Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti Slap the Moon Records
SCOTLAND is the source of an innovative collaboration between Indian and Western musicians. The debut project of a visionary Edinburgh-based guitarist and three well-matched colleagues, Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti,
Rakshasa strikes an exquisite balance between traditional Indian music and modern composition while exploring the former’s relationship with other genres. The primary references are Hindustani (North Indian) and Carnatic (South Indian). A wideranging program, burnished by bravura playing, is bookended with instrumentals composed by the leader that genuflect to past pathfinders. There are shades of Shakti in the Scot’s celestial opener
Dhumaketu, in which his flamenco-influenced guitar figures echo John McLaughlin and Jacqueline Shave’s jazzy Indian violin evokes Jean-Luc Ponty and L. Subramaniam. Thacker’s title track, which employs reversed recording technique in conjunction with tabla, waterphones and Tibetan singing bowls, is altogether darker yet more accessible than Nigel Osborne’s challenging suite The Five Elements. Although stressing the connection between Spanish and Indian music, Terry Riley’s instrumental epic SwarAmant also undergoes myriad twists and turns. Thacker’s
Svaranjali offers an equally exciting dialogue between Sarvar Sabri’s virtuosic tabla and the leader’s classical guitar. Shirish Korde’s raga study Anusvara unfolds over a drone, with angular guitar chords acting as a catalyst.