New Morning & Sounds of Nitin Sawhney

A recurring nightmare was my wake up call today. It is as if my mind puts out red alerts in the form of a horror flick—wake up and get to work. And since 2 am, I have been doing that, slowly typing out a chapter from my book, written lovingly in longhand, with a fountain pen and jade-colored ink. Organic writing, makes me slow down, think, before committing words to paper. It is life without an undo!

And while making morning tea, I ended up on Twitter, where an old friend, Nyay, was tweeting about Nitin Sawhney’s album, Beyond Skin, which is now twenty years old. Sawhney tweeted that he “made this album in my bedroom in a shared flat with musicians I brought into the living room to record.”

Nitin’s music and work have been the soundtrack for my journey as a person without an axis. If you have been a long time reader, then you know how I feel about the timelessness of his work. From a piece back in 2013:

Nitin Sawhney’s music is the sound of the post-globalization world, a planet flattened by connectivity and connectedness. And while Sawhney might be of Indian origin, but his music is anything but. Instead, it is a blend of influences from around the planet — samba, flamenco, guitar, and sitar. Nitin’s music is the soundtrack for the lives of a growing tribe — for whom the home and identity are fluid — forever changing and constantly evolving. I think of him as Dylan of the 21st century. Nitin’s music has been part of my immigrant journey, constant reminder of my past but always pointing to a world that is waiting.

Even though people love Beyond Skin, for me, Spirit Dance is where it all started. Most of his recent work is a bit darker and reflective of the changing world, and the dystopian reality of now.  It was rather unfortunate that I missed his visit to the Bay Area last year since I was visiting my parents.

Hopefully, I would have a chance to see him play live — he is one of the few artists who I would break my “no live concert” rule. For now, back to writing and listening to Sawhney on my fantastic Focals Utopias.

February 4, 2019. San Francisco

A letter from Om

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