Daughter of musical royalty claims her queendom
From the Congo and Cameroon to India and Israel, disparate barrooms of Portuguese saudade to the bumpin’ streets of Brooklyn, “world music” is never as far away as one imagines. The global community is informed by a host of styles eclectic as the artists inhabiting it, and here we look at five new albums breaking boundaries of established genres. What today we consider classical was once innovative. We are witnessing a sonic archetype remixed by the grandsons and stepdaughters of ancient culture.
Indian-born sitar player Anoushka Shankar was born into royalty. Her father Ravi is the most infamous name in Indian classical music; in the ‘60s he played Western rock festivals and reinterpreted ragas in inventive ways. From an early age Anoushka became fiercely passionate about the long-necked lute. After releasing three classical recordings, she returns with the far-reaching Rise. A brilliant exploration of lightly textured electronica weaving through inventive interpretations of India’s musical heritage, her sitar-playing is but one iridescent layer among a tasteful assemblage of veena, bansuri, bass and tablas. From the devotional “Prayer in Passing” to the heartbreakingly stunning “Ancient Love,” Shankar’s futuristic experimentation hits close to home in any corner of the planet.