UK-based musician Nitin Sawhney feels its the right time for his first India tour
As Nitin Sawhney arrives in India on tour this week to support the release of his ninth and latest studio album,Last Days of Meaning,he has achieved yet another milestone. This one,however,unlike his professional distinctions,is more personal and closer to home. The concerts,on February 5 in Nasik and February 7 in Mumbai,mark his first live performances in India.
Sawhneys delayed live debut in India is surprising considering his Indian lineage the 47-year-old was born and raised in England to Indian parents. But it feels like this is the right time to play in India, he says. Its also about getting the right gigs at the right time. At Nasik,he will play at the fifth edition of the annual Sulafest alongside a number of leading musicians from across the country.
Known for political references in a lot of his earlier works,Sawhney says that he has gone down that same path in Last Days of Meaning,too,but with a difference. This album was inspired by what happened in the last general election when I got quite fed up watching the leaders of political parties talking about how they felt about immigration, he explains.
But instead of making the album overtly political,Sawhney has chosen to create a metaphor in the form of a character called Donald Meaning. This character,played by John Hurt,is a very narrow-minded,intransigent old man whos become quite jaded by life and is sitting in his bed blaming the outside world for everything that has gone wrong in his life, says Sawhney.
In the course of the album,Donald Meaning starts to come out of his shell and,by the end,he goes through a transition. The music is more acoustic than his previous albums. I got tired with the whole electronica bit, he says.
Over the years,Sawhney has earned a name for himself as a musician,composer,producer and much more. With such distinctions,it would be nearly impossible to pick out a most memorable moment,but Sawhney says his was when he worked with Black rights crusader and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela. He is such an inspiring figure. It was an incredible privilege to meet him, he says.