Umayalapuram K. Sivaraman, is one of the foremost Mridangam players, widely acclaimed as an artiste of excellent merit, not only in India but also all over the globe. He is an outstanding accompanist having played for three generation of great artistes of the past, to the wel known musicians of today. The unique style of Sivaraman's technique is based on fine nuances of rhythm, precision and proportion. The fingering of this veteran is special in that his playing for vocalists add a special dimension to their concerts, particularly when he enriches their singing by bringing the words alive, inducing the right mood and sentiment of the song appropriately. His 'Tani' or solo playing in every concert is the most awaited moment for lovers of music.
With his soaring skills, Sivaraman fuses the exact note of different sentiments through his technique of playing and brings out a fine blend of devotion, rhythm and mood, in this lively album titled Garland of Rhythm, based on the different rhythm cycles of our musical system.
1. The album opens up with Adi Tala (8 beats) (Atana) which is linked to express the sentiment of Veera or Valour; the deity associated with this sentiment or Rasa, is Lord Parameswara (Siva).
2. In playing Rupaka Chapu Tala (Sahana), which is based on three beats, the sentiment of Karuna or compassion is brought out in a pleasant manner. The deity in reference is Sage Bhringi.
3. Raga Durbar reveals a note of bravery or courage and Siva is the presiding deity; this is depicted through the rhythmical outpour set to seven beats, known as Misra Chapu Tala.
4. That our Carnatic system is an exquisite blend of Sruthi (Pitch or sound) and Laya (Rhythm) culminating into the joy of laughter (Hasya) is well brought out in a Bilahari raga rhythmical segment played by the maestro set to the gripping Khanda Chapu (5 beats) tala.