Ranjani-Gayatri

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Ra Ga
Ranjani & Gayatri
Ranjani-Gayatri
Ranjani and Gayatri.JPG
Background information
Origin Mumbai, India
Genres Carnatic Music
Occupation(s) Classical Vocalist
Instruments Vocals, violin
Ranjani Gayatri Ra Ga
Ranjani Gayatri Live in Concert in 2011

Ranjani and Gayatri, sisters are world renowned Carnatic vocalists and violinists.

Ranjani and Gayatri, sisters, are world-renowned musicians whose musical contributions include studio recordings, television, radio, concerts, festivals and lecture demonstrations. They have appeared as soloists, violin duos, accompanists, vocal duos, composers, educators and ambassadors of Indian Classical Music. As top class Carnatic classical musicians, Ranjani and Gayatri are conservators of their genre's unique beauty and preserve ancient tradition as they continue to innovate within it.

In a domain often characterized as elitist, esoteric, and not easily accessible to the masses, this brilliant sister duo of Ranjani and Gayatri has found a way over the years to satisfy and stimulate the cognoscenti and at the same time delight and thrill the lay audience. To achieve the magnetic status of a rock star and be viable as serious and profound practitioners of the art form is not easy in the field of Carnatic music; but these sisters have done just that with great distinction and felicity. Ranjani and Gayatri’s concerts take the listener into a world of color, beauty and transcendental bliss. Their music leaves a powerful impact on music aficionados and fans, inspiring many musicians to follow their style.

Early life[edit]

Ranjani and Gayatri were born to N. Balasubramanian[1] and Meenakshi (a Carnatic vocalist as well). Born into a family deeply involved in classical music, Ranjani and Gayatri's musical talents were discovered at a very early age. Even as toddlers, they showed an uncanny capacity to grasp the subtle nuances of Carnatic music - Gayatri could identify over a hundred ragas when she was barely two and a half and Ranjani could delineate complex rhythm patterns at age five.

They started their violin training at the early age of nine and six respectively from Sangita Bhushanam Prof. T.S. Krishnaswami at the Shanmukhananda Sangeeta Vidyalaya, Mumbai.

As violin duet artists[edit]

Ranjani and Gayatri are also accomplished violinists. They started their musical journey as violinists even before they reached their teens, and made a name for themselves as one of the leading violinists of their generation, performing in leading sabhas (music organizations) all over the country and abroad. Besides playing the violin duet, they have also performed along with musical legends such as Smt.D.K.Pattammal, Sri M Balamurali Krishna, T.Vishwanathan and other popular musicians of the current generation. Their experience and training as violinists which sensitized their musical awareness towards precision and pure sound gives their vocal music a depth and roundedness that is unique.

Gayatri accompanying D. K. Pattammal on violin.

As vocal artists[edit]

The sisters have given vocal concerts since 1997, after they became students of Padma Bhushan Sangeeta Kala Acharya P. S. Narayanaswamy.[2]

From the very first concert, they won high praises from critics and music lovers all over the globe. Perfection of sruti (pitching), powerful voice control, rich imagination and impeccable aesthetics which reflect the timeless values of classicism - these are some of the qualities that describe the music of Ranjani and Gayatri. Above all this, it is the sisters' capacity to deeply experience and enjoy what they sing, that takes their music to a different plane. Their two voices blend and contrast to strike a fine balance between vibrancy and contemplation, intellect and emotion, tradition and innovation. Their concerts, which draw full houses across the globe, resound with energy, freshness and emotional fervor. Audiences eagerly await and savour their in-depth Ragam-tanam-Pallavi-s and soul-stirring viruthams. Their flair for Hindustani classical music is reflected in the soulful Bhajans and vibrant Abhangs which are an integral part of their concerts.

Ranjani and Gayatri, through their concerts all over India and in major international festivals, have rejuvenated the interest in Carnatic classical music worldwide. Through their songs in languages including Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati, the sisters bring out the many flavors and rich cultural and linguistic heritage of India, through the idiom of Carnatic music [3]

As composers[edit]

Apart from singing, Ranjani and Gayatri also have an interest and natural flair for composing music. Most of the Abhangs they sing at the end of their concerts have been set to music by the sisters. They have also set many other thukkada pieces, including bhajans. Here is a list of some of the songs set by the sisters:

  • Bolava Vitthala – Abhang (Sant Tukaram) – in Raga Bhatiyar.
  • Pagaivanukkarulvai (Subramanya Bharathi) – Ragamalika
  • Naachke Aaye – Bhajan (Ambujam Krishna) – in Raga Basant.
  • Raam Naam Mhanata – Abhang (Tukaram) – in Raga Jhinjhoti
  • Sharana Sharana – Abhang (Sant Tukaram) – in Raga Pilu.
  • Dhanya Dhanya – Abhang (Sant Eknath) – in Raga Durga.
  • Sada Majzhe – Abhang (Sant Tukaram) – in Raga Mishra Malkauns.
  • Je Ka Ranzale - Abhang (Sant Tukaram) in Raga Bairagi
  • Maajha ha Vitthal - Abhang ( Sant Janabai) in Raga Pilu
  • Nirvana Shatkam of Adi Sankara in Raga Sohini
  • Janmo Janmi - Abhang (Sant Eknath) in Raga Deshkar
  • Mazaa Haa Vitthal - Abhang (Sant Janabai) in Raga Pilu
  • Jaau Devachiya Gaava - Abhng (Sant Tukaram) in Raga Bhimplas

Awards[edit]

Ranjani and Gayatri have received multiple awards and recognitions throughout their career. Here is a list of some of the awards and recognitions received by the sisters:

  • Received the prestigious Indira Sivasailam Endowment Medal from the Music Academy in 2016
  • Received the prestigious title of Vani Kala Sudhakara from Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha in 2015
  • Sangeeta Kala Siromani Award from Chennai Cultural Academy in 2016
  • Lifetime Achievement award from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 2013[4]
  • Sanskriti Awards, instituted by Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi in 2008 (recognising their contribution to the field of performing arts)[5]
  • Title of "Isai Peroli" from the Kartik Fine Arts, Chennai in Dec 2005.
  • Kalki Krishnamurthi Memorial Award in 2004 (instituted by the Kalki trust in memory of the writer Sri. Kalki Krishnamurthy)[2]
  • Yogam Nagaswami Award of the Music Academy
  • National Eminence Award (by the Shanmukhananda Sabha, Mumbai)[2]
  • Recipients of the Government of India Talent Search Scholarship from the age of ten.
  • Winners of the First Prize in the All India Radio National Competition for Violin.

Albums[edit]

Ranjani and Gayatri have various albums to their credit. Many of them are best selling and top the popularity charts in the carnatic music genre. Here is a list of some of the albums that have been released:

  • Kurinji Malar (Live Concert)
  • Anandam – Journey Into Bliss
  • Un Thiruvadi Charanam (Live Concert)
  • Paramaanandam
  • Pravaaham
  • Rama Bhakti
  • December Season 2001 Kutcheri (Live Concert)
  • Madrasil Margazhi 2003 (Live Concert)
  • Madrasil Margazhi 2004 (Live Concert)
  • Madrasil Margazhi 2005 (Live Concert)
  • Madrasil Margazhi 2006 (Live Concert)
  • Madhuryam – Violin Duet
  • Dual Harmony
  • The Awakening
  • Thendral
  • Samaanam
  • Saravanabhava
  • Ambujam – Krithis of Ambujam Krishna (Live Concert)
  • Paadaravindam (Live Concert)
  • Kshetradanam
  • Kutcheri 2010 (Live Concert)
  • Kutcheri 2011 (Live Concert)
  • Gems of Carnatic Music (Live in Concert 2004)
  • Vaibhavam 2011 (Set of 4 concerts from December Music Season 2011)
  • Vaibhavam 2012 (Set of 4 concerts from Dec music season 2012)
  • Vaibhavam 2014 (Set of 4 concerts from Dec music season 2013)
  • Kannan Thiruvadi ( Concert from Dec Music Season 2014)
  • Ka Shanmuka ( Video of a live concert from a live concert during Dec music season 2015)
  • Jaya Jayavanti ( Concert from Dec Music Season 2015)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer passes away: the end of an era". Asian Tribune. Indo-Asian News Service. 1 October 2003. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Anima, P. (21 November 2008). "Sister act". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/interview-the-singing-sisters-2001708
  4. ^ "Security Check Required". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  5. ^ "'Virutham is our forte'". The Hindu. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2011.