SRIRAM PARASURAM – A devotee at the altar of music

There was a spring in his step, and, though dressed in a kurta and veshti, he verily sprinted towards us. This was musician Sriram Parasuram, and waiting for him near their car was his wife and fellow musician Anuradha. They were late for an appointment and Sriram was looking smugly virtuous, having proved his eagerness to make amends. To me, his athleticism was impressive, and proof that it hadn’t been an empty boast when he had told me just a while earlier that he played in cricket matches among management institutes. I always knew that this versatile musician-scholar had a keen interest in sport, but it had been a revelation to me that he actually participated in it.

Sriram Parasuram who turns 53 later this month, is an accomplished artist in at least two distinct genres of music, composer, teacher and expert communicator. He is in fact all that and more. The word polymath suits few people better. I have been an admirer of his music for well over two decades during which period I have listened to his Carnatic violin, Carnatic vocal, Hindustani violin and vocal, north-south jugalbandi with artists of both streams of Indian classical music and folk musicians, with his wife Anuradha Sriram and even himself(!), his rendering of abhangs and bhajans, his lecture demonstrations on all these varied forms of music, his workshops for students of music, his TV programmes on the universality of music, and his analysis and expositions of the art of great musicians and composers. Incredibly, he manages to leave you thirsting for more, at the end of his demonstrations.

Like such famous south Indians as A. Kanan and N. Rajam (Hindustani classical), Hariharan and Shankar Mahadevan (Hindi film and popular music), and a few others, Sriram Parasuram has mastered an idiom outside his own natural legacy. Learning Hindustani vocal music from the late C.R. Vyas, he has reached the level of accomplishment of a ‘native’ practitioner. Sriram is of concert level proficiency in both Indian systems… more