Absolutely Anoushka

Dateline: September 29, 2000

The Ravi Shankar Foundation has a lot of information about Ravi, Anoushka and the sitar. Anoushka also has her own official Web site.

Anoushka Shankar Ravi Shankar is known as the master of the sitar, the multi-stringed instrument central to Indian music. Shankar is now 80 yars of age but shows no sign of slowing down. However, he has trained a prodigy to carry on his musical tradition -- none other than his daughter Anoushka.

Anoushka has been weaned on the sitar since childhood. Now 18, she has two albums to her credit: her self-titled debut, and her latest release Anourag (Angel). She worked closely with her father on Anourag and has been performed some tour dates with him.

I spoke to Anoushka about growing up with the sitar, working with her father and her musical aspirations.

Paula: Why did you decide to name your album Anourag (Sanscrit for "love")?

Anoushka: I was looking for something else that began with "anou" since my first name is Anoushka, to keep the pattern going. We looked at Sanscrit translation books and all the words that began with "anou" and we found this among the many and chose it.

Paula: What was it like working with your father on the new album?

Anoushka: It was lovely; it wasn't something unusual because it was the same as all the times we have worked together and when he was teaching me music. That was very comfortable for me but its always a bit nerve wracking when I am in the studio and he's somewhere in the sound box. But it's always nice to have him there; it makes me feel more comfortable.

Paula: How do you deal with the acclaim of being Ravi Shankar's daughter?

Anoushka: I think just because it is something I've been used to all my life I honestly don't think about it all that much. I realize that I've gotten so much from being his daughter and for that I am incredibly grateful, but really all I can do is focus on my music and play and make sure I'm happy with what I'm doing and my father is happy with what I'm doing.

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