Primers, snapshots, and oddball tales from around the wide, colourful world of South Asian music – classical, dance, folk, fusion, & more
According to Indian critic Suanshu Khurana, the great Hindustani songstress Kishori Amonkar (1932-2017) “represents the gold standard of musical genius in the country”. She is also regularly described as the ‘diva’ of Indian classical music – which, though a Western term (with etymological origins in the uber-dramatic world of Italian opera), seems to have takenContinue reading “Why oversimplify? Pt. 2: Kishori Amonkar: icon, diva, world-wary genius?”
Subcontinental travellers have been arriving to Britain since at least the early 17th century. In Pt. 1: Early Explorers we met the lascars – local sailors who boarded the return journeys of East India Company ships – and also ‘Mariam’, an Indo-Armenian courtesan from Emperor Akbar’s Agra palace who married an English sea captain andContinue reading “Community roots: snapshots of early Indian culture & music in Britain”
The global Indian diaspora is larger than any other. Successive waves of outward migration have been scattering the sonic cultures of the Subcontinent around the world for centuries, spawning countless offshoots and localised fusions: in Kenya, the Indian taarab genre sets Swahili lyrics to twisting melodies drawn from classic Bollywood hits, and, going the otherContinue reading “Indo-Trinidadian fusions: ‘chutney’ pop music and its Bhojpuri roots”
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