Stories » When Anoushka Shankar translates loss, separation and pain in 'Love Letters,' she is accompanied by Alev Lenz / The Indian Express

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When Anoushka Shankar translates loss, separation and pain in 'Love Letters,' she is accompanied by Alev Lenz / The Indian Express

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It's a well-known predicament - the idea of ferrying someone to your mind space. When sitarist Anoushka Shankar takes us there as she translates loss, separation and pain in her personal life in Love Letters, she is accompanied by German-Turkish singer-songwriter Alev Lenz's voice. Through a string theory that Shankar builds with her sitar in Bright Eyes - a heaving piece from Love Letters - Lenz's bare voice fits like a glove. It's as if it was made to be sung along with the sitar. She modulates her voice, goes up and down the scales effortlessly and finds minor yet majestic inflections that make the song a very tightly-knit merger (fusion is a wretched word, as most serious musicians believe). On Friday, at Delhi's Siri Fort auditorium, when she sat behind a piano and sang, the now very famous piece, live, along with Shankar, among other accompanying artistes, she built on the sense of catharsis that the two found while creating Love Letters.

"It was really natural," she says. "We were just two friends making songs that we felt were important and things we wanted to communicate as women. It was creatively the most satisfying process. We didn't have the usual pressure that people do while making an album. Since both of us were dealing with heartbreak around the same time, it became a common process," says Lenz.

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