The 26-year-old twin sisters — Sonal and Simrit Mann — also known as the Sensational Sitar Sisters, are set to perform in the city after a decade.
The concert Shaam-E-Awadh will be the launch pad for The String Theory and includes a sitar jugalbandi. Sonal fills in, “The concert focuses purely on the Gayaki Ang style of music which reflects the Mewati gharana’s teachings. We are performing semi-classical music. There will be thumris and folk songs like Mohe Panghat Pe... (Mughal E Azam).”
The twins have been performing from the age of eight and decided to launch the band, to connect with the youth. “There are beautiful musical pieces out there (classical theories) which we both want to work on and finally create a neo-theory with nuances of the classical one. Since we both play the string instrument — Sitar, hence the brand The String Theory,” explains Simrit. Being twins and performing the same instrument, they admit, entails a lot of pros and some cons. “We both have our own unique style of playing and we complement each other.”
After having performed in cities such as Boston and Toronto, they observe that internationally, the crowds are more interested in classical music. “In 2005, when we were performing at the harbour-front in Canada, we started with a fusion piece as planned. We were quite surprised to see the crowds walk away. At that moment, we introduced a classical music melody and saw the crowds double. It was shocking that people abroad are more inclined towards classical music, and here in Mumbai people are more attracted to folk music,” concludes Sonal.