Published Nov 04, 2015Northern Indian sitar great Shujaat Husain Khan and Iranian chanteuse Katayoun Goudarzi have harnessed their mutual admiration of Rumi's work to create four full-length albums devoted to the works of the 13th century Persian poet. On Ruby, their latest collaboration, the duo bring Rumi's words deeper into abstraction, eschewing their spoken word pieces for five tracks that find Goudarzi interpreting the poems strictly through song.
Despite Khan having more room to stretch his sitar playing out, he tastefully holds back, giving tracks like "clouded" and "Whirling Tree" dreamy, absorbing soundscapes that serve the song and words more than they display his virtuosity. Although tracks like "Adrift" and "Bound" find Goudarzi battling with Rumi's words, at times bending them into melodies, much of the album comes off like the work of two professionals enamoured of their stock material, making Ruby another classic entry in the Rumi songbook. (Independent)