Two sisters – one father, two mothers. One carried legacy of her father forward for the new age with innumerable international collaborations, whereas another excelled in folk, country, jazz music and went on to win nine Grammy awards.
I guess this much introduction is enough for Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones – the stellar names in their respective fields. Today’s playlist is dedicated to these half sisters, who, like two hemispheres of the world, cover the entire globe with their range and prolific careers spanning two decades.
The year was 2006 (if I am not mistaken), and our rag-tag team had participated in coveted IIM Ahmedabad’s annual fest Chaos from our faculty. Starry-eyed, we were soaking in every ounce of ‘IIM experience’ by staying awake, participating in almost everything possible and making most of our time on the campus. Once the arc lights on the Louis Kahn Plaza got switched off every night and the team from IIM-A would clear things up, a song would invariably kick-start the process. The song was ‘Come Away with Me’ that introduced me to the phenomenon called Norah.
While the song still evokes memories of the late-night strolls on IIM-A lawns, over the year she has become the go-to artist when I need to concentrate on studies and need a musician crooning in my ears with her hits like ‘Sunrise,’ ‘Don’t know why,’ ‘Will you still love me tomorrow,’ and so many more. Here’s a glimpse of her in her prime
Am deliberately not putting the ‘greatest hits’ as she’s a globally-known artist and her work is widely known. It’s just a small way to pay homage to her legacy. The playlist would surely be incomplete if we don’t put the two sisters together.
Coming to Anoushka Shankar, the first thing I want to confess is, I’m not much into ‘pure’ classical music but I have huge respect for those who understand the nuances of the ancient art and are masters of both vocals and instruments. In that sense, Pt Ravi Shankar is among the best-known Indian musicians across the globe. When one listens to Anoushka’s renditions of that heritage, it awes you. But to me, her strength is how she transcended the boundary of ‘pure’ and made her music much more approachable to global audience.
It would surely take you to another dimension – but check personal favourite ‘Lasya’ and ‘Breathing under water.’ For the video, am presenting a slightly obscure (of course my belief) work featuring Anoushka Shankar, Karsh Kale and Sunidhi Chauhan. It shows the way in which her hauntingly beautiful Sitar augments the entire rendition to another level.
A composer of her own right, she has several albums with many such collaborations. Of course, these songs are just introductions to the new genre of music that we together explore.