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‘Bhava is very important in music. My ultimate goal is spiritual’

Saketharaman is among the top three of the younger generation of Carnatic musicians, and a prime-time performer during the Margazhi festival. An A-lister, the leading Sabhas in Chennai want to include him in their December schedule. Known for his virtuosity and classicism, he is also an innovator who finds immense possibilities within the grammar and framework of Carnatic music.

As a performer, Saketharaman shows the future of Carnatic music. Even while steeped deep in the traditions of classical music, including elements such as bhakti and devotion, his music is promisingly forward-looking. He is fearless with his manodharma and experimentation, and he is very expressive, energetic and robust on the concert stage.

His dexterity in delivering rare ragas, long and complex compositions – particularly those with a lot of variations – and his proclivity to explore lesser known areas of music without tinkering with the basic structure make him unique on stage. His purity of notes, diction, clarity of musical expressions – including complex phrases – precision of delivery and delectable laya make him a delight to watch.

Besides being a star performer, who has won several accolades such as the Yuva Puraskar from the Sangita Natak Academy and best vocalist award from the Madras Music Academy for three consecutive years, Saketharaman is also a prolific composer. He has composed about 100 Pallavis, most of which he uses in his rendition of Ragam Thanam Pallavis. He has set to tune many other texts such as Meera bhajans and compositions of Annamacharya, Sankaracharya, Puranadaradasa, Subramania Bharathi among others.

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