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Kalya Ramu: Duo

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Kalya Ramu: Duo
Photograph courtesy of the artist

The chances that you have heard music this breathtaking before would require you to go back to the halcyon days of popular music made by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald or Blossom Dearie, or Carmen Lundy. The fact that it has been freshly minted by – literally created afresh – and performed in the living rooms of Kalya Ramu and Ewen Farncombe makes it a wondrous and thing – almost too remarkable to believe. But it is true. There are so many extraordinary aspects of Miss Ramu. Her maturity as an artist, belied by her young years is perhaps the most astounding of all. The fact that the breathtaking repertoire on this short EP is all original work is another welcome surprise.

However, the most noteworthy fact of all is that Miss Ramu is almost completely self-taught, although she does remind us that she private lessons in her late-teens from the eminent pedagogue Shannon Gunn and earned a Music Degree on in from Humber College in Toronto. Still, it’s clear that her genius for music is phenological, which is to say it seems part of a DNA that is inherited from a place that only heaven-knows. Moreover she seems to have been born into artistry of the first order. Her instrument is gorgeous and lustrous. The romance of her music and her are joyfully-lived and as a result she is able to hear the whispered beauty of her music in her heart, which then enables her to give her songs wings. When she sings it seems that she understands no simply the etymology of the words, but has a special ability to relate to the emotional biology of them too. With her ability to sing with nuanced dynamics she is able to give even the simplest phrase a special grace.

In fairness, Ewen Farncombe is credited with composition and indeed he also deserves much credit for his performance in which also he gives notice that he is a participant of equal importance – knowing when to dwell in the relative shadows while Miss Ramu is waxing eloquent, and then to shine in the spotlight when his turn comes. But make no mistake, while the unfettered joy of this [merely] fifteen minutes of music [it’s an EP only] is owed to both pianist and vocalist it is the naked splendour of Miss Ramu’s voice that will last forever. After all – at the very top of the recording in “Laugh it Off” she does tell us: “In my short life I’ve come to see/that songs can make joy last eternally…” And how true those words ring…

Track list – 1: Laugh it Off; 2: That Swingin’ Room; 3: In Love; 4: The Things I Do; 5: Comfort

Personnel – Kalya Ramu: vocals; Ewen Farncombe: piano

Released – 2021
Label – Independent
Runtime – 14:28

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