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AKKARAI SISTERS

«at Royal College of Music, Stockholm»
COUNTRY & EASTERN, CEX32

The Akkarai Sisters – violinists-vocalists Subhalakshmi Akkarai and Sornalatha Akkarai  – has created quite a storm in the South Indian Karnatic classical music community in recent years, fascinating listeners and critics alike with their highly nuanced, creative and soulful performances. The Akkarai Sisters come from a family rich with Indian classical musicians and are the disciples of their father, Akkarai Shri S Swamynathan, a veteran violinist and founder of the Swara Raga Sudha school of music, known for his rigorous training.

The Akkarai Sisters visited Sweden in 2016 for performances with the local jazz-world Beches Brew and also gave some concerts of Karnatic classical music that impressed the Swedish audiences. Their concert at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm from October 2016 is now being released by Beches Brew’s leader Bengt Berger label, Country & Eastern. This album is the second album of the Akkarai Sisters released by Country & Easter, following «at Narada Gana Sabha: Margazhi 2019» (2020), focusing on the Akkarai Sisters vocal music, released with other five albums documenting classical Hindustani and Karantic music by such masters as Seshampatti Sivalingam, Mohi Bahauddin Dagar, Sadanand Naimpalli, and Malladi Brothers.

The 2 hours stunning and masterful performance «at Royal College of Music, Stockholm» features two virtuoso percussionists Jayachandra Rao on mridangam and Shree Sundarkumar on khanjira, and focuses on classical ragas. After four short – obviously, in the Western conception of time, all highlight the telepathic and profound interplay of the Akkarai Sisters, often sound as one sonic unity and more often extend and expand on each other ideas, as well as their playful, conversational games with the percussionists and their hypnotic rhythmic patterns, this performance reaches its emotional climax. A magnificent, almost 70-minutes performance of one of the major ragas in the rich repertoire of the Akkarai Sisters, the deeply spiritual Charukesi, known as a raga invoking feelings of pathos and devotion in the listeners, that climaxes in the «Pallavi» and the rhythmically complex duet of Rao and Sundarkumar «Tani Avartanam».

Eyal Hareuveni  

Subhalakshmi Akkarai (vio), Sornalatha Akkarai (vio), Jayachandra Rao (mridangam), Shree Sundarkumar (khanjira)

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