Renowned percussionist Sivamani performed at U4IA – Euphoria recently. Though the audience may not have known what to expect after each beat, the talented musician, who had a stage full of equipment and instruments, certainly did!
In his typical ‘Sivamani uniform’, complete with the bandana, beads around the neck and earrings, he got into the music from the beginning. While some were foot-tapping tunes, others could be viewed as borderline trance, especially when he chanted along with the beats.
A wide assortment of instruments – some expected, some taking the audience by surprise – was used. These included the drums, tabla, ghungroo, xylophone, bells, conch, cycle bell, whistle, mouth organ, djembe and many more. Technology was not amiss either, with vocal and sound samples being programmed into the music as well as a pedal board to loop sounds.
Known to have the magic touch in his music, anything that he played seemed to sound good. Often smiling to himself, he kept his calm throughout as he effortlessly shifted from one instrument to another.
At various points of the concert, he meticulously played two instruments at one time – with one hand on the djembe while the other continued working on the drum kit. The way he kept the timing and rhythm perfectly even when he was singing and playing simultaneously was quite impressive too.
There was never a dull moment and the energy and passion with which he played had the audience wanting more. Attendees were thrilled to experience music of this experimental nature and clapped and cheered along throughout the concert. “I left work early to come here when I heard that Sivamani was playing. The man is a genius at work. It isn’t easy to engage the audience as a solo performer but he seemed to have no problem with that. It was a phenomenal gig to watch!” said Shanta, a member of the audience.
Umapathy, who attended the concert, added, “It was an excellent exposition of his talent. The experience was a truly enthralling one.”
Avinash, also an attendee, said, “He was excellent. The way the different instruments were used one after the other and at the same time made it really fascinating. I’m so glad I made it for this.”