Katayoun Goudarzi & Shujaat Husain Khan


BY Nilan PereraPublished Oct 8, 2013

This collection is a meeting of voice, a sitar ensemble and the words of Persian poet/mystic Rumi. Separately, each would invoke its element in tried and true ways, and there would be nothing much more to say than, "listen." Rumi's poetry explores various themes revolving around spiritualty and the multiplicity of the word love, in its sensual as well as spiritual contexts. These words are recited and sung by Iranian vocalist Katayoun Goudarzi; it's in the marriage of Persian and North Indian sensibilities where things get interesting. The vocal inflections of Goudarzi aren't necessarily what one would expect from classical Indian vocals. The backing tracks are instantly recognisable as classic North Indian forms: meditative, rhythmic and melodic, all performed with inspiration and virtuosity. However, the quavers and attack in Goudarzi's vocal presentation, while as beautiful as the instruments, add piquancy that sets this music apart. All of these elements are woven together with stillness and beauty, evoking the best from a world still concerned with what's inside.

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