A piano and a voice. Together they weave a world of gushing passion, religious love, ethereal feminine beauty, intense devotion, a plea for deliverance, with a climatic understanding of the soul’s permanence and the body’s ephemerality. Anil Srinivasan and Sikkil Gurucharan collaborate yet again to produce complexity in the barebones combination of a grand piano and carnatic vocals. Maaya is the colour of the rain. Maaya is illusion. Maaya is a prism through which the colours of light get shaped in such a way that the old growth appears greener, and old colours find themselves formed into a rainbow, as the album cover states. The music becomes metaphor for the illusion of romance, or rain. The rain is gentle. It is the wellspring of all things new, refreshing and resurgent. The rain is fury. It prances with abandon, uprooting the old and challenging every form that comes its way. It is Shakthi, virile and potent, changing the course of several destinies as it unleashes its might.
The songs are sheer poetry. From Ponnin Oli of Kamba Ramayanam, where the grass underneath young Sita’s feet speak of her radiance and beauty, to a tryst between a young maiden and her divine lover, set in a garden inhabited by nightingales, in Punguyil by Kalki Krishnamurthy, the bewitching words carry us to various emotional spaces, while the music remains free from over-dramatization of sounds. Here’s a transliteration (much of the complexity is lost in translation. from here) of Subramaniya Bharathi’s Suttum Vizhi Chudar sung to his permanent muse, Kannama.
Thy glowing eyes – Kannamma
Are they the sun and the moon?
Thy black eyeballs – Kannamma
Is that the dark hue of the sky?
thy dark blue silk sari
Are shining stars – seen
in the middle of the night.
Garden flower’s brightness – Is that
thy alluring smile?
Waves of the blue ocean – Are
thy bosom’s thoughts.
Enchanting melody of the cuckoo- Is
thy sweet voice.
Innocent girl are you – Kannamma
I am in love with thee.
You talk of tradition – Kannamma
Who needs that?
For those in a hurry – Kannamma
Is tradition a hurdle?
If elders accept – our wedding
Shall happen later.
Can I wait till then – here
Let me kiss you on the cheek.
Maaya is the colour of the rain. Every song is clear and serene. Maaya is the colour of the rain. It reflects who we are. Maaya is an illusion. It is what we want it to be.
|Pungiyil* from the album Maaya by Anil Srinivasan and Sikkil Gurucharan
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More Anil Srinivasan on his website. Annapoorne and Annamacharya Keerthana Kseerabdhi Kanyakaku Neerajanam with Subiksha Rangarajan are recommended.
~posted by nithya [* best enjoyed with filter coffee]