The sitarist & composer Anoushka Shankar's fourth album, Rise, which will be released on Angel Records Sept. 27, marks a defining moment in the career of the young woman whose surname is synonymous with Indian music. Having previously recorded strictly in the classical tradition of her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar, Anoushka truly emerges as a potent creative force with her newest release.
"It's very much my own music and my journey and who I am right now," says Anoushka, who turned 24 in June. "I felt like I was rising into that. On a personal level, Rise signifies growth. It was a step up for me. Not even up, just more into my own."
On Rise—which was composed, produced and arranged by Anoushka—she collaborated with a select crew of virtuoso Eastern and Western musicians wielding a variety of both acoustic and electronic instruments, often engaging in unexpected ways to create tantalizing new sounds. And while Anoushka's own sitar playing has evolved measurably, there are several tracks on Rise on which she eschews the sitar all together in favor of allowing her voice to be heard by way of her compositions and arrangements instead. The result is a stunning and evocative work that will surely catapult Anoushka into the vanguard of the world music scene.
Two back-to-back concerts in New York this Fall will accentuate the breadth and dedication of Anoushka's musicianship when on Oct. 27 she performs the music from Rise with her own ensemble at Joe's Pub, and on Oct. 28 she is a featured performer on Ravi Shankar's Festival of India III at Carnegie Hall. Further Festival of India tour dates include stops in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Boston, Baltimore, Washington DC and Chicago.
Anoushka's side projects of late have included everything from a guest appearance on an electro-Indian project, composing a film soundtrack, acting in a Bollywood film, and writing a biography of her father.
MIDIval Punditz, the electro-Indian outfit, enlisted Anoushka to contribute her sitar to "Rebirth," a track on their latest release MIDIval Times. Gaurav Raina, one the group's two founding members, was also the recording engineer on Anoushka's new CD Rise. Anoushka also composed the score for the short film Ancient Marks, which was screened at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. She also made her film acting debut last year portraying a dancer in the Bollywood film Dance Like A Man. Anoushka also penned a biography of her father, the legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar, titled Bapi, The Love of My Life.
"She's one of the most gifted in her generation of Indian classical artists... Rise is a collection of original material that takes her beyond the Indian world into a uniquely contemporary vision of world music." — Los Angeles Times
"A brilliant exploration of lightly textured electronica weaving through inventive interpretations of India's musical heritage, her sitar-playing is but one iridescent layer among a tasteful assemblage." — PASTE
"...an ascension toward a new way of experiencing Indian music." — Global Rhythm