Two to crescendo!

Updated - November 17, 2016 06:50 pm IST

Published - May 06, 2010 04:39 pm IST

Ranjani and Gayathri. Photo: V. V. Krishnan

Ranjani and Gayathri. Photo: V. V. Krishnan

Carnatic vocalists Ranjani and Gayatri are among the top artistes on the Carnatic music scene today. As youth icons, they bolster one's confidence in the future of Carnatic music. It was fitting that Sree Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha, Delhi, honoured them with the title of “Nada Bhushanum” during its annual Tyagaraja festival not long back.

Gayatri said the award was a recognition of their hard work and dedicated it to their parents, rasikas and accompanying artistes.

Ranjani and Gayatri are known for their melodious and vibrant voices, and their fertile imagination has won them rasikas from across the world.

Ranjani takes the lead in sharing her views on the invaluable compositions of the musical Trinity — Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri. She feels they seem fresh even years after they were composed. “When the audience listens to a kriti, it should make them to sit up and experience the wonder of the raga,” says Ranjani. “As performers we try to bring out the beauty and joy of the raga which is intangible. The listeners should be able relate their feelings with the raga.”

Gayatri, bright-eyed, continues: “Without deviation from the traditional system we like to explore new ideas and be innovative in our approach.”

Ranjani points out the debt of gratitude she and her sister owe to their parents for their interest in music and tirelessly taking them to concerts when they were young. “It laid a strong foundation. Music is a journey, and we both wish to travel as long as we can.” It was a journey that began with the violin. It was P.S. Narayanaswamy who recommended they give vocal performances, and thus began their metamorphosis from violinists to much sought after vocalists in the Carnatic music world. The duo's effortless singing, especially of vrittams, is a treat for listeners. Their diction and control over raga presentation in the fast tempo speak volumes for their hard work and dedication to maintaining quality. Calling their father a perfectionist, they say they owe their success to him.

Gayatri adds, “We have come a long way in vocal performance. What our fingers used to speak, we are expressing vocally. Exposure to Hindustani music has helped us, but music is beyond boundaries. Listening to various forms of music helps a singer, since the good values of music get into your system unconsciously, effortlessly.”

Ranjani recollects her teenage years as an accompanist to stalwarts like D.K. Pattamal. They remember her generosity in accepting the child artiste. “The humility and will to make the accompanying artiste comfortable in those days are values we wish to imbibe and cherish,” says Ranjani.

Though popular performers, the sisters are cautious of excess. Ranjani says they space out their concert schedule to ensure the health of their vocal chords. “The numbers are not important. We wish to give memorable performances.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.