Immigration tales

Hindustan Times | ByRobin Bansal, New Delhi
Jul 24, 2011 01:35 AM IST

Songwriter-composer Nitin Sawhney talks about his latest album, collaborations, and directing a play.

Mercury, Ivor, Mobo and Olivier nominated Indian-origin, British songwriter- composer Nitin Sawhney is coming out with his ninth studio album, Last Days of Meaning. Known for exploring themes such as multiculturalism, politics and spirituality, he is inspired this time by the brunt borne by immigrants in England.

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“In London, you are made to feel like an outsider and I didn’t feel at home even in India, despite my Indian origin, because I was born in England,” says Sawhney, whose career spans production and composition work with Sting, Shakira and Paul McCartney, to name a few.

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Sawhney is also on a high for composing the orchestral music for BAFTA nominated BBC Entertainment series, Human Planet. It was during the sessions for the series that he struck a friendship with John Hurt, the narrator of the series, who has collaborated for Sawhney’s album.

Last Days of Meaning traces the character of Donald Meaning (played by Hurt), who sits in a room raging against memories, society and himself with a tape recorder sent to him by his ex-wife that contains the tracks of the album.Sawhney is also directing and writing a play about the conversation that happened in Berlin between Albert Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore. He has also “written the sleep notes” for sitarist Anushka Shankar’s new album.

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