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Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash Team Up with Classical Guitar Veteran Sharon Isbin on ‘Strings For Peace’

The meditative four-track album features a blend between sarod and guitar, adapting four raagas

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Anurag Tagat Jun 08, 2020

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Sharon Isbin

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A collaboration that’s about a decade in the making, classical guitar artist Sharon Isbin joined forces with sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, for the album Strings for Peace, released on May 22nd via ZOHO.

While Isbin – three-time Grammy award winner including the Best Instrumental Soloist category – has collaborated with everyone from Joan Baez to Steve Vai, composer Howard Shore and more, she’s been friends with Khan and his family for 10 years now. Isbin told Hindustan Times, “Around six years ago, Amjad came up with the idea for a collaboration, and I immediately said yes.”

After performing together in India and the U.S. in 2019, Strings for Peace was more or less completed. While Amaan Ali Bangash features on the opening composition “By the Moon – Raga Behag,” Ayaan duets beatifically with Isbin on two tracks, “Love Avalanche – Raga Mishra Bhairav” and “Sacred Evening – Raga Yaman.” The veteran sarod artist in Khan brings his soul power on “Romancing Earth – Raga Pilu” as Isbin adds a meditative backing before venturing and adapting Indian raagas herself.

Isbin adds in a statement, “It took a long time to get the right partners to realize this unique vision on the guitar. Our instruments have so many interesting similarities and differences. Combining the sarod and guitar results in an extraordinary blend.” A practitioner of transcendental meditation since her teens, Isbin suggests that the album aims to give listeners a “remarkable spiritual and emotional journey.”

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A proponent of fusion for several decades, Khan says Strings for Peace perhaps works well to “achieve a cross-fertilization” of music traditions. He adds in his statement, “Each of the artists brings the spirit of sharing the great unique treasures of their own artistic traditions, as well as finding common ground in ragas and medieval modes.”

Listen to ‘Strings for Peace’ below. Watch the trailer of the making of the album here.

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