Wednesday, October 5, 2011

CD Review: Simon Thacker & Nava Rasa Ensemble's 'Nada Ananda'

Simon Thacker & Nava Rasa Ensemble
Nada Ananda
Slap The Moon Records

Classical guitarist, Simon Thacker, is a stunning, Scottish performer of Western, European, and South Asian musical styles. Together with the Nava Rasa Ensemble, Simon creates wonderful musical pieces with musicians as diverse as Brazil's Mario Caribe on bass; Sarvar Sabri on tabla; Jyotsna Sriknath on violin; and Nigel Osborne and Shirish Korde as composers. The album is divided into two segments: a three-part concerto for guitar and chamber ensemble and a six-track portion composed by Nigel Osborne, featuring the classical guitar and various strings. The Nava Rasa Ensemble features not only Simon Thacker on guitar and Mario Caribe on bass, but also contributions from the Edinburgh Quartet, Tristan Gurney, Philip Burrin, Michael Beeston, Mark Bailey, and Iain Sandilands. The entire album only runs about forty-minutes. However, the music is quite dramatic, brooding, and contemplative. The mix of classical and Indian music is brilliant, moving, and creative. The instrumental--and slight avant-garde album--is ideal for fans of L. Subramaniam or Matthew Montfort. ~ Matthew Forss

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