Thursday, June 1, 2017

More than Peeps: Nitin Sawhney and "Koyal (Songbird)"

As we move into June, the sounds of songbirds are in the air. Koyal (Songbird) is by Nitin Sawhney, a British Indian musician, producer and composer. Combining Asian and other themes with jazz and electronica, he explores themes of multiculturalism, politics and spirituality. As a child, Sawhney studied piano, classical and flamenco guitar and tabla. After meeting up with acid-jazz keyboardist James Taylor and joining his quartet, he also began working with tabla player Talvin Singh and formed the Tihai Trio. After dropping out of school, Sawhney formed the comedy group The Secret Asians with friend Sanjeev Bhaskar and developed the award winning BBC comedy show Goodness Gracious Me. After, he refocused on music and released his debut album in 1993. He has released nine albums, has contributed scores for stage, screen, television and video games, and has remixed a wide variety of artists including Sting, Jeff Beck and Paul McCartney. Koyal (Songbird) can be found on Sawhney's 2005 album Philtre, and on the 2005 various artists compilation Putumayo Presents: Asian Lounge.