Karavan Sarai: Woven Landscapes (karavansaraimusic.com)

 |   |  1 min read

Karavan Sarai: The Road to Hijaz
Karavan Sarai: Woven Landscapes (karavansaraimusic.com)

Multi-instrumentalist Narayan Sijan grew up in the American Midwest but since the early Nineties has traveled constantly through India and Central Asia and to East Asia.

Even very recently he was still moving through the Middle East and his recent Facebook postings came from Egypt where he was playing with gypsy musicians. 

He's a global citizen who lives on the road and picks up instruments, melodies and ideas.

On this disc however he is joined by double Grammy nominee, performer/producer Carmen Rizzo (they perform as Karavan Sarai) whose background as a producer or player includes work with Seal, Coldplay and Dido. Rizzo also co-founded the world music act Niyaz (fronted by the excellent Iranian-born, Canadian domiciled singer Azam Ali) and has recorded Huun Huur Tur.

So the credibility brought to this this enjoyable, electroacoustic, eight-piece collection is to be reckoned with seriously.

But delightful though much of this is – and it's hard not to be taken in the melodic and rhythmic undulations of River Bend, the hypnotic Indo-Arabic sound of Desert Water and their extrapolations from the Sufi song Upon My Own Hand – this also sometimes veers very close to New Age music.

So over the 50 minute duration you might reasonably conclude there's little here which hasn't been explored previously by other musical explorers down these pan-cultural highways of these culturally rich regions.

It is sometimes entrancing, undeniably intelligent, occasionally insightful and quite often seductive, but it doesn't bring much which is truly innovative or exciting to the table.

You can find out more about Karavan Sarai at their website here (and may purcahse the album there).

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

LO'JO INTERVIEWED (2012): The maison where worlds collude

LO'JO INTERVIEWED (2012): The maison where worlds collude

For a medium-sized town in France, Angers – pronounced An-jey, population about 240,000 – boasts a fascinating ancient and recent history. It was once a Roman town, numerous kings... > Read more

ZAKIR HUSSAIN INTERVIEWED (1999): Has tabla, will travel

ZAKIR HUSSAIN INTERVIEWED (1999): Has tabla, will travel

Early morning in Paris and the start of another long day for Zakir Hussain, master of the tabla drums and son of tabla legend Ustad Alla Rakha. Hussain speaks of the previous day's programme:... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ALLIGATOR RECORDS 1971 - 2011: Four decades of brittle and often brilliant blues

ALLIGATOR RECORDS 1971 - 2011: Four decades of brittle and often brilliant blues

In his excellent book More Miles Than Money, subtitled “journeys through American music”, the expat London-based writer Garth Cartwright meets Bruce Iglauer who founded the Alligator... > Read more

Unity Pacific: Into the Dread (Moving Productions/EMI)

Unity Pacific: Into the Dread (Moving Productions/EMI)

When the documentary about the life of Unity Pacific's singer-songwriter Tigi Ness made it to the small screen on Maori TV and the Film Festival many in the country had their introduction to a... > Read more