Kids Corner


Kiran Kaur Ahluwalia: Aam Zameen - Common Ground




Sikh-Canadian singer and composer Kiran Kaur Ahluwalia's new CD, Aam Zameen: Common Ground, marks the furthest point yet in the rich musical territory that she has staked out and explored with such authority and consummate skill since first bursting onto the world beat music scene almost a decade ago.

Her soaring and unforgettably haunting vocals in the performance of Punjabi folk songs as well as many of her own sensual musical settings of ghazals (highly literary poetic forms about love and loss that date back centuries), reveal her to be one of today's most popular exponents of the fine art of creating hybrid musical styles that become almost signature in the ear of the beholder.

This time, Kiran has gone beyond even the realm of melding Portugese fado, and Punjabi classical forms - to the Tuareg grooves of the Malian Sahara, in fact, for which project she became her own poet.

"In previous CDs, I took the works of Pakistani- and Punjabi-Canadian poets, and composed the music to that," says Kiran, who is now traveling with her new touring show.

But as soon as she set about composing music that incorporated the phrasings, scales, and trance-like rhythms of the Tuareg (nomadic people of the Sahara) which she so admired, Kiran recalls finding herself unable to find suitable words in the ghazal genre to carry out her musical intentions.

"That's why I wrote my own words. Not because I had some big desire to be a poet," she adds, laughing.

"But I would call them Indian contemporary songs."

Kiran's two-pronged Calgary gig consists of Aam Zameen: Common Ground, supporting performances with guitarist Rez Abbasi and his ensemble (bass, harmonium, and tabla players), as well as performances with a group of Indian desert musicians, Rhythm of Rajasthan.

The latter collaboration is aimed at presenting a bigger picture of the subcontinent," says Kiran, noting that Rhythm of Rajasthan is more traditional, musically speaking - "and I'm known as a more contemporary composer and singer."

[Courtesy: Calgary Herald. Edited for]

January 27, 2011

Conversation about this article

Comment on "Kiran Kaur Ahluwalia: Aam Zameen - Common Ground"

To help us distinguish between comments submitted by individuals and those automatically entered by software robots, please complete the following.

Please note: your email address will not be shown on the site, this is for contact and follow-up purposes only. All information will be handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Sikhchic reserves the right to edit or remove content at any time.