Yorkston/Thorne/Khan – the trio of James Yorkston (guitar, nyckelharpa, vocals), Jon Thorne (double bass, vocals) and Suhail Yusuf Khan (sarangi, vocals) – is pleased to announce their new album Navarasa: Nine Emotions will be released on January 24, 2020. At the heart of the record is the Indian subcontinent’s navarasa — the nine (nava) emotions or sentiments (rasa) of the arts. The first track to be shared from Navarasa: Nine Emotions is “Westlin Winds,” which is paired with the emotion of Adbutha (surprise/wonder).
“Westlin Winds” starts with the life-destroying Act I of Robert Burns’ poem Now Westlin Winds, (And Slaught’ring Guns) and transplants its disjoined, nature-extolling and life-affirming Act II onto Indian soil with a composition “in Purbi, a specific dialect of old Hindi. I learnt the song,” says Suhail, “by listening to various qawwali [Muslim devotional song] singers singing at Hazrat Nizammuddin’s dargah [shrine] in Delhi. Its source is Hazrat Amir Khusrau.” This bricolage of diverse cross-cultural elements is apparent across Navarasa : Nine Emotions, and all of what YTK create. James Yorkston weaves in Scottish folk, sangster and literary strands; Jon Thorne is grounded in jazz and groove; what the New Delhi-based, eighth-generation hereditary musician Suhail Yusuf Khan brings to this feast of pulses and cycles is northern Indian classical, light classical (thumri, for example) and Sufi devotional musical and literary forms. What binds these diverse musical strands together is, in James’ phrase, “a dark happiness.”
“Bravely original” -The Guardian
“A wonderful tapestry of sound, with every element intricately woven… quietly mesmerizing.” -Music OhM
RIYL: Junun, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Bert Jansch, Fairport Convention, George Harrison, Donovan, James Yorkston
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