Times when Anoushka Shankar's music spoke about social issues
Sitarist Anoushka Shankar released her new single named In Her Name, responding to the violence against women, recently. It features words by poet Nikita Gill. Before this, Shankar composed a piece named In Jyoti's Name which featured in Traces of You (2013) as a response to the 2012 horrific Delhi gang rape case. Today, we look at the times her music spoke up.
Why does this story matter?
- Shankar is one of the most influential sitarists of the 21st century. The genre-defying artiste has experimented with several crossovers and has used music to speak for social issues.
- Hailing from Maihar Gharana and being the daughter of the "Godfather of World Music"—Pandit Ravi Shankar—her music has been new and inspiring.
- The nine-time Grammy-nominated artiste released her new album Between Us... in 2022.
Shankar's response to the ongoing refugee crisis
Shankar's 2016 critically acclaimed album Land of Gold was a response to the ongoing refugee crisis. Some songs were co-written with frequent collaborators Alev Lenz and Manu Delago. This album goes through the entire gamut, from dilemma to anxiety to a ray of rope. From Boat to Nowhere to Crossing the Rubicon to Reunion, this album is riveting, to say the least.
Heartbreak, vulnerability, and 'Love Letters'
Love Letters had the core theme of heartbreak, love, and vulnerability. This album was composed after her divorce from British filmmaker Joe Wright. The lyrics are raw, heartbreaking yet cathartic. Though she never mentioned "mental health" while describing the album, the music speaks louder than words. In 2021, a deluxe version was launched with the unreleased Sister Susannah and Opening, Flowering, Drinking.
She has been vocal on social media, too
Shankar has been quite active on social media and she has been using her voice against many social issues. From speaking against the hijab ban in India to supporting Iranian women, she has always been vocal about issues pertaining to society.