Sunday, August 25, 2013

Anoushka Shankar : A World Sound Travelogue

Anoushka Shankar Ravi Shankar
Anoushka Shankar 

The daughter of ‘The godfather of world music” Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar began learning the ropes under her father at age nine, making her performing debut four years later. Appearing alongside her father as he toured the world, her career was international from the start. She made her debut performance in 1995 in New Delhi at the age of thirteen. She was born in London in 1982, and spent her early years shuttling back and forth between London and New Delhi. She is a dedicated disciple of her father who has immersed herself in classical Hindustani music. Anoushka has forged a sovereign identity by collaborating with a vast assortment of artistes from jazz icon, Herbie Hancock and violinist, Joshua Bell to the DJ duo, Thievery Corporation, rock band, Jethro Tull and Asian Underground pioneer, Karsh Kale. Her latest project is her most artistically ambitious, tracing the Roma people’s diaspora from their forgotten homeland in Rajasthan to Spain, where Gypsy culture mixed with Judaic and North African currents to form the passionate sound of flamenco. Anoushka displays not only an impressive technical command, but a flair for making the sitar speak a number of musical tongues.

Anoushka was the first Indian musician to perform at the Grammy Awards in 2006 when she was nominated for Rise, soon after becoming the youngest-ever nominee and the first woman nominated in the World Music category, for her album Live at Carnegie Hall in 2002. At sixteen she signed an exclusive recording contract with Angel/EMI and released three classical recordings: Anoushka (1998), Anourag (2000) and Live at Carnegie Hall (2001), all to great critical acclaim. On Rise (2005), Anoushka composed, arranged and produced her own music, influenced by East and West, employing both acoustic and electronic instrumentation. The positive response for Rise turned into a second Grammy nomination and a global tour of over ninety concerts, and Anoushka formed the Anoushka-Shankar Project to maintain a distinction between this more experimental work and her classical sitar concerts.

Anoushka Shankar Sitar
Anoushka Shankar
In 2007, Anoushka collaborated with the talented Indian-American musician Karsh Kale, to create the album Breathing Under Water. This album featured guest appearances by Anoushka’s father, her halfsister Norah Jones, Sting, and many others.If there was one album you needed to have in your collection as an entry point to her music “Breathing under Water” would be it. It’s a marvellous marine musical journey. It just lets the music wash over you. It is perhaps “music of the gods”. It is as if Anoushka and Karsh Kale have taken all their influence and perfectly melded them into something beautiful and new. This album reminds us that in a world where one finds West Coast yogis immersed in Eastern culture and the New York underground drawinginspiration from the Mumbai club scene, where globalisation is an internal state-of-being and borders were made to be crossed.Until recent times Anoushka Shankar and her sister Norah Jones did not know each other - and their family history is a tale of two worlds. While Norah shot to fame with a smoky voice and a bestselling jazz-tinged album “Come away with Me.”, Anoushka, by following her father and taking up the sitar, has had a lower profile. Anoushka, daughter of Ravi’s second wife Sukanya, was born in London but jetted between here, California and Delhi as she grew up, learning her father’s ancient craft.

Norah grew up In a modest home in Dallas with her mother, waitressing and playing the piano in bars. Recently after reuniting as long lost sisters, Anoushka and Norah accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for their father, Ravi Shankar at the 55th Annual Grammy as well.Anoushka has developed a strong bond with Western classical music; as a teenager she had the good fortune of performing in duet with legends such as cellist Mstislav Rostropovich (2000), and flautistJean-Pierre Rampal (1998). She has also appeared as a soloist with some of the world’s greatest orchestras, and premiered her father’s 3rd Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra with th

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