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Sharon Isbin - Strings for Peace not only pushes cultural musical barriers and stereotypes, but breaks them down entirely / DEEP ROOTS

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Innovative Grammy-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin has just released Strings for Peace, a new recording that not only pushes cultural musical barriers and stereotypes, but breaks them down entirely. Isbin is joined here by iconic sarod master, Amjad Ali Khan and his talented sons, Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash. Noted drummer/tabla player Amit Kavthekar, adds his considerable talents to both the intensity and the beauty of the repertoire. The project itself is comprised of stirring ragas and talas, composed in the traditions of region-specific North Indian classical music. … With over 30 diverse albums to her credit, Isbin's sibilant and precise guitar work is the perfect complement for Khan's ancient sarod, both in timbre and tone. Of special note are "By the Moon," in which languid, dreamy drone tones conjure up the magic and mystery of the moon's esoteric power; in contrast, "Love Avalanche" is a rousing, rhythmic celebration, involving an intricate and melodic musical conversation between Isbin and Khan. The irresistible "Sacred Evening" is an experience of gentle, fragile beauty as well as a dip into the eternal sea of oneness that we are all a part of. Love Avalanche-Raga Mishra Bhairav, Sharon Isbin, Ayaan Ali Bangast, from Strings for Peace 








Affinity: Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, composed by Chris Brubeck, Sharon Isbin  and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, from Affinity




AFFINITY: Chris Brubeck's Concerto for guitar and orchestra Affinity is a single-movement work in three sections: the first bright, jazzy and energetic; the second, based on a melody by his father, jazz great Dave Brubeck, mellow and Chopin-haunted; the third a whirling percussive dance infused with foot-tapping Brazilian and Middle Eastern vibes. Though Rodrigo isn't far away, either. Ably accompanied by the Maryland Symphony Orchestra under Elizabeth Schulze, Isbin gives a sparkling, virtuoso account that neatly underscores Brubeck's bountiful musical syncretism, while revealing a wider vista with smaller peaks and valleys visible in the distance. Though smaller in scale, Brouwer's colourful "El Decamerón Negro" for solo guitar also boasts three sections but its romantic tale of love and war achieves its intensity through intimacy, Isbin relishing the sweeping scales and arpeggios, the toccata-like textures and the programmatic elements. Follow this link to the full review in Gramophone.