161

Karavika: Sunrise

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Karavika: Sunrise What are the career choices for a classically trained musician? It's not sitting in an orchestra for violinist Trina Basu and cellist Amali Premawardhana. Instead, they chose the path of creating their own Indo-Western chamber ensemble, Karavika, to explore the sounds of Indian ragas and film songs, along with their original composition, "Sunrise," that blends two different Carnatic (South Indian) ragas.

The co-leaders are joined in their debut CD, Sunrise, by tablaist Advait Shah, who pulls the sound in an Eastern lean, and bassist Perry Wortman, who gives the music a Western foundation. The results are a gorgeous contrast between the long, sinewy, singing lines of the violin and cello and the tabla's intricate burble and pop punctuation, riding the warm pizzicato heartbeat of the bass. It is a liquid and organic brew that sounds inevitable, as if it's existed forever. The music displays a compelling simplicity/complexity dynamic in its exploration of folk melodies and classical stylings, with a mix of classical arrangement, inspired playfulness and soaring improvisation.

"On the Wing," opens with Shah's frenetic, ringing percolation. The strings join in, a sensual dance full of spirited rhythms. "Little Road Songs" begins with a lilting plucking of strings that segues into a gorgeously swaying melody. "Song That Floats on the Breeze" incorporates a drone backdrop with an elastic melody, while "The Dancer" features Basu, and then Premawardhana, singing mysteriously over a simple repeated bass figure.

Sitarist Ravi Shankar introduced young American audiences to the music of India in the late 1960s, thanks in large part to The Beatles' George Harrison and his interest in the sounds of the Subcontinent. Move to the new millennium, and there's alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and pianist Vijay Iyer exploring their heritages by introducing Indian rhythms and textures into their jazz offerings. With its debut recording, Karavika explores its cultural roots in India, Sri Lanka and North America, fashioning a dynamic sonic blend of uncommon mesmeric beauty.

Track Listing: On the Wing; Little Road Song; Song That Floats on the Breeze; The Dancer; Moonbeam; Sunrise.

Personnel: Trina Basu: violin; Amali Premawardhana: cello; Perry Wortman: bass; Advait Shah: tabla.

Title: Sunrise | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Goin' Your Way" CD/LP/Track Review Goin' Your Way
by Doug Collette
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Duende Libre" CD/LP/Track Review Duende Libre
by James Nadal
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Nakedonia" CD/LP/Track Review Nakedonia
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Ljubljana" CD/LP/Track Review Ljubljana
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.