By Ranjana Narasiman
It is very rare that traditional purists of Carnatic music and researchers of contemporary Carnatic music aesthetics agree on the merits of a concert. Yet the versatile and inimitable Sikkil Gurucharan has well and truly managed to bridge the gaps between these opposing camps, holding all his listeners captive under the spell of his out-of-this-world music, renowned for both cerebral excellence and musical charm. It’s no wonder that India’s national magazine “India Today” featured Gurucharan among “Game Changers Under (the age of) 35 in India”, a list of young achievers from different walks of life.
American pop rock singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin describes Sikkil Gurucharan’s musical experience with pianist Anil Srinivasan as “creating devastatingly beautiful music that appeals to Carnatic purists and lovers of aesthetics in music “.
Coming from a musical pedigree on both paternal and maternal sides, Gurucharan was encouraged by his grandmother and aunt (the Sikkil sister flautists) and trained initially by his mother Mythili Chandrasekharan as the musical family saw great potential in young Gurucharan. In Chennai, he was trained by Vaigai Shri S. Gnanaskandan, disciple of Dandapani Desikar and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.
Academically too, Gurucharan stood out: in his high school, Vidyamandir, Chennai, he won the award for the best outgoing all-round student. He was also a gold medalist at Vivekananda Middle School, at which time he started singing during the music season at the instigation of support teachers. His other academic achievement at Loyola College was a Masters in Financial Management.
He has also shown versatility in his musical career: RJ WORLDSPACE RADIO,
Program curator, Artist interviews, Voice over for the shruti channel, Piano-Carnatic experimenter with pianist Anil Srinivasan.
His hugely popular YouTube episodes “Jannal Oram” are well researched and articulate, exploring many genres, many themes and many landscapes within the framework of music, especially Carnatic music…. themes ranging from patriotism to “resilience”, bringing new audiences to Carnatic music. Its topical and motivational ideas (reflecting the ideas of Bharathiyaar) are very well received by young audiences.
His music thus became contextual and therefore full of emotion (bhava) with which our human minds can resonate. It brings the lyrics to the level of what the creator intended them to express, thus giving equal importance to the lyrics and the music.
The theme of our concert is “Theynisai Thamizh” – “Sweet Honey Music in Thamizh”. We expect this to be a beautiful, well-researched and orderly presentation with V. Sanjeev on violin and Delhi Sairam on mridangam. Please purchase your tickets and take advantage of special donor offers and early bird discounts through Eventbrite or online through our website: classicartshouston.org
Classical Arts is also exploring the possibility of a live episode of “Jannal Oram” (a “musical fireside chat”) in Houston, a day before the concert itself. If there is enough interest, it will happen and announcements will be made on classicalartshouston.org and by email to customers.