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Anoushka on Nora's trail

Karsh Kale and Anoushka Shankar come together for a fusion album. Malvika Nanda talks to them.

art and culture Updated: Jan 16, 2008 11:56 IST
Malvika Nanda

With half sister Nora Jones leading the pop album charts, it is now Anoushka’s turn to move away from Hindustani classical music.

With remix artist Karsh Kale, she may have found the popular idiom.

Working with the likes of Pandit Ravi Shankar, Sting, Nora Jones, Midival Punditz, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Shankar Mahadevan and Sunidhi Chauhan in their new album Breathing Under Water, the duo sought to fuse their talents.

On naming the album
Anoushka: Breathing Under Water came from the challenge that we were living away from simplified explanations, being true to whatever we feel. It wasn’t an easy thing to do. So sometimes it did feel we were, breathing under water. <b1>

On coming together
Karsh: We’ve known each other for a while. I’ve done a couple of remixes on Anoushka’s album Rise. We both are big fans of each other. So we decided to cut an album.

Anoushka: We didn’t really talk about working together until we thought about Water... We’ve attempted western orchestra, Indian classical, psychedelic, et al in our own musical ways.

On album dynamics
Anoushka:
The first layer was on the sitar and guitar. All acoustic, all melodic. It was very intense.

Karsh: Selecting musicians for this album was like casting for a movie. We had to do it from the knowledge of what they do. It was so exciting to put them out of their context.

On music videos
Anoushka: There will be no videos for this album. Videos these days look like movies. It’s very important to have a music industry separate from Bollywood.

Karsh: Videos are not about artists anymore. They are about the 10 beautiful girls in them. If that has to be the format then what’s the point?