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East is East

A chance encounter with Georges Kazazian,an Egyptian oud player,led to an odd sort of collaboration for the santoor player Rahul Sharma.

Written by Suanshu Khurana |
July 18, 2009 12:10:27 am

A chance encounter with Georges Kazazian,an Egyptian oud player,led to an odd sort of collaboration for the santoor player Rahul Sharma. (For the uninitiated,oud is an 11-string instrument,popular in Egyptian folk music.) Kazazian,a popular musician in Egypt approached Sharma,33,at a World Music Festival in Paris and their collaboration resulted in A Meeting by the Nile (Sa Re Ga Ma HMV),a blend of santoor with the poignant sound of the oud,mingling occasionally Arabic and Turkish beats. “The oud is a bass instrument and plays at a different pitch from the santoor,so blending the instruments was a challenge,” says Sharma.

The 11-track album begins with Mahaba Janam,sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and composed and written by Sharma. Other softer tracks follow,like Sunrise At Sphinx and Taj Mahal. The music is accentuated by a variety of ethnic Egyptian percussion instruments,including the kanoun and dumbak.

Though Sharma is best known for his international collaborations,the one with the renowned pianist Richard Clayderman being the most noted,he says his passion for Indian classical music remains intact. “World music is fun and challenging but I’m deeply into Indian classical as well,” says Sharma. We might see some of that in his two untitled Bollywood projects.

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First published on: 18-07-2009 at 12:10:27 am

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