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Awards for World Music 2008 Asia Pacific
Anoushka Shankar
Breathing under water
Anoushka Shankar album cover
It's the second year in a row that this 24-year-old sitarist has been nominated for these awards, so what's all the fuss about? She may have got the most almighty show business leg up by having her father Ravi Shankar as a teacher, but it's unlikely we'd still be hearing about her if she didn't have any talent of her own. The same thing could be said about her superstar half sister Norah Jones. Whether it's down to nuture, nature, or both, Anouskha is back.

Anoushka Shankar is no stranger to great accolades and achievements. Apart from recording five acclaimed albums, which have so far earned her two Grammy nominations, she has written a book about her dad and even ventured into the movies. In 2003 she was one of four Women of the Year in India, and the following year, one of twenty Asian heroes lauded by the Asia edition of Time magazine.

Launching her recording career in 1998 with Anoushka, she spent the next few years in the creative shadow of her father, staying within the Hindustani tradition of her training and largely sticking to Ravi's vast repertoire.

However, an intense period of soul searching found her diversifying into composition, arrangement and production on her fourth album Rise (2005), which featured New Age electronica arrangements while still using ragas as her basic template.

Her latest album Breathing Under Water (2007) is a collaboration with Asian Underground producer/musician Karsh Kale, and departs even further from her roots, but without losing sight of them. It combines a New Age ambience and aspects of the Hindustani classical tradition with touches of Bollywood, drum and bass, techno, chill-out and even baroque music into an eclectic but coherent whole. Guest artists include mohan veena maestro V.M. Bhatt, Bollywood singers Sunidhi Chauhan and Shankar Mahadevan, Sting, Norah Jones and even Ravi Shankar.

I'm pushing the envelope on a personal level and trying to see how far I can go, she says. On the one hand it means so much to me explore the Indian Classical music my father taught me, and on the other hand I am so deeply excited to be discovering my own creative voices.

Jon Lusk

CD Review on BBC Music
Read other people's comments then Tell us what you think:

Sameer Patro
Soul touching.

drv london
noone is better than karsh and anoushkha...the album is heavenly

Sachin, Harrow
More hits than misses, especially the haunting track "Burn"; the vocalist is superb. As a 23 year old british indian, i never thought I would like sitar music this much, but PD7, Burn and Slither are more modern than classical. Saw her live with Nitin Sawhney as well, she was absolutely amazing! Definitely deserves to win!

good song

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