Wednesday, July 23, 2008

India Alba: Reels and Ragas

India Alba
Reels and Ragas

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 that’s the reason this works so well. The eight sets are original music from the band members, along with a couple of covers of adventurous piper Gordon Duncan’s tunes. One has to imagine that Duncan is smiling somewhere, and not only because he taught Ross Ainslie, who plays pipes and whistles in the group. It’s the sort of melodic yet unexpected venture along the borders of tradition that Duncan would’ve loved. Other members of India Alba are Sharat Srivastava, a violinist who has worked in both Hindustani classical music and in rock, Gyan Singh, who plays the tabla, and pipe maker and cittern player Nigel Richard.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This sounds like such an awesome ensemble! I can't wait to check them out more!

12:42 PM  

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