Rajasthani Dreams of Spain

From the Sitar to the Guitar
From the Sitar to the Guitar

Various Artists

From the Sitar to the Guitar (Kairos KR006, 2007)

The boxed set From the Sitar to the Guitar includes a DVD and CD recorded in 1995, released in 2007 by Kairos.

The concept is one that has been repeated recently in some Gypsy music tours. The idea is that the Gypsies originated in Rajasthan (India) and musicians from various countries and cultures follow the musical route from India all the way to Spain in southwestern Europe. 

The concert was hosted by two legendary musicians, Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin. The fascinating DVD begins with a concert of classical Indian music featuring Ravi Shankar on sitar, accompanied by tabla and tampura. Then the voyage begins with musicians from Rajasthan. Two types of musicians from India, who normally don’t perform together, the Langas and the Manghaniyars, dressed in beautiful outfits. The music sounds clearly Indian, but some instruments and melodies, and even the dances, seem to resemble Gypsy traditions. 

The next stage in Eastern Europe. Gypsy music there is represented by virtuoso musicians Trio Loyko. Gypsies were village entertainers and they sharer rhythms and gestures with Rajasthani musicians.

Master cimbalom player Ludovit Kovac shows the musical links between instruments. The cimbalom is very similar to an Indian instrument called santur. Both belong to the hammered dulcimer family.

Even though many Gypsies entered Europe from the east north and migrated westward, a branch is believed to have headed south, entering Africa through Egypt. Abdelli represents the music of the Berbers, another group that has been persecuted.

The last stage of the trip takes the viewer to Andalusia (Spain), the cradle of Flamenco. A Flamenco troupe formed by fiery dancer Blanca del Rey and several professional musicians.  

The grand finale joins all the musicians, jamming and dancing, fusing the various styles.

Buy From the Sitar to the Guitar

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.