Anoushka Shankar talks about music, family and more

Updated: 06 December, 2015 15:48 IST | Suprita Mitter |

Ahead of her performance next Saturday, as part of an India tour, Anoushka Shankar talks music, raising a family and the freedom that writing offers her

Considered one of the brightest young talents to spread the love of the sitar to the world, Anoushka Shankar will perform in Mumbai as part of a multi-city tour in India. The tour is in support of her new classical album, Home. While the tour might have crossover tones, it has pure classical roots. The artiste has already finished work on her next album, Land Of Gold, which will release in spring. She will start touring the United States, and we can expect to see her back in India by the end of 2016. "The new album is not classical. It’s more experimental — it highlights issues like feminism, intolerance and migration," she tells us over the phone from London.

Anoushka Shankar performs with sitar maestro and her late father Pandit Ravi Shankar at the Dover Lane Music Conference in Kolkata in 2009. Pic/AFP
Anoushka Shankar performs with sitar maestro and her late father Pandit Ravi Shankar at the Dover Lane Music Conference in Kolkata in 2009. Pic/AFP

When we ask her why she isn’t seen in the country more often, she confesses that touring has reduced after motherhood. "I tour for about two months as opposed to nine months. It has changed the way I work, and is not necessarily a bad thing. I record a lot more these days, and it helps me creatively. I love working with new musicians. It helps you get out of your comfort zone," explains Shankar.

Anoushka Shankar

"I also enjoy taking time out to write. I like penning experiences. Unlike with music, I can be very literal and straight with my writing, and I find that contrast enriching. I work as a freelance contributor with many publications," she adds.

When we tell her that we appreciated her performance in the 2004 film, Dance Like A Man, and ask her if she plans to act in films in the future, she giggles. "That was enough for me! Though it was a low-budget, small film, it was enough for me to realise that that’s not where my passion lies."

On: December 12, 8 pm
At: Shanmukhananda Auditorium, Plot No 292, Comrade Harbanslal Marg, Sion (E).
Log on to:
Call: 24078888

Mumbai lost its Rhythm
Anoushka Shankar tells us that she is deeply saddened to hear the Rhythm House in Mumbai will be shutting down. "Technology keeps changing, and art will always adapt, whether it is a cassette, a CD or music available online. I’m lucky that people still buy an album. It also brings out the magic and power of a live performance. What I try to do is, not make my music intimidating so that it makes sense to a lot of new listeners too," she shares, recalling that her father, late Pandit Ravi Shankar and she visited the store during their visits to the city.

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Joe Wright with Anoushka Shankar and their son, Zubin Shankar Wright at the Ravi Shankar Memorial on the Self Realisation Fellowship grounds in California on December 20, 2012. Pic/AFP
While he accompanies wife, Anoushka on her tour, filmmaker Joe Wright plans to connect with our film industry and might even work on an India-centric project soon (Read more)

Coming home with Anoushka Shankar
Anoushka Shankar seen at a performance in Bangalore in 2012. Pic/AFP
Sitar player and daughter of one of the most gifted musicians India has ever produced, Anoushka Shankar released an album titled, Home in July this year (Read more)

Stringing the legacy together

Anoushka Shankar and Pandit Ravi Shankar

Sitarist Anoushka Shankar lent a musical tribute to her late father Pandit Ravi Shankar with a two-city tour in late 2013, starting in Mumbai on December 12 and then travelling to Delhi on December 14. (Read more)

First Published: 04 December, 2015 08:10 IST

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