All Rights Reserved: India Alba 2011
Reels and Ragas
2. Thunderstruck/Your'e a Kent
3. Night Boat From Oran
4. Donald Willie and his dog/The Elephant and Camel
6. Dye Water
7. Nitin's Reel
8. Father John MacMillan of Barra/Wee Gordon
Border pipes and whistles, the deep note of the Indian drum called the tabla, violin learned in the Himalayas rather than the highlands of Scotland but playing both Scottish and Indian tunes, the melodic voice of the cittern - all these form part of the sound of the band India Alba, made up of two Scottish musicians and two Indian ones. Their sound is natural, organic, and engaging. In the liner notes, they point out that many raga themes, especially those from the borders of the Himalayas, are related in sound to the melodies of the highlands and islands. Perhaps thatís the reason this works so well.
1. Himalayan Hideaway
2. The Hang Tune / Loch Bheemtal
3. Highland Dream
5. Hartola / Lesley Shaw's
7. The Black Isle / Lucy Farr's
A follow up to their debut CD Reels and Ragas, this band have a sound of their own which is not an imitation of any other band or genre. Two Scottish traditional musicians and two Indian classical musicians combine their influences to play music which shows that there are no boundaries between them. Many raga gats (themes), particularly those from the borders of the Himalayas, have close relatives in the melodies of the Scottish highlands and islands, and for both of them the drone sounds of the bagpipes or the tampura play an important part in the music.
There is a gentle, inviting complexity to the layered rhythms, harmonies and melodic flows, sound textures and lilting progressions that are coming out of India Albaís exploration of North Indian-Scottish musical affinities.
India alba is piper and flautist Ross Ainslie, virtuoso Indian violinist Sharat Srivastava, tabla master Gyan Singh and, on cittern Nigel Richard. Itts debut album is called Reels and Ragas, which is not quite a fair reflection of what youíll hear.