(Here is the 3rd installment of Galileo’s Travel Guide to World Music series)

The music of India is quite possibly one of the most famous sub-genres of world music. Thanks to the increasing popularity of bollywood films and the eastern influences used by well known bands such as The Beatles, Indian music is known and loved by millions of people world wide.

The mysterious sounding instruments and scales have intrigued many a western artist into borrowing from this culture to enhance their own work.

Anoushka Shankar

For those readers who are fans of The Beatles, sitarist Anoushka Shankar may be familiar. In 2002 she was the main performer during the first half or ‘Indian portion’ of ‘A Concert for George’ held in the Royal Albert Hall, London. She is the daughter of master sitarist Ravi Shanker and the paternal half sister of the sensational vocalist Nora Jones.

As a student of the sitar since age 7, Anoushka Shankar is a highly adept musician in her own right. This 2011 album is built around the concept that Spanish Flamenco music may trace it’s origins back to India.

There are songs on this recording that are distinctly Indian, however there are others where both sitar and flamenco guitar meld both styles together into something truly unique and wonderful. The younger Shankar’s blend of traditional sitar music infused with Javier Limón’s flamenco guitar make for a very interesting listen.

Here, Anoushka Shankar celebrates the feeling of being pregnant with her son with her song Inside Me.

One of the most wonderful aspects of world music is the blending of cultures. When you first think of blending sitar with flamenco guitar, the idea may not seem especially pleasant, however the end result is surprising. the two styles fit together seamlessly on this recording. Both styles thrive on the simple performance ingredient of passion, which is something both traditions hold dear.

In this clip, the artists explains how and why she wrote the songs of her album “Traveller”.

(Deutsche Grammophon, 2011)

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About The Author

Collaborator - RREVERB

Singer-songwriter Galileo Griffin has travelled the world collecting all kinds of music along the way. Originally from Australia, she now resides in Stockholm, Sweden, where she presents a weekly world music radio programme and haunts various concerts, open mic nights and jam sessions in this creative city. She has a passion for music of all kinds and can find something to appreciate in almost every genre from classical to pop. She joins the RREVERB team to share her enthusiasm for one of the few artforms that knows no borders and speaks all languages.