Title - 'Strings for Peace: Premieres For Guitar & Sarod'
Artist - Amjad Khan, Sharon Isnin, Amaan & Ayaan Bangash
On this groundbreaking ZOHO release, Strings for Peace: Premieres For Guitar & Sarod (out May 22nd, 2020 via ZOHO Music), multiple Grammy winner, guitarist Sharon Isbin explores the richness of North Indian classical music with Ustad (maestro) Amjad Ali Khan, representing the sixth generation of sarod masters.
Khan has also been guru to his two amazingly talented sons, Amaan Ali and Ayaan Ali Bangash also featured on this recording, in four ragas arranged for Sharon Isbin.
1. 'By The Moon' - raga behag' (13:26)
2. 'Love Avalanche - raga mishra bhairav' (3:57)
3. 'Romancing Earth - raga pilu' (16:38)
4. 'Sacred Evening - raga yaman' (16:36)
For those not in the know, a raga (or raag) is a melodic framework for improvisation akin to a melodic mode in Indian classical music and so this quite magnificent musical experience opens with the first of the new quartet, the transcendent celestial opus 'By The Moon' - raga behag' which is seamlessly backed by the shorter, upbeat, tabla-backed fare of 'Love Avalanche - raga mishra bhairav.
Next we get a scenically beautiful 30 minutes of music in the form of two pieces: the folksy resonance of 'Romancing Earth - raga pilu' which is backed by the modulating flourishes of 'Sacred Evening - raga yaman.'
In recent years father and sons have turned their attention more and more towards collaborations with musicians from other great traditions, especially Western classical music, seeking ways in which their Indian music finds resonances and parallels in other music; so that the Western musicians concerned can find a way into Indian music without the years of formal training expected of an Indian.
An obvious connection featured in this album is that the sarod and guitar are both leading plucked stringed instruments of their respective traditions.
The sarod does not have frets, and this enables it better to replicate the essential slides and other embellishments demanded of raga performance.
Thus it requires a guitarist of the caliber of Sharon Isbin to interact with no fewer than three sarod masters. In the words of Amjad Ali Khan himself, "each of the artists brings the spirit of sharing the great unique treasures of their own artistic traditions, as well as finding common ground in ragas and medieval modes."
"The idea is to achieve a cross-fertilization at both the cellular and cosmic levels of two classical music traditions, which are often held to be radically different."
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