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 - Ranjani

A raga that leaves an imprint, Ranjani. This raga is mellifluousness personified! Transitions in Ranjani are smooth, every note emphasizes a different emotion and every phrase indicates a different connotation. A janya raga of the 59th Melakarta raga, Dharmavati, the main swaras in Ranjani are Shadja, Chatushruthi Rishabha, Sadharana Gandhara, Prati Madhyama, Chatushruthi Dhaivata, and Kakali Nishadha in the avarohana as an additional note. 

(A quick observation - in my past 15 or so days of raga vivarana, this is the first raga which features Prati Madhyama!)

S R2 G2 M2 D2 S
S N3 D2 M2 G2 S R2 G2 S

A few common phrases are - "R, GS", "R, GSNDS", "SRGMGSRGS", "SND,S". The starting phrase of Shri Thyagaraja's Durmagachara has the same "SRG,MGS".  Gamakas and these kinds of phrases play an equally important role in shaping this raga. Landing with a gamaka in the prati madhyama is a usual hallmark of the raga. 

Starting with Durmagachara, rendered by Hyderabad brothers

Ranjani Niranjani, a brilliant composition by Shri G N Balasubramanian, sung by Dr. Nagavalli Nagaraj and her daughter Ranjani Nagaraj

Here is a favorite composition of Shri Shripadarajaru - Naaninnollanya Beduvudilla, rendered by me