World Music: Nirmala Rajasekar / Maithree: The Music of Friendship (Innova Recordings - Oct 26, 2018)

World Music
Nirmala Rajasekar / Maithree: The Music of Friendship
(Innova Recordings - Oct 26, 2018)

Composers: Turlough O’ Carolan, Nirmala Rajasekar, Thanjavur K. Murugaboopathi, Pat O’ Keefe, Vasant Desai, Haydar Tatliyay, Sri Annamacharya, Michelle Kinney, Peter Linman
Performers: Nirmala Rajasekar, Thanjavur K. Murugaboopathi, Michelle Kinney, Pat O’Keefe, Tim O’Keefe

Buy the CD

World music is a term that's often used with some exasperation - after all, are we not all creating music of the world? But, some of the most exciting music being produced today defies categorization, and perhaps it's the only term that's remotely apt for recordings like this one, that take Indian percussion, Western instruments, Irish, and Turkish influences in a mash-up that Nirmala Rajasekar, the creator of Maithree, the ensemble, describes in a media release.

These are more than just songs. They are a rhythmic, melodic & harmonic convergence of many diverse souls & spirits into one expressive creation. What comes from the heart reaches the heart. The Maithree experience makes our hearts beat together as one.

The album features both original compositions and rearrangements of traditional Indian, Irish, and Turkish songs. The results are lively and compelling, with a mesmerizing quality that is fueled by the emphasis on percussion. The addition of clarinet and cello creates some truly intriguing musical fabric, like in Pentatonic - New Beginnings, a track that was originally written for a duo and now encompasses the five members of Maithree, who each take a turn at centre stage.
Nirmala Rajasekar
In Prism, based on the raga Amruthavarshini, classic South Indian melodies meet Western style counterpoint for a fresh take on both. Each track offers a new musical experiment.

Maithree, the ensemble, was formed when Nirmala Rajasekar, Indian veena virtuoso, invited some friends to play music together. With visiting South Indian drum guru Boopathi, cellist Michelle Kinney, and brothers Pat (clarinet) and Tim O’Keefe (world percussion) - in Minnesota, of all places.