Saturday, September 26, 2015

FlamIndia: Anoushka Shankar and "Kanya"

The daughter of an Indian legend brings us the random tune for today. Anoushka Shankar is the daughter of Ravi Shankar, famed Indian sitar player and companion to The Beatles. She is also the half sister of performer Norah Jones. Anoushka Shankar is a famed sitar player in her own right. She began training to play sitar under her father at age seven, and by age ten she was accompanying him on tanpura in his performances. She gave her first public performance on sitar at 13, accompanied by tabla player Zakir Hussain. At fifteen, she assisted in the production of Ravi Shankar's landmark Chants of India, and producer George Harrison put her in charge of notation and conducting the accompanying musicians. She signed her first record deal at 16, and released her first album, Anoushka, in 1998. After her second album, she took time off from recording to concentrate on building a career outside of her father's ensemble. In 2007, she collaborated with Karsh Kale on an album mixing classical Indian sitar with electronica. Since then, she has had a prolific and very creative period as an artist and performer. This song from her Grammy nominated album Traveller (2012) is called Kanya. The album as a whole is an exploration of the shared history of flamenco and Indian classical music.