Raksha Rao

Musician / Vocalist

Raksha Rao is a Carnatic vocalist who has been learning and performing Carnatic Classical vocal music for the past 15 years. She has given many concerts to large audiences both in India and in the US under the able guidance of her guru Shri Tirumale Srinivas (Chami sir). Raksha has released 4 albums and has lent her voice to several devotional music albums such as "Chants for Children" , "Ide Sumano Vanim", "Anarghya" and many more. Though trained in Carnatic Classical music, she is a keen proponent and ardent lover of Kannada devaranama (or devotional music), and has sung various rare devaranamas, exquisitely set to beautiful ragas by her guru Shri Tirumale Srinivas. She has performed with renowned artists, including the exemplary UK-based violinist Jyotsna Srikanth in the hit TV series "Just Sangeetha". Check out more for clips from her performances. Under the able guidance of her guru, she is now leading a music school Mahati Nada Kendra, with an aim to train and spread Kannada dasa sahitya in Southern California and beyond.

#30DayMarghazhiRagaChallenge - Dwijavanti

Dwijavanti - a raga that symbolizes complexity and the innate beauty of swara sequences. To the novice ear, Dwijavanti can appear at times like Sahana or Kapi owing to similar phrases. But, it is in fact quite different and holds its own grounds! Dwijavanti is a janya raga of Harikambhoji, and most credit for this raga is attributed to Shri Muthuswamy Dikshitar who adapted this raga to the Carnatic style of music from Hindustani's Jayjaywanti.

The aarohana and avarohana, are vakra or twisted in nature. The main notes are Shadja, Chatushruthi Rishabha, Antara Gandhara, Shuddha Madhyama, Panchama, Chatushruti Dhaivata. A unique avarohana consists of Kaishiki Nishadha, and Antara Gandhara followed by Sadharana Gandhara. It is to be noted that Sahana does not include the usage of Sadharana Gandhara. Some phrases in Dwijavanti may also include Kakali Nishadha.

S R2 G3 M1 P D2 S

S N2 D2 P M1 G3 M1 R2 G2 R2 S

Two defining compositions of this raga include Shri Muthuswamy Dikshitar's Akhilandeshwari and Chethashri

Here is Smt. Bombay Jayashri's rendition of Akhilandeshwari. Of all the renditions, I like this the best because Smt. Jayashri's demeanor and style exactly matches the rasa of the raga itself - calming, divine, subtle and controlled.

Here is Shri Ramakrishnan Murthy's excellent rendition of Muthuswamy Dikshitar's Chethashri Balakrishnam

Another personal favorite is this RTP by Shri Madurai T.N.Seshagopalan

And finally, my recording for the day - a devaranama by Shri Kanakadasaru - Kashta Pattaru Illa, set to raga Dwijavanti and tremendously composed by my guru Shri Tirumale Shrinivas(Chami sir). I will write about this devaranama in particular in a later blog post, but do take a listen and enjoy!