Coming back t o her mother’s city Chennai after a gap of many years, Anoushka Shankar, sitar player and daughter of Pandit Ravi Shankar, will play compositions from her Flamencoinspired album, Traveller.
Traveller is an exploration of Indian and Spanish music,” explains Anoushka.
She has tried to look into some of the ways that the two kinds of music connect historically and interact with each other, she elaborates.
As part of the Traveller tour, Anoushka has worked hard to set up a cohesive band that specializes in both types of music.
“I have very talented musicians from both Spain and India for this performance,” she says.
But why Flamenco? “I have been listening to Flamenco for a long time.
I once did a small collaboration that involved Flamenco.
It was an intriguing experience for me to work with another kind of music and it left me with the desire to do more,” she explains.
Though Anoushk a Shankar started off her musical journey with her father, she has now made a career for herself and stands as an independent, successful sitar player and composer.
When she was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2003, Anoushka became the youngest-ever and the first woman nominee in the World Music category for her album, ‘Live at Carnegie Hall’.
She is very straightforward in her approach to music and life and has no qualms in talking about her life as sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar’s daughter.
“I learnt young that it was going to be difficult to be my father’s daughter,” she says.
According to her, it is “useless” to build a life around worrying about what people think and say, especially about her protected life as Ravi Shankar’s daughter.
“It doesn’t bring happiness or peace,” she says.
Anoushka has also ventured into areas other than music.
She is a supporter of animal rights and PETA, having even appeared in a PSA (Public Service Announcements) with her father.
Her stint before the camera does not end there.
She acted in the 2004 film Dance Like a Man and has even written a biography of her father.
She has also contributed to other books and columns.
But her acting days are well behind her, says Anoushka.
“I’m not interested in acting.
I don’t feel the same passion for it as I do for music.
But I’d like to pursue writing,” she says.
Keeping Anoushka occupied is her baby boy Zubin, who was born last year to her and British film director husband Joe Wright.
On her national and international tour for her album Traveller, Anoushka must definitely be finding it difficult to travel with her baby boy around.
“It has been magical, fun and special.
Difficult and amazing at the same time,” she says.
“But in the end, it is a question of living your life.” One had to ask, are there any future collaborations with her halfsister and Grammy winner Norah Jones? “As of now, no plans.
But it could happen,” she says, almost mysteriously