‘Motherhood has changed my music’
I have become a lot more sensitive as an artist now, and I express a lot more through my music
She has reinvented the sound of the sitar and performed around the world in her 20-year career. However, sitarist Anoushka Shankar says that motherhood that has changed her music. “I think I have become a lot more sensitive as an artist now. That means that there are a lot more feelings and much more to express through my music now,” says Shankar, whose son, Zubin, is now four.
Her latest album, Home, is dedicated to her late father. Her last album in 2013 was also dedicated to him. Back then, she had said that talking about him was tough. Does she feel the same way even now? “This album was very different. It’s two years on (since my father’s death). Last time, it just so happened that my father passed away while I was making an album. Everyone in the world was making that association and asking me about it all the time while I was still grieving. So, that was a very painful process. But this album is like an offering to him because I’m playing classical ragas in an album after a long time,” she says.
And as she dedicates her album to her father, also her guru, she remembers that it wasn’t easy to break away from his shadow, initially. “It was very challenging. The one thing that I always did was to be honest as an artist, and try to be myself. That helped me through the whole process because I was never trying to escape my father’s legacy. But at the same time, that wasn’t all that I was,” she shares.
Talking of how her music has evolved over the years, she says, “When I play my music now, I feel that I know my voice a lot better. And so, the music I make now is also stronger.”