Aruna Narayan: Raga Bairagi Bhairav; Raga Shuddh Sarang; Raga Madhuvanti

COMPOSERS: Aruna Narayan
LABELS: Nimbus
WORKS: Raga Bairagi Bhairav; Raga Shuddh Sarang; Raga Madhuvanti
PERFORMER: Aruna Narayan (sarangi), Sanjay Jhalla (tabla), Uma Mehta, Marianne Svasek (tambura)
CATALOGUE NO: NI 5447 DDD

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Nimbus prefers studio sessions, which don’t have the same atmosphere, but suit the more intimately expressive genres. Aruna Narayan, a rare woman in what is still a man’s world, plays the sarangi with the best of pedigrees – her father Ram Narayan is current doyen of this husky-toned and soul-stirring bowed instrument.

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She has a personal voice of great lyrical intensity, nicely offset by the clean-cut tabla of the UK-based Sanjay Jhalla. A fine solo debut, with a warning for the unwary – keep the volume level low, or the resonant acoustic turns a hesitant whisper into a bellowing super-viola.