This playlist features twenty classic tracks which highlight the beauty of cultural exchange between Eastern and Western musical traditions.
The beauty of collaboration and mutual musical respect shine through these classic recordings which highlight how two diverse musical traditions can be seamlessly brought together with remarkable results. From the legendary 1966 collaboration of Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin to some recent unlikely gems including Nordic Raga.
Nordic Raga - Listen to the album
Nordic Raga - Vildhonung
Nordic Raga is perhaps the perfect group with which to open this exploration of Eastern and Western music fusing together in harmony. There might be the largest physical distance between the two cultures, but Nordic Raga succeeds in bringing Indian and Swedish sonic textures together, close as ever.
David Darling & The Wulu Bunun - Lugu Lugu Kan-Ibi
This project unites singers from the Wulu Bunun people of Taiwan with the sumptuous sounds of cello pioneer David Darling, to create a striking reinterpretation of an ancient tradition. David Darling - a Grammy nominated and classical trained cellist - creates his own place within the distinctive eight-part harmonic singing of the Wulu Bunun.
David Darling & The Wulu Bunun - Mudanin Kata - Listen to the album
John Zorn, Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble
The Silk Road Ensemble came to be under the artistic direction of Yo-Yo Ma, arguably the world’s finest and most well-known cellist. There is a huge debate in musical circles about the role of genre and what exactly it means to define a piece of music as Classical, Western, or Eastern. But listening to the Silk Road Ensemble, all of those limiting definitions melt away.
Historically, the Silk Road served as a cross-roads for many travellers, from different cultures; the Silk Road Ensemble is inspired by this ancient trade network as an example of exchange, collaboration and celebration of our global community.
Ravi Shankar, Yehudi Menuhi
Ravi Shankar, Yehudi Menuhin - Shankar: Swara-Kakali (Based on Raga Tilang)
It would be impossible to have an East Meets West playlist without mention of Ravi Shankhar and Yehudi Menuhin's collaboration on the album West Meets East. The friendship between the two musicians had begun in India in the early 1950s, after which Menuhin had done much to introduce Western audiences to Indian music. Their call and response on this song is intoxicating, and is a model for the interplay of their respective cultures on the album as a whole.
Bjork - Ambergris March
Bjork has always been a force of fusion to be reckoned with. Largely inspired by traditional Japanese music, Ambergris March also harks back Björk's background in electronica. The percussion twinkles around the head of the listener, with elements of pan-asian gamelan infused throughout the track.
Bjork - Drawing Restraint 9