Review | Songlines

Time Does Not Exist for Light

Rating: ★★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details

Artist/band:

Josh Feinberg

Label:

Worlds Within Worlds

November/2020

One shouldn’t have to begin by pointing out that sitar player Josh Feinberg is American, but non-Indian sitarists of this quality are very few and this is a remarkable recording by any account. ‘Raga Purbi’ (or Purvi) with which he opens is a rare and poetic one; its narrow intervals and unpredictable turns make the opening 15-minute alap mysterious and absorbing. The faster sections that follow, accompanied by the excellent British-based tabla player Shahbaz Hussain, are light, nimble and airborne. He follows with a piece in the more calm, melodious and expansive ‘Raga Shree’ and closes with ‘Mishra Kafi’, an evening raga, which was a favourite of Nikhil Banerjee, who’s clearly been an inspiration.

Feinberg, based in Portland, Oregon, studied with Ali Akbar Khan among others, and sounds like a fine disciple. He says: ‘We don’t question any longer if someone from anywhere in the world can be a great guitarist or violinist, and it is my dharma to bring that same open-minded understanding to the sitar.’ This album is clearly another step in that direction. It’s a performance I can imagine coming back to many times.

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