'Traces Of You': Anoushka Shankar's Memorial To Her Father | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

'Traces Of You': Anoushka Shankar's Memorial To Her Father

Play associated audio

When Indian music icon Ravi Shankar died last year, his daughter, sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar, was at work on her seventh album. The recording, Traces of You, became a kind of memorial.

Like her father, Anoushka Shankar began her musical life with a serious devotion to Indian classical music. She played her first concert at age 13. All these years later and the musician still pays homage to the august tradition of her instrument, the sitar.

Ravi Shankar rubbed shoulders with George Harrison and inspired jazz legends like John Coltrane, but as a musician, he mostly stuck to his tradition. His daughter, on the other hand, has blossomed as a composer, unafraid to experiment with form and instrumentation.

Anoushka Shankar's boldest move on her new record was reaching out to her half-sister Norah Jones to sing songs in memory of their father. While Jones is a tremendously versatile and supple musician, we hear a new side of her on "The Sun Won't Set." To appreciate this song, it helps to know that Ravi Shankar's first name means "sun" in Sanskrit.

The sisters' musical timbres and sensibilities blend so beautifully that their three collaborations really define this album. Jones was mostly distant from her father during his life, so when she adds the line "Thank you" to a song called "Unsaid," it's enough to break your heart.

Ravi Shankar first brought Indian music to the U.S. in the 1950s. The awareness he sparked has been weaving its way through pop culture ever since. On this landmark album, his daughters do him proud. We believe them when they say: This sun won't set.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 30

An artist plays with symbols in a series of paintings. Art sheds light on Palestine and its people in an upcoming festival.
NPR

Millennial Jews Do An About-Face, Start Keeping Kosher

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher. That's almost twice the rate of their baby-boomer parents.
NPR

Napolitano: ISIS Was One Of Many Similar Threats We Were Tracking

The former Homeland Security secretary and Arizona governor also talks about security improvements since the Sept. 11 attacks, and the frustrations and potential solutions to the immigration debate.
NPR

Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static

One Los Angeles school is working technology into the learning process while avoiding traditional screen-time pitfalls.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.