Jethro Tull, Anoushka Shankar send message of hope through music

November 29th, 2008 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) Jethro Tull, one of the world’s best western music bands from Britain, and sitar exponent Anoushka Shankar Saturday sent out a message of hope to terror-ravaged India saying if London could withstand the blitz during World War II and the underground train bombings three years ago, India should be able to do the same. They will perform in the capital Sunday at the Pragati Maidan as part of a five-city live tour presented by Seagram.

“London did well in the blitz during World War II and during the underground railway bombings in July 2005. The threat of terror is palpable everywhere all the time - every time I take the underground in London, terror is on my mind,” Jethro Tull spokesperson, lead vocalist and flautist Ian Anderson told IANS.

“India does not scare me in any way more than anywhere else. I don’t think the Mumbai attacks will stop me from visiting this country in the future.”

Anderson said India was well-placed to fight terrorist violence, along with the rest of the world.

“It is business as usual in India for me. I know we carry heavily in our hearts what happened today, but tomorrow its business as usual. Or else the bad guys will win,” Anderson told IANS after addressing a crowded press conference in the capital.

“I am trying to send a positive message through my music,” sitar exponent Anoushka Shankar, daughter of sitar legend Ravi Shankar, said. She echoed Anderson’s sentiment on terror.

They performed in Kolkata Nov 27, but cancelled their Saturday Mumbai concert because of the terror strikes. “We decided Friday at lunch time that it was the respectable thing to do at this point of time in Mumbai,” Anderson said.

The band and Anoushka, however, plan to go to Mumbai for a benefit concert in the first week of December.

Anderson’s association with Anoushka Shankar goes back a few years. “She played music at my daughter’s wedding a few years ago and we kept our communication alive over emails,” Anderson said.

The folk-and-art rock musician, known for his dexterity with the Indian flute, is well grounded in Indian music having played live with Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia in Mumbai earlier.

The duo cut a compatible picture at the Taj Mansingh Hotel - their differences in generation and age not standing in the way. “After all, my father is 60 older than me and he is the one I collaborate with all the time,” Anoushka laughed when asked if the difference in age mattered.

Jethro Tull has composed some new “collaborative pieces” for the concert that incorporates elements from Indian classical music.

“Some of the collaborations which fuse Celtic and Indian music are pretty developed and complex. This is an opportunity to apply myself as a sitarist in a different way,” Anoushka said.

Recalling his India connection, Anderson said he first visited India in 1972.

“I have performed in his country at several concerts since the early 90s. I don’t feel out of place in India. I am used to the Indian way of life, Indian cooking and its people,” Anderson, who is as old as “Independent India” itself, told IANS. The musician was born in 1947.

The band as a whole is familiar with India and its traditions. Drummer Doane Perry, who has been associated with the band for the past 25 years, has studied Indian music.

Asked if the Jethro Tull could give the world another Aqualung, its 1971 signature album, Anderson said he did not want to “live his musical life recreating hits that his band gave the world 30-40 years ago”.

The band, formed in 1968, as an experimental rock outfit has played a variety of music over the past 40 years including progressive rock, folk rock trilogy, electronic rock, hard rock and jazz-ethno and art rock.

It won the Grammy for the best hard rock and metal performance in 1989.

Jethro Tull features Doane Perry on the drums, Martin Barre on the guitar, David Goodier on bass guitars and John O’ Hara on keyboards.

Due to the security constraints, the one and a half hour show will start sharp at 7.30 p.m., the organisers said.

Related Stories

    Posted in Uncategorized |