Very honoured to have been invited to this conversation. Listen today on BBC4!
Sitarist, composer and producer Anoushka Shankar explores the effect of the pandemic on musical creativity. During a year when the music industry has been turned upside down, how has working at home and online made music creators think differently about what they do and make? How have identities been impacted, and what can be gleaned from considering shockwaves endured by previous generations of artists?
In the spring of 2020, Anoushka was set to lead a celebratory performance at The Southbank Centre to mark the centenary of her late father Ravi Shankar’s birth. Then the pandemic struck, and the live performance was cancelled and Anoushka began to heal her shock and grief with creativity. Collaborating remotely to create the score for the TV series A Suitable Boy and song-writing with singer, composer and producer Alev Lenz she began honing technical skills and shaping new approaches to composing around motherhood in lockdown. Anoushka and Alev now reflect on how finding a synthesis between composing and parenting has enabled creativity to flow.
Performing at the Proms to an empty Royal Albert Hall later in the year inspires Anoushka to find out how the pandemic has highlighted our need for musical connectivity. She speaks with jazz musician, saxophonist, composer and bandleader Nubya Garcia – whose socially distanced performance at The Barbican has been the only live show Anoushka has experienced as an audience member this last year. She also reflects on the ‘dark period’ of her father’s life during the partition of India and speaks to composer and musicologist Seán Doherty about taking inspiration from 14th century texts from the time of the plague to compose new emotive choral works that speak to the shock of this current pandemic.
Produced by Nina Perry for BBC Wales
Listen back here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000tml4