Anoushka Shankar Goes Flamenco On 'Traveller'

Dec 18, 2012

Flamenco music is relatively new on the music scene (especially considering the long history of music as art), but still dates backs a couple of hundred years. It was brought to Spain by gypsies, who were erroneously named because they were mistaken for Egyptians but are of Indian descent.

The original gypsies were designated as untouchables in the Indian Punjab and fled the area from 800-900 BC. For a thousand years they roamed throughout Asia, the Middle East and eventually settled in Europe. Their musical tradition involved singing accompanied by hand clapping. In the early 19th century, the guitar was introduced and became an intrinsic part of Flamenco music.

Anoushka Shankar, sitar player and daughter of the famed Ravi Shankar, worked with Javier Limon to produce a flamenco album with Indian influences. She says that the common denominator between Indian and Flamenco music is an "uninhibited musicality in expression."

"Traveller" unites Flamenco singers with traditional Indian instruments and musicians and is nominated for the World Music category in the 2013 Grammy Nominations.