Our subscriber Dr. Sreeram an avid listener of Ranjani and Gayatri, our “Artist of the Month” has written this tribute to them.

 Having done with my 12th Std exams, various entrance exams and having secured a seat in a medical college and with the entry of an internet connection into our home, i ventured into Ra Ga’s breath – taking musical world through You Tube. I can still recollect vividly, the very 1st song I heard on You tube was ‘Ninnu joochi dhanyudaithi’ that Ra Ga had rendered in Margazhi Maha Utsavam, Jaya Tv. Having been a small time Carnatic music learner myself, I seemed to quite like their style and went onto hear their next masterpiece – ‘Vazhi maraithirukkude’ – I was taken aback by their flawless technique, clarity and emotive rendition- one song after another, I kept playing only their songs day after night, and I was dragged, without my knowledge, into the Ra Ga cocoon.

Ranjani & Gayatri madam’s music gives a sense of pleasure, which i feel, no human can do without. Their music has so much style, detail, variety and devotion that, one lifetime is not enough to dissect, decipher/ understand their music. It is enriching, soul – stirring and unique, in more ways than one that it compels the listener to hear their songs again & again & again. There are many minute facets / nuances in their music which can only be enjoyed by repeated and careful listening. Ra Ga’s music is sort of a nourishment for my mind, body and soul alike.

Every aspect of their concert presentation is musically and aesthetically superior – be it a traditional start with a Varnam in 2 speeds , a simple rendition of a krithi with graded, systematic ‘adukku’ sangathis replete with neraval and beautifully woven kalpana swarams, a raga delineation, or their magnanimous RTP’s, or a soulful moving viruttam or their trademark, famous Abhangs – not to forget their beautiful cross – bordered sarees…Wow !!!!!!!! Bringing freshness to Carnatic music without compromising on content & tradition is no mean a task. Kudos to Ranjani & Gayatri for striking a perfect balance between innovation & tradition…..no second thoughts regarding that.

Their raga delineation can be best compared to the blossoming of a rose bud. In their raga expansion, they bring out with aplomb the raga bhavam by slowly but steadily unfolding one petal after another until the rendition transcends the inner depths of the flower only to give the listener a taste of the sweet nectar which resides at the central core of the rose bud. Ranjani mam’s raga exposition is filled with a careful, systematic phrasing that is full of logic, starting from the lower octave & ending in the middle or upper sthayi whereas that of Gayatri mam’s explores the upper octaves with extraordinary flair and flamboyance devoid of any inhibitions.

Their ‘Viruthams’ deserve a special mention because, the essential point to be understood while rendering a virutham in a particular ragam is that it is not a raga expansion in itself but it is the lyrical content of the virutham that matters the most. Ra & Ga have mastered this art of rendering viruthams by paying full detail to the lyrical aspect and suiting the raga bhavam to the lyrics of a virutham. Ra & Ga take to viruthams just as a fish takes to the water.

At this juncture, I cant help but mention a few of their phenomenal raga expositions – esp. their delineation of the ragam Kanada – in their RTP – ‘Shanmuga Muruga Guha Kaa-Nataraja Mainda’ is simply out of this world. No adjective in this world can describe completely, how superlative that Kanada was. To put it simply – that Kanada was laden with well knit sweet sugary phrases & high on emotive quotient and so compelling that it holds me captive like a slave, each one of the 1000 odd times that I have listened to it. My other favorites include Bhairavi, Kalyani, Karaharapriya, Kambhoji, Ranjani & Bahudari ragas rendered by them.

Gayatri mam’s rendition of any virutham in the raga Bilahari after an exhaustive RTP in the concert comes in as a breezy heavy drizzle with the inherent charm and liveliness of Bilahari catching the audience by their hooks and spreading its flavor just akin to the smell of wet mud that arouses our senses after a lilting downpour.

I conclude with this famous quote by Kurt Vonnegut: ” If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph : THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD WAS – MUSIC”

This quote aptly suits Ranjani & Gayatri’s work since the listener of their music feels ONE with the DIVINE. I wish Ranjani & Gayatri all happiness and loads of success in their musical endeavor as vocal/violin duos & composers. God bless.