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 Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "The Rhythm Method" CD/LP/Track Review The Rhythm Method
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Unit[e]" CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "The Expensive Train Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Expensive Train Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 5, 2016
Read "Algorithmic Society" CD/LP/Track Review Algorithmic Society
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Lionsong" CD/LP/Track Review Lionsong
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties" CD/LP/Track Review The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 4, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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