Anoushka Shankar renditions that will speak to you
Her rhythms are so enchanting in the era of progressive world music
Daughter and disciple of sitar maestro Pt Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar is bringing to light the progressive world music putting forward an amalgamation of Indian classical, western music and other traditional forms. She beautifully puts together diverse music by combining sitar with tabla, bansuri flute, percussion, Spanish guitar, and cello with ancient forms of the Indian classical tradition along with the voice.
A British-Indian sitar player and composer, Shankar released her first album, Anoushka, in 1998, followed by Anourag in 2000. Since then there has been no looking back for this musical gem and her charismatic musicality made her six-time Grammy Award nominee and also recognized as the youngest and first female winner of the British House of Commons Shield.
And yet again, her music brought her another nomination for her latest album Love Letters in the Best Global Music Album category. Let’s take a look at a few of her soulful musical works.
After a difficult time in her personal life, Shankar released EP Love Letters, putting into music her emotions so beautifully. The songs in the EP, like Those Words sung by Shilpa Rao, among others are a collection of emotions of love and healing. The EP also represents the power, especially that women hold and how art and music hold the ability to heal a person.
Land of Gold
This album with three songs, Boat To Nowhere, Secret Heart and Jump In (Cross The Line), brings a gamut of emotional expression exploring the stories of voiceless disconnection and vulnerability. According to Shankar, this album is ‘a culmination of my journey to the interior, channeling my distress at the situation in a constructive way’. Along with her soulful Sitar, the magical elements of classical minimalism, jazz, electronica, and Indian classical styles evoke emotions like aggression and tenderness.
Breathing Under Water
This collaboration of Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale expands beyond cultural and traditional borders of music having musical geniuses like pianist Salim Merchant, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt on his Mohan Vina, Ravi Shankar, Sting, Norah Jones, Midival Punditz, Sunidhi Chauhan, and Shankar Mahadevan along with several bansuri, sarangi players, and other traditional instruments players. This album is an amazing merger of Indian classical, rock, electric atmospheres, and beats. The beauty of this album is that both, electronic music and sitar are deeply rooted along with a host of other genres.
These and her other breathtaking compositions like Voice of the Moon from her album Rise, Traces Of You, Lasya from her album Reflections and, Traveller – a mix of Indian music with Flamenco – among others are splendid.