Ravi Shankar's other spectacular daughter
By now we're all familiar, and rightly so, with Norah Jones. Song like Don't Know Why don't just make a splash; they leave an impression… or tear stains or a scar. I suppose most know, though some may have missed, that Norah is a daughter of sitar legend and World Heritage Site Ravi Shankar.
Less known, but well worth knowing, is the master's other daughter, the splendid and prodigiously talented sitar player Anoushka Shankar. He was, of course, her instructor and chief inspiration. Here they are together, she the padawan to his Yoda, in a charming mock lesson that grows more and more difficult:
That's a delight because of the backstory, but here's a beautiful video of Anoushka rocking the sitar hard as she and the brilliant tabla percussionist Tanmoy Bose drive their instruments to a satisfying musical climax:
In addition to being an ambitiously pure exponent of classical Indian music, Anoushka also aims her inquisitive musical creativity at various kinds of fusion. Thinking a gentle sitar/torchpop fusion featuring Anoushka and Norah would be the best thing ever? Ça existe! Here's the track Easy from Anoushka's album Breathing Underwater:
Soft and evocative.
This is the work not only of skilled hands and performative savvy, but of a mind engaged deeply in the pursuit of that place where mastery, improvisation, calculation, and celebration converge. In the following brief interview, Anoushka provides a number of wonderful insights into this sort of creativity: