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    New experiments and a fresh take on ragas mark the performances of four singers that you must catch this week

    Despite the late start, the December season is picking up momentum. The sabhas are filling up, the canteens are keeping up and the concerts are getting standing ovations. “There is a slight drop in attedance, but it’s heartening how people are using the Margazhi concerts as a means to find relief,” says Carnatic singer Sandeep Narayan. While next week sees performances by pianist Anil Srinivasan, Hindustani vocalist Pandit Venkatesh Kumar, among other greats, we speak with four performers who are being talked about.

    Sandeep Narayan Brahma Gana Sabha

    This US-born and raised musician, who moved to India to take up music full time, is one of the most sought-after singers today. Though he doesn’t want to reveal too much about his concerts—“I like an element of surprise to be there”—he shares that he will be adding a new raga for his concert on Monday, or elaborating on a ragam. “I don’t want to repeat anything because, with so many concerts happening in such a small area, you have a lot of the same people in the audience.” December 28,
    at 4 pm. Details: 24642767

    Sikkil Gurucharan Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha

    The grandson of Sikkil Kunjumani, one of the acclaimed flautist duo, the Sikkil Sisters, Gurucharan says this December season has reinforced his faith in music’s ability to heal. “Chennai is bouncing back and our people have shown that music and the city are two inseparable entities,” says the singer. Today’s performance will see him take the stage with mridangam player Umayalpuram Sivaraman. “The beauty of our music is that it gives us so many new things to explore and no two concerts are the same. I am planning to sing a pallavi that he taught me earlier this year,” he adds.Today,
    at 6.30 pm. Details: parthasarathysabha.com

    Ranjani-Gayatri The Music Academy

    With three performances to go this year, sisters Ranjani-Gayatri are looking forward to their show today. “It’s one of the most coveted slots,” smiles Gayatri, adding, “With every concert we aim to take rasikas on a journey of discovery—of voice and technical virtuaosity, and of emotions. We always try to balance these three elements. For our Christmas performance, we plan to present some raga, taalam and pallavi that we haven’t performed before.”
    Today, at 4 pm. Details: 28112231

    Surya Praphulla Kumar

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