Music

Those memorable moments… - Priya Sisters

The Priya Sisters. File photo  

“We hail from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. So we really never had too many opportunities to listen to concerts. It was only after arriving in Chennai in 1995 that we began to attend concerts.

One of the earliest concerts we remember is that of Mandolin Shrinivas, playing at Raja Annamalai Mandram. We had accompanied Rudraraju Subbaraju sir, who was Shrinivas's guru. (In fact, Haripriya learnt guitar from him) Those concerts were truly eye-openers; it was a magical experience.

The other concert that's still clear in our minds is that of our gurus Radha-Jayalakshmi singing raga Lalitha. Their elaboration of the raga and its details… they had us in tears. It is something we both will remember for a long, long time.

As for our own recitals, the Music Season of 1991 brings back plenty of memories. For one, we had 12 concerts from just one the previous year. For another we got high praise from none other than Subbudu himself! He said, “Are they Priya Sisters or Trans-sisters?... Two people, one voice. You can hardly see their lips move and they sit still on stage. Yet they sing beautifully.” (Of course, he did give us some valuable advice, which we tried to incorporate.) That compliment coming from him, was and continues to be, special.

In 2004, we were asked to sing at Puttaparthi, in front Sri Sathya Sai Baba. After the concert, all of us (including our accompanists) packed up and were ready to leave when suddenly Baba asked us to sing another kriti. We were thrilled. So, we unpacked and sang again. What's more, despite his feeble health, he stood throughout to listen to us. It's a moment that we both will cherish forever!

The sisters spoke to SAVITHA GAUTAM


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 6:35:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Those-memorable-moments%E2%80%A6-Priya-Sisters/article15610683.ece

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