On Monday, November 18, 2013
Traces of You, featuring three new songs with Norah Jones!
After the great success of her DG debut Traveller which spent 6 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboards World Music chart and received a Grammy nomination, Anoushka Shankar returns with another outstanding recording: Traces of You, featuring three new songs with her half-sister, Norah Jones.
Named Best Artist (Songlines Awards 2012) for Traveller its hybridism feels as natural as conversation (The New York Times) sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar has created a strikingly original new album.
Produced by British composer and multi-instrumentalist Nitin Sawhney, Traces of You features contributions by Anoushkas longtime associates: tabla genius Tanmoy Bose, flutist Ravichandra Kulur, and percussion wizard Pirashanna Thevarajah. Other highlights are a musical exploration of the unique sound of the Hang drum, played by its foremost exponent, Manu Delago.
Traces of You draws on Indian classical ragas, Western classical string arrangements, mid-20th century-style lyrics of extended poetry and modern soundscapes.
Filmmaker Joe Wright (Atonement, Anna Karenina, Pride & Prejudice) has filmed a music video for the title track, Traces of You, featuring Anoushka and Norah.
This album was inevitable. The two daughters of Ravi Shankar, both talented in their own fashion, have come together in honor of their late father and produced an extraordinarily fine album of contemporary world fusion tunes with an Indian flavor, thanks to Anoushka Shankar's sweet and precise sitar. Except for one track with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Shankar is the composer. She had the assistance of producer Nitin Sawhney, who was personally responsible for arrangements and electronic programming. Instrumentation is fairly minimal: chiefly the sitar, the piano of Norah Jones and Sawhney, cello, hang ("han", a hollow-sounding, flying saucer-shaped metallophone of nitrited steel played by hand), some percussion (mridangam, ghatam, tabla), tanpura drone, shehnai double reed, bansuri flute, and on one track guitars, ukelele, and glockenspiel, plus electronic programming. Jones sings on three tracks. The music varies from the style of Hindustani dhuns and thumri (light classical and folk melodies) to free jazz (Scandanavian style) to Vedic chant. Some tracks are based on ragas, Shree for "In Jyoti's Name" and Manj Khamaj for "Monsoon". In the notes, Shankar provides comments to each track, reflecting on her father and on Hindu philosophy. Lyrics to Jones' songs and the Vedic prayer are also included. As mentioned by Shankar, Jones' song "Unsaid" is similar to her father's theme music to Satyajit Ray's film Pather Panchali, music that she never heard. [I just compared both and it does raise eyebrows.) This is Anoushka's finest nonclassical album to date. The famous German classical label DGG, which long ago had issued some raga performances by Ravi Shankar, recognized her work as a wonderful, beautiful, and meaningful cross-over album. Ravi would have been proud. 56 minutes.
01. The Sun Won't Set
Anoushka Shankar, Norah Jones
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