Happy pre-Women’s Day! If any of you feel like going out and doing something nice to celebrate tomorrow, I have the perfect suggestion: come to my show! Tomorrow, I’ll be presenting a special concert in Delhi for the first time. While I’ve performed here many times, this is the first time I’m playing with my band, The Anoushka Shankar Project. I started The Project two years ago while touring abroad, when I realised that doing different things under the same name was causing some confusion.
See, after my record album, Rise, I was touring with a band that represented that record, with elements like live electronics, vocalists and a bass guitar, things you wouldn’t see on-stage with me in a classical concert! But then, I realised it was challenging to have what was essentially two musical careers under the same name. Some people would buy an Anoushka Shankar ticket expecting a classical sitar concert and get electronica; others would come expecting the music from Rise or Breathing Under Water and have to sit through a raga!
I believe in exposing people to new styles of music, but I don’t want to be misleading. So, I created The Anoushka Shankar Project to distinguish between the classical sitarist and the experimental musician.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of performing with my father at Nehru Park. It was the largest audience they’ve ever had — I believe over 10,000 people — and the atmosphere and energy were just fantastic. I love getting to do these classical shows with my father and then jump back into doing my own thing. Both are so different and satisfying, though, of course, playing with my father is a unique experience!
Tomorrow, I’ll play with six wonderful musicians from both Indian and Western schools of music. We’ve played in a few other cities this month and had a great reception, and the finale is in Delhi, which is special to me because it’s home. It’s amazing to share my art with people I know and love. Also, Delhi is the place where I started my career.
This is where I began learning the sitar from my father. My debut performance was at Siri Fort when I was 13. In fact, the first time I played the tanpura as a 10-year old, and my piano debut at 16 were also at Siri Fort! So, Delhi has always played a role, and this time, instead of the first, it’s the end of a two-year tour of something I’m really proud of and excited to share. I hope you come out to be a part of it!
The Anoushka Shankar Project performs tomorrow, from 7 pm, at the Amphitheatre, Select City Walk mall. Passes at The Ravi Shankar Centre, Tel: 26877242