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Sikkil Gurucharan first to present a Carnatic vocal concert in Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia, November 4: Slovenia is a small country in the heart of Europe.

It was introduced to Carnatic music last year (2010) with a three-day event on South Indian classical music. The event featured Indian virtuoso Chitravina N.Ravikiran. The event was organized by Gopuram, an institute for Vedic culture. Gopuram (www.gopuram.org) is a non-profit private organization. It was established to promote cultural and educational activities in the field of Vedic culture.

This year, the organizers had chosen to organize a Carnatic vocal concert.

Slovenia, with a population of just around two million, and the capital Ljubljana with 300,000 inhabitants warmly received Sikkil Gurucharan, an upcoming shining star on the Carnatic music horizon. He presented a Carnatic vocal concert for the first time in Slovenia. The concert was held on October 22, 2011 in the City museum of Ljubljana. He was accompanied by mridangam player Chidambaram Narayanan, currently based in Switzerland.

The evening started with the introductory speech of the co-founder of Gopuram, Vojko Kercan. He greeted the present members of the Indian Embassy, guests and musicians. After few kind and supportive thoughts shared by the Indian Ambassador, Shri Jayakar Jerome, the musicians took the stage.

Gurucharan gave lucid explanations on basics of Carnatic music before each piece so that the audience could appreciate more the beauty and intricacies of this old music system.

He started off with the varnam in Todi and continued with Thyagaraja's piece in Bangala, Girirajasuta. The vocalist very aptly chose his next piece Kana vendamo in Sriranjani by Papanasam Sivan, which talks about gopuram, the architectural entrance to the temple. In this way, Gurucharan expressed his gratitude to the organizer Gopuram for inviting him to Slovenia to present a Carnatic vocal concert for the first time. He then moved to the main piece in Kiravani. He beautifully elaborated the raga and continued with Thyagaraja's Kaligiyunte. Leaving the audience in awe with his creativity and voice abilities, it was Chidambaram's turn for his excellent solo on mridangam. The vocalist, after explaining the connection between Dikshitar and western music, continued with composer’s western arrangement in Shankarabharanam (Nottu-svara), Kamalasana. Nearing towards the end of the concert, Gurucharan sang a bhajan in Hindustani raga Yaman that he performed in 2010 in the presence of Bhagawan Shri Sathya Sai Baba on the occasion of His 85th birthday. The last item of the concert was a peppy Thillana in Basant, which left everyone in high spirits.

The audience was spellbound by this music and showered praise on musicians as well as the organizers. It was heart-warming to see the local public appreciate a Carnatic music concert, despite the cultural, linguistic and musical difference. Good music touches hearts and knows no boundaries. The pleasant evening ended with a small reception that gave way to tasting good Indian food and chai.


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