Harmony Ridge Music

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  Susheela Raman
Photo by Andrew Catlin
I was born in London in 1973 to South Indian parents. My family moved to Australia when I was very young and were eager to keep our Tamil culture alive. I grew up singing South Indian classical music and began giving recitals at an early age. As a teenager I branched out into more blues-based music, which demanded quite different voice techniques. The question then was how to bring these streams together. In 1995 I went to India to study with Shruti Sadolikar, one of the greatest living Hindustani vocalists. This was a challenging experience as I had to let go of what I thought I knew and find a new, more insightful approach to my craft.

Returning to England in 1997, I started to work with Sam Mills who had made a record called Real Sugar with a Bengali singer named Paban Das Baul. This record inspired me because it bridged a gap and found
common ground for Indian music to be expressed to a new audience. Sam’s work with West African group Tama also opened a whole set of musical contact points.

We spent three years developing this record. In addition to writing our own material, we discovered new and exciting ways to adapt the Carnatic songs I had sung when I was younger, particularly the work of the eighteenth century songmasters Tyagaraja and Dikshitar.

SALT RAIN was recorded between October and December 2000 (except Mamavatu which was recorded the preceding February for the Real World GIFTED album). We were lucky to collaborate with some unique musicians who live mostly in London and Paris but are of diverse origins: Guinea Bissau, Cameroon, India, Romania, France, Greece, Egypt, Kenya, America, and Spain. Any record is a meeting of many minds and, now more than ever, it is networks of people, not just individuals, who spark new and exciting work. Everyone brought their own special energy to the music and I am very proud of what we all worked together to create.

Love Trap
CD $16.99 catalog# NDA83041

Salt Rain
CD $16.99 catalog# NDA50955B.2

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