Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sivamani with the Silk in Concert

Have you ever cried and then found it difficult to explain, even to yourself, what had overcome you?

Or woken up from a dream with a recollection more vivid than your normal perception with eyes wide open, and then lost it faster than evaporating dew?

I feared something like this might happen if I delayed writing about yesterday's Indo Jazz concert at the Music Academy, Chennai. It was such a visceral experience!

Sivamani took time reaching the stage, but that's because he entered from the rear, beating drum midst the audience: some basic rhythm and standard showmanship. But man, when he touched that huge drum kit on the stage, it was magic!

I have never heard such drumming before, but can give you an idea if you've heard the sound of distant thunder, the piccolo of birds, and the breath of a tiger. If you have heard the silence of a missed sob.

If you have not just heard these sounds, but experienced them, you have done well to prepare yourself to hear the God of percussion that is Sivamani!

I might have said that he dominated the concert. But that would be exaggeration. Because there was also that sublime vocalist, Shankar Mahadevan

And Louis Banks on the keyboards. This legendary jazz musician, however, preferred to play second fiddle last night.

There were Sridhar Parthasarathy, on mridangam and Karl Peters on electric guitar. Karl's playing the strings percussively and Sridhar's masterful handling of the mridangam enhanced the dominant sounds of the evening.

Surely the jazz aficionados would have preferred more keyboard work. But you can't accommodate everything in one evening, can you?

Mahadevan, however, accommodated a request by the audience to sing Kajra Re! 

It ensured that everyone went home happy!!



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