Parmela Attariwala Sapphire Skies

Violinist Parmela Attariwala has a knack for engaging her contradictions. Though South Asian in descent, her background is primarily in 20th century Western music. However, her recordings are often presented as personal responses to Indian musical traditions. The results are often un-melodic to the Hindustani-biased ear, but this isn’t a criticism of the artist so much of an acknowledgement of the adventurous challenge she poses to her audiences. Like 1997’s Beauty Enthralled, Attariwala’s latest recording still works with unconventional drones, but her compositions are shorter and incorporate more elements of improv with a variety of instruments including clarinet and guitar. Most of it works, with the sole exception of over-the-top, fairytale vocals on "Padparadscha Skies.” The violin and drum duet on "Zigzagjig” shows an unexpectedly funkier side of Attariwala, while pieces like "Sylphe” and "Improv 3” show her and tabla player Ed Hanley at their dramatic best, occasionally synchronising rhythmic phrases while maintaining the nuances of their distinctive musical languages. (Hornblower)