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World Music CD Reviews World Fusion


By Tom Pryor
Published September 23, 2005


This fascinating project explores the not-so-distant relationship between North Indian classical music and Spain’s flamenco tradition. Flamenco, of course, has long been associated with Spain’s sizeable gitano, or gypsy, population, and all European gypsies (or roma, as they prefer to be called) share a common North Indian origin. And although the roma left the subcontinent sometime in the 9th century, their insularity allowed them to maintain many cultural traits and traditions intact. One of the most famous roma traditions has been their music making, and flamenco’s classic compas, or 12 beat cycles, can trace their origins all the way back to India. Of course the music diverged over the centuries, but the common roots remained, ready to be unearthed and grafted together in a project like IndiaLucia. Recorded between 1994 and 2004, in both India and Spain, the album brings together master musicians from both traditions, including guitarist Miguel Czachowski, sitarist Avaneendra Sheolikar, tabla player Sandesh Popatkar and cajón player Pierluca Pineroli. The result is a masterful blend of kinetic percussion, stately raag-like drone punctuated by fiery flamenco fretwork and soaring vocal improvisations.