Monday, 5 January 2015

London based singer Ranjana Ghatak has worked nationally and internationally as both an artist and composer. She was commissioned by the Commonwealth Games to write a piece for the Big Big Sing Project, led by Stephen Deazley and Eugene Skeef in Glasgow 2014. She is in the process of writing and releasing solo material alongside Liran Donin (member of Mercury Nominated band Led Bib). She has been touring with Katie Ryan performing contemporary and traditional music for Odissi dance. She has previously written and performed with Jason Singh (voice sculptor) and Seb Rochford (Mercury nominated band Polar Bear) with Human Beamings (Formerly Open Souls), performances include opening for Trilok Gurtu at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Jazz Cafe, Exhibition Road Festival and the London Jazz Festival.

She has performed as a guest singer with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nitin Sawhney and Akram Khan’s Svapnagata festival (Saddlers Wells), Opera Shots at the Royal Opera House (Sawhney), and has performed and presented concerts at the Barbican. Recent composing projects include Yumma Yukka Boo by Vaiyu Naidu and a dance soundscape for Odissi dancer Parvati Rajamani. She continues to perform and work at the Southbank and Barbican centre on a regular basis, and has also worked as both artist and educator for the City of London Festival, the British Museum, Serious International Music Producers and Dulwich Picture Gallery.  For more info on previous projects and biog please go to Recent Projects.


"Ranjana Ghatak was excellent…" Suresh Menon, Pulse Magazine.

"Her voice is clean and crisp and she delivers her notes with confidence.  Her rendering of the songs demonstrates a substantial amount of training in Indian classical technique. The texture of her voice has a raw quality which gives the album a folk feel as well. " Pulseconnects
"It is not hard to see why Ghatak’s music is becoming so popular." Concrete Online

"Rising artist Ranjana Ghatak,....  Shrutinandan specialises in the fine art of transforming young talent into professional artists! This is one vocalist to watch out for in the coming years!"

Monday, 15 December 2014

Music and the Language of Love

Hi all, I thought I'd share some thoughts on my connection to language and music. Having been born and raised in  London, English is the language that I think and write in. However being born to parents from Kolkata, India - Bengali was always spoken around the house, and heard in volume when we had parties and gatherings at home. I started learning to sing at the age of 4, and I was introduced to the basics of Indian Classical singing. I don’t recall thinking or concerning myself with the fact that it was a different language to what I spoke and heard outside my home. It felt like the most natural thing in the world. I loved the way the voice moved, the circular phrasing, the devotional aspect, the beat heavy folk songs, and I loved singing the fast notation patterns that I was taught in different scales/Ragas. Move forward 15 years, and I started to question what I was singing. Why was I singing in this way? I knew I loved it but it wasn't something I felt comfortable sharing or talking about so much, as I wasn't sure how many people would 'get it'. Whilst at school I studied western classical singing, and absolutely loved singing in a choir.  Singing anthems like California dreamin'  and singing along to music I was listening to at the time felt fun and liberating!

I always felt a slight conflict about what language I should sing in. I'd spent more time learning Indian singing, but I feel more natural speaking in English. I'm sure this is something that people of mixed heritage, or people that live in a country with a language different to their mother tongue, can relate to! Now that I've started to write my own music, I have been combining both. Poetry, singing in English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Bengali, and allowing my voice to move in a way that feels real. I went to a Gabby Bernstein workshop in November of this year. And one of the first things she said, was the language of love needs no translation. It hit me so clearly, an answer that resonated. We connect to music based on how it makes us feel. We don't always need to know the details of the musical culture that we're listening to. Music/sound/vibration transcends barriers.  It's with this intention that I move forward on my journey, with the hope that I can access a clear message of love whilst singing.

I'd love to hear from you! What draws you to different styles of music? Do you always need to know what is being said? - Do comment below!

Much Love,

Ranjana x

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