London-born sitar player Anoushka Shankar is one among the only few famous and talented female sitar players in this world. Her father Ravi Shankar is a magnate of Indian classical music. When Anoushka has decided to focus on her music career rather than pursue the college academic degree, she knew she would inherit her father's musical legacy. True, at the time Mr. Ravi Shankar does not need to worry, his daughter is more than just a good successor. Instead, probably Anoushka will be more successful than himself. Of course, she needs more time to equal her father’s level.
Unlike two previous full-length albums, 1998's self-titled Anoushka
and 2000's Anourag
which are more traditional Indian, tend to be a more raga stylish (raga: melodic modes in Indian classical music), and generally akin in characteristic of her father's musical works, Anoushka's third release, Rise
, is a brilliant experimental piece. Listening to this album is a nice experience of tasting world music by all means. When you listen to it, soon your first impression may be like "...oh, Indian music? What the fuc
k, I just don't know why this reminds me to great Taj Mahal that I ever visited once!". Beyond question, the strong sitar instrumentation along with other special Indian sound-cape of duduk, bansuri, vocal percussion known as konnokol, and veena have made the listeners fall into such a quiet and mystical moment for a while. Sometimes it is more than just an entertaining record - something profane. It has meditative feel which will lead you to grotesque and spiritual thing of the Eastern. However, what distinguishes this record among the previous ones must be its incorporation with modern flavor of electronica music. Moreover, other ethnic instruments like Australian didgeridoo, African tabla and djembe, and Latin vocalization style undoubtedly enrich the album as well. And last, when typical Western classical-music (piano, bass guitar, violin, and cello) has taken parts and joined the atmosphere, what you get here is just inventive and groundbreaking world music in such a nice harmony.
There is always hesitancy concerning on world music term itself as an established genre because of its very wide range. There is no basic standard whether the term is taken from the fusion of a certain ethnic music with, say, popular Western pop-rock, classic music, jazz, and whatsoever. Naturally, any music fusion has own style, atmosphere, and nuance. And the result of combination of different music cultures sometimes could be mind-blowing or vice versa; terrible. It does need visionary musicians - those have well capability of interpreting what exactly world music really means. Luckily, Anoushka Shankar has that criterion. Rise
obviously has displayed how such genre still in developing process, and there are still many rooms to explore where perhaps no one has ever tried.