Five-time Grammy nominated sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar, who is currently touring India as part of a charity event and in support of her ninth album “Land of Gold”, says she is interested to foray into writing and composing music for feature films. Even though it’s not her greatest desire in the world, Anoushka told IANS in an interview: “I’ve been making music for a while, and composing for films is an area I really want to explore. I would love to start writing music for films.”
Asked if she has any composer in mind she would like to collaborate with, she said: “There are so many amazing musicians and I want to work with all of them.”
On her fifth nation-wide solo tour of India, she said “a lot of magic can happen on stage”.
“Our lives have become so mechanical, that sometimes even playing with a kid can bring you back into the current moment. Playing in front of a live audience is one of those things where you’re connecting with people in that moment,” said the daughter of late sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar.
“When you’re performing at a concert, you experience a kind of electricity and that allows alchemy to happen between people and that’s very powerful. As a musician, there’s nothing more incredible than that,” she explained.
For Anoushka, who has been touring the word since she was 14, life motivates her music.
“It’s hard for me to write constantly. So most of the times my writing tends to be in response to my emotions. Everything I go through or experience in life channels through my music,” she said, admitting this results in a lot of personal unfoldment in her work.
The 35-year-old is married to British filmmaker Joe Wright, and they have two sons.
How has her music changed after she became a parent?
“It’s the biggest change I’ve gone through in life. It has changed me hugely as a person and it has automatically changed my music, too,” she said.
Having been playing sitar from a very young age, asked as a musician does she ever face a saturation point, Anoushka said: “A musician is continuously expressing through music, constantly creating new music, and hence, the saturation level of not being fulfilled won’t come up.”
Even if she’s down on one project, she said: “I always have another project to reinvent. And then there’s life and other influences to get inspired.”
Her latest album, “Land of Gold”, explores the stories of the “voiceless and dispossessed”.
“The central message of ‘Land of Gold’ is the recognition of resilience of the human spirit and our ability to find the place where enduring hope resides. Everyone is, in some way or another, searching for their own ‘Land of Gold’,” she said.
Apart from her regular collaboration, she has teamed up with guest artistes’ rapper M.I.A and actress-activist Vanessa Redgrave on this album.
“They’re wonderful artistes but they also represent something in context of the album. For instance, M.I.A’s status as a refugee and Vanessa’s activism brings a different perspective to the music,” she said.
As part of the tour, Anoushka has already performed in Chennai, Mumbai and Pune. Next on the itinerary were New Delhi on Dec. 9, Bengaluru on Dec. 10 and Hyderabad on Dec. 11.