The versatile virtuoso, Anoushka Shankar recently performed the Sitar concerto No. 2 at Lyon’s Auditorium, accompanied by the Orchestre National de Lyon.
Composed by her late father Ravi Shankar, the legendary Sitar-player, it unites classical Indian tradition and music from the West.
“Getting to play my father’s music is a very beautiful experience,” says Shankar.
“I get to almost dive into my father’s heart and mind a little bit more again when I play this music. And so something about that feels very alive and very much about relationship whilst also being really, really beautiful music.”
The concerto, “Raga-Mala” or “Garland of Ragas,” premiered in 1981.
Ragas are traditional Indian melodic patterns that provide the basis of instrumental compositions or improvisations.
“The Ragas have characters, they have feelings, they have associations. And so all of these ragas have a lot of nuance,” explains Shankar.
“There are times of day, even season’s things like that can be associated with different ragas according to their vibrations and feelings.”
“The fourth movement incorporates a bit more of the folk music of India that my father loved very much.”
“So you’re hearing, for example, refrains that evoke Kashmir or Rajasthan, like all different folk music from all over India. And then at the same time, you’re having a lot of improvisation for the Sitar as well.”