Music

At the pinnacle

Hyderabad Brothers D. Raghavachari and D. Seshachari. File photo: Photo: V. Ganesan.   | Photo Credit: V_Ganesan

They sing as a duo, yet they are poles apart. One is mild and mellow, the other is vibrant and candid. However on the stage, they merge their diverse personalities into a single entity and the output is just eloquence. It's no surprise that awards and accolades come their way. The ‘Hyderabad Brothers', as Daroor Raghavachary and Seshachari are fondly referred to in the Carnatic music circles, have once again been bestowed with the ‘Senior outstanding vocalists' award by the Madras Music Academy in Chennai at the end of the Margazhi festival.

How do they feel about this? “We are blessed. It is the divine that has been operating in our lives all the time. We live by our sruti and laya, our musical parentage. The rest follows naturally,” both respond with utter humility.

Way ahead of others in this region, the Hyderabad Brothers carved a niche for themselves at the Mecca of music by sheer dint of merit and melody. When classical music is replete with rigid grammar and syntax, how do they manage to tug at the heart-strings? “By breathing music, thinking music and living music,” Seshachary quips. “I don't do research, then I will turn into an academician. Nor do I practise all 364 days. But as I relax after the day's work, my mind churns out new sangathis, new swara patterns, keeps delving into varied ways of presenting a raga wherein the bhava springs up as natural fountain,” he says.

“We keep the raga bhava and the lyric bhava intact while rendering it in all its variations. This is a very important aspect of singing in a concert. Nothing should be harsh to the ears of the listener. A kriti should touch his heart. That is what the great composers felt. They are our guiding stars. This is no way of tampering with tradition or classicality. It is the approach that matters,'' says Raghavachary.

Working in NMDC on the secretarial side, Raghavachary manages to keep his musical prowess intact, his recitals and his music lessons going without a break. “My organisation has been very cooperative; as far as my concerts are concerned. I've never been denied leave on account of my job. That is a great boon and I owe it to the NMDC,” he explains. Seshachary on the other hand works in the All India Radio; and that makes things easy as far as music goes.

Seshachary goes down memory lane:“We did not struggle to learn music. The entire family was into music and my father Daroor Ratnamacharyulu was our first guru. My mother Sulochana was also my father's pupil. He was a music teacher in a private school. As a couple they presented recitals in temples during festivals. We belong to Hayatnagar though the family shifted to Yakutpura which is our birthplace in the twin cities. My father and mother would regularly hold recitals at Yadagiri Gutta. As a kid, I had a penchant for percussions and would take up the ghatam to accompany them. And towards the end of the concert, I would be overcome by sleep! There was no other way of life we knew except music.” .

“There was no Carnatic music in Hyderabad then. My father was the first to introduce it to a select lot. In Yakutpura other boys of our age would never address us by our names. “ Sarigama jaare dekho!' was our identity,” laughs Raghavachary turning nostalgic.

While Raghavachary polished his musical skills further under Susarla Sivaram, it was after a series of failed attempts to make it as a music teacher that the guru helped him to get into a non-music career for a livelihood. Seshachary topped the AIR music competitions; there has been no looking back since then. They sang individually till one fine day, at AIR, they were asked to experiment as a duo by then flautist N.A. Srinivasan. “This was later followed by a public concert at Tiruvyaar and the duo singing clicked. Much later, we came to be called the ‘Hyderabad Brothers',” recalls Seshachary.


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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 12:44:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/At-the-pinnacle/article13372194.ece

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