Magazine article New Internationalist

Rishte

Magazine article New Internationalist

Rishte

Article excerpt

Rishte

by Najma Akhtar and Gary Lucas (World Village 450008 CD)

At the tail end of the 1980s, authences were given the treat of seeing Najma Akhtar singing ghazals (Urdu love and spiritual songs) so beautifully that people stopped in their tracks. Since those youthful beginnings, Akhtar has been much in demand across the board. The transition between musical forms is a journey she makes effortlessly, aided by a disciplined and translucent voice. Indeed, it's this very control that allows her to inhabit whatever sound-world she visits as if her own.

The combination of blues guitar -courtesy of the peerless Gary Lucas -and Indian/ Pakistani harmonics is not as curious as might seem. There has long been an interest amongst musicians, guitarists especially, of working out microtonal tunings that can link the basic elements of blues and folk with a larger world of music and Rishte's 11 songs are the latest manifestation. …

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