Anoushka Shankar speaks to KCRW on writing music about the refugee crisis
The daughter of sitarist guru Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar is best known for her powerful musical lineage. But, while she learned quite a bit from her father in the hundreds of concerts they've played together, she's become a master in her own right. Her new release and fourth for Deutsche Grammophon, is her heartfelt response to the trauma and injustice experienced by refugees and victims of war. Offering an uplifting message of hope for dark times, its music was inspired by recent news images of people fleeing civil war, oppression, poverty and unbearable hardship. The album contemplates the common thread of humanity and its power to reconnect people divided by hatred and fear. "The seeds of Land of Gold originated in the context of the humanitarian plight of refugees," Anoushka recalls. "It coincided with the time when I had recently given birth to my second child. I was deeply troubled by the intense contrast between my ability to provide for my baby, and others who desperately wanted to provide the same security for their children but were unable to do so."