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Rating: ★★

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Album and Artist Details


Kamini Natarajan


Kamini Natarajan


Living at a time when women were confined to the home, the 16th-century Hindu mystic-poet Meerabai (bai being an honorific for ‘lady’), the only female poet in a very male domain, was wandering in the Rajasthani desert with mystics and mendicants chanting her poetry, the main theme of which was her love for and devotion to the Hindu god Krishna – a defiant love that earned her the wrath of her in-laws. Meerabai’s work is cherished all over south Asia, with her poems recorded by many singers, perhaps most memorably on the film Meera (1979), whose music was composed by sitar maestro Ravi Shankar. The Los Angeles-based classical vocalist Kamini Natarajan pays homage to Meera in her own style with original compositions, accompanied by classical instruments such as sitar played by Will Marsh, with Eddie Young on cello and Ashish Ranade on tabla along with the bansuri (bamboo flute), ghatam (clay-pot drum) and kanjira (tambourine-like frame drum). Attempting to explore the timeless beauty and wide-ranging emotions depicted in Meera’s poetry, Natarajan has a pleasant, soft voice but it is, at times, understandably challenged by the need to express contradictory emotions: unconditional, loving devotion alongside a blatant defiance of established norms.

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