrases. His choice of kriti was ‘Seetha nayaka’ of Tyagaraja, which is not often heard in concerts. The swara segments were effectively developed and rounded off well.
Raga Kalyani stood out with beautiful phrases that showed his understanding of the raga. Papanasam Sivan’s ‘Vayukumaran Sri Hanuman’ was his choice here. A precise niraval and brisk swaras came at ‘Navil endrum Sriraman,’ a line in the charanam.
A word of caution to Karthik: His voice shows immense potential but he should avoid excessive fast brigas and phrases especially in the upper registers.
He also rendered ‘Mayadeeda swarupini’ of Muthuswami Dikshitar in raga Mayamalavagowla and ‘Rama jogi mandu,’ Bhadrachala Ramdas kriti in Khamas.
Sayee Rakshit’s raga essays and swara sallies on the violin were equally impressive. Vadiraj played with elegance.