is the most eminent flute
player of modern times within
the south of India. Playing in
the Carnatac tradition (as it is known)
his bamboo flute sound
has been likened to
a boy soprano. One critic was
even so bold as to label it akin
to “the first bird call”. A man of
peace, Dr. Ramani observes one
day of silence per week (as did
Ghandi) this apparently helps
to “improve the breathing”. Wicked.
The rest of the time he sits cross-legged
playing wily riffs based around the
continuity of notes to create melody. Two
percussionists and an Indian violin back him; creating
the Tala (or rhythmic framework). Raga is the
melodic base – which increases as each tune
supersedes the next – in pace, in intensity, in time.
With 2000 years to draw on, and the starting
point of a heartbeat – you will not
find better – freer – more passionate music.
Of that you can be sure.
Or, if you really feel the need
to be sure, you can always
do your best, with an old piece of
garden hose, out on the lawn, miming to the
sound of the Tui as the sun sneaks up
to lick at your back.