Anoushka Shankar — Love Letters (07 FEB 2020)
♠ Má za sebou #1 USA World za album Traces of You a 2x #2 za alba „Rise“ a „Traveller“. No a nakonec #3 US World za album „Home“. „Land of Gold“ je zatím #5 v US World. „Land of Gold“ is Anoushka Shankars fervent response to the humanitarian trauma of displaced people fleeing conflict and poverty.
♠ The music is mainly based on western harmonics, features great electronic programming, string arrangements, hip hop elements, beautiful songwriting and virtuoso sitar performances embedded in exciting contemporary arrangements.
♠ In 2012 she won Best Artist in the Songlines Music Award for her album „Traveller“.
✹♦✹ Sitarist, composer, and producer Anoushka Shankar is the daughter of legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar. She is a singular, genre~defying figure within the classical, contemporary, and progressive world music scenes. Her dynamic and spiritual musicality has garnered several prestigious accolades, including six Grammy Award nominations, recognition as the youngest and first female recipient of a British House of Commons Shield, and a Songlines Best Artist Award. In addition to performing as a solo sitarist Anoushka’s compositional work has led to cross~cultural collaborations with artists including Sting, M.I.A, Herbie Hancock, Pepe Habichuela, Karsh Kale, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Joshua Bell, demonstrating the versatility of the sitar across all musical genres. Anoushka has also started to compose for film, including scoring the silent 1928 film Shiraz for the British Film Institute.
✹♦✹ Ultimately the collection of songs on Love Letters are about more than heartbreak or loss, “They’re really about rising through the pain, rather than shutting down,” explained Anoushka. And rise she has: 2020 will see Anoushka touring her new music, alongside special gala performances to commemorate the centenary of her late, legendary father Ravi Shankar’s birth. Loves may come and go, change may be the only constant, but Anoushka’s purpose as an artist, a campaigner and a survivor remain unshakeable.
Born: June 9th, 1981, London, England, U.K.
Location: India & UK
Instruments: Vocals, Sitar, Piano, Tanpura
Album release: 07 FEB 2020
Record Label: Mercury KX
Genre: World, Jazz
01. Bright Eyes (feat. Alev Lenz) 6:24
02. Those Words (feat. Shilpa Rao & Ayanna) 4:11
03. Lovable (feat. Ibeyi) 3:21
04. Space (feat. Alev Lenz) 2:22
05. Wallet (feat. Alev Lenz & Nina Harries) 3:30
06. In This Mouth (feat. Alev Lenz) 4:31
℗ 2020 Mercury KX, a division of Decca Music Group Limited
✹♦✹ Sitarist Anoushka Shankar began working on her new EP Love Letters after going through a particularly difficult time in her private life. The songs address the complex reality of dealing with her divorce and its emotional aftermath.
✹♦✹ Shankar chose to work mainly with other women on this project, seeking solace from her female friendships. As she explained in a recent interview, “I really got to experience the way women show up for each other when crisis strikes. And, that’s really where this music came from — the shared experience of women, holding my hand and helping me find a safe place to put some of my feelings”. She works with an array of women on the album from guest singers to engineer Heba Kadry and illustrator Azeema Nur.
✹♦✹ Love Letters begins with the brutal truth of Bright Eyes, about contemplating your ex~husband’s new young lover. Do you call her bright eyes too? Sings Alev Lenz, her principal vocal collaborator and co~producer on this project. The music is a piercingly powerful mix of her traditional instrument and modern confessional songwriting.
✹♦✹ On Those Words she’s joined by Indian singer Shilpa Rao and cellist Ayanna Witter~Johnson. It’s the only song not in English, and yet even without knowing the words you understand the emotional truths in every note of this lament.
✹♦✹ Working with other singers underlines the universal relevance of her experiences. Shankur does actually sing on the EP, on Lovable with twin sisters Ibeyi helping her to express the personal uncertainty that comes after such a break up. The song incorporates some modern, computerised sounds to echo the sitar. Maybe the combination might sound strange at first but this fusion gives the project its depth and should elevate it beyond just the ‘world music’ category. Wallet too uses these electronic sounds to add something unique to a song about the reality of being left only with money after a divorce.
✹♦✹ Space is angry, realising what she’s had to sacrifice for her husband. By the end of the song she has found her self again, now there’s space for me / no more space for you. It’s a quietly powerful moment. The final song In This Mouth, again sung by Alev Lenz, is a haunting ballad. These are intimate moments, expressed in a way that all women can empathise with.
✹♦✹ Through her playing and songwriting Shankar expresses the sorrow, confusion and hope that comes with a broken heart. Love Letters is a bruise that blossoms into something musically beautiful.