THE EXOTIC TWANG OF THE SITAR—an Indian string instrument derived from a much older Hindustani instrument called the veena. Influenced by the Persian lute called the setar, it was modified and renamed in the 16th century by musicians in the Mughal court. By the 18th century the sitar had become a mainstay of Indian classical music.
Introduced to the west in the 1950s by RAVI SHANKAR and others, and briefly popularized by the BEATLES in the 1960s, in the 1970s the sitar encountered something completely new: the electronic synthesizer.
Electronic instruments and studio techniques opened up and modernized the sound of Indian music; while Indian classical music inspired western musicians to try a completely different system of musical creation, based on drones, microtonal scales, and improvisation on pre-composed melodic ragas and rhythmic talas.
It's hard to say whether the Western or Indian system dominated the encounter; today we enjoy a healthy cross-fertilization of digital technology with Indian musical instruments and traditions. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, another report from the intersection of Indian music and electronics, on a program called INDO-TRONICA 2.
Music is by AL GROMER KHAN solo and with KAI TASCHNER, MANISH VYAS, and BENJY WERTHEIMER.