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Anil Shahi CD: Maha Maya Mantra

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Anil Shahi CD: Maha Maya Mantra

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Album Notes

1. Addicted to San Francisco 6:35 Featuring saxophone, bansuri flute, keyboards and Anil’s trademark stell-string guitar phrases, this Reggae like groovy track is his ode to San Fancisco. Composed after Anil’s tour of California in 2011, it is musical tribute to the beauty and magic of one of the United States most iconic cities.

2. Arabian Nights 6:37 Tempo changes, intense bansuri flute and nylon string guitar exchanges, and a 8/8 Arabic rhythm utilizing both tabla and djembe, ‘Arabian Nights’ is a perfect intruduction to Anil’s explosive command on guitar. His dazzling speed coupled with an precise guitar and bansuri flute solos, along with an expressive ‘ney (Turkish bamboo flute)’ like bansuri vibrato combine to create a very dynamic and energetic track.

3. A Lotus Bloom in Spain 7:31 Anil combines his virtuosic nylon string playing with the cajón, a percussion instrument native to Peru, to create this fiery famenco-esque instrumental. Starting melodically with a unique flamenco inspired chord progression, using expressive slides and show phrasing, this tracks builds up to an intense exchange between the cajón and Anil’s speed-picked guitar solos.

4. celebration of Life 6:11 Anil takes his steel string guitar to virtuosic heights over a two chrod riff vamp, showcasing his command over various guitar techniques. Eastern classical flavoured flourishes combined with Anil’s muted picking technique inspired by one of his favourite guitar players, Al Di Meola, this track is indeed a celebration of life, the guitar, and Anil’s prowess on the instrument.

5. A Stroll along Blues Street 7:33 Anil takes a turn towards the blues on this breezy instrumental. Featuring his nylon string guitar and a bluesy piano solo, this tracks showcases Anil’s melodic and tastful soloing, straddling both blues and jazz elements in a light and playful instrumental.

6. Maya (Love) 7:55 Peace, serenity and happiness is what comes to mind when listening to ‘Maya (Love)’. Lilting nylon string guitar lines over a cajón rhythm, along with beautiful bansuri flute solo’s, this track highlights Anil’s slow and melodic soloing with touch of eastern classical embellishments.

7. Monsoon Rain Dance 5:22 This serene and relaxing instrumental conjures up images of the summer monsoon rain season in nepal, just as the title suggest! Anil solos in a melodic and assured way his steel string over a background of a catchy guitar rhythm, and swelling keyboard chords. Reminiscent of guitar instrumentalist such as Ottmar Liebert and Daryl Stuermer, ‘Monsoon Rain Dance’ showcases Anil’s mastery of laid-back yet melodic guitar playing.

8. Romantic Frustration 4:58 This album closer is Anil’s most unique and introspective composition in this album. It features his melodic playing over jazz/fusion-esque chords with sprinkling of chromaticism, harmonics, and western classical ideas. Anil’s contemplative and meditative playing in this personal composition is perfect way to close this album leaving one with a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

About Artist: Anil Shahi is a music director, composer, arranger but is perhaps best known as Nepal’s premier fusion gutarist. Well versed in eastern classical traditions and more modern styles of instrumental fusion borrowing heaviely from jazz, rock, folk and flamenco, Anil has been a pioneer in blending the acoustic guitar with instruments native to Nepal such as tabla, sarangi, madal, bansuri flute and sitar. Born in Kathmandu, Nepal into musical family, Anil initially palyed percussion and the bansuri flute in small social and family gatherings. Absorbing various musical styles and instruments from his family and friends, where his grandfather played the tabla and an uncle played the guitar, Anil started to learn the guitar from the age of twelve. Learning initially from his uncle, anil then moved to Varanasi, India where he underwent rigorous eight years of training in the classical ragas of the north Indian classical tradition. Returning to Nepal, Anil recorded and realeased the ground breaking fusion album ‘Maya Mantra’, which is milestone album in the music scenario of Nepal. Combining Eastern Ragas based playing with Nepalese folk elements on what is essentially a non Raga based instrument, the guitar, ‘Maya Mantra’ showcased Anil’s effortless and virtosic playing, and led the way to further explorations in this newly formed ‘fusion’ genre by both himself and other contemporaries. The critical and commercial success of that album has led Anil to be an in demand session player, arranger and composer for various project in Nepal. He has released seven instrumental albums, three vocal/song based albums and nine musical scores for Nepalese feature films to his credit. His live touring schedule is equally extensive. His international debut was at the London Millinnium Dome Concert, UK series in 2000, and to date he has performed in more than hundred concerts around the world including the United Kingdom, the United states, Malaysia, Taiwan and India. Maha • Maya • Mantra is his eight solo album and continues his long, varied & inquisitive journey with guitar. He descripes it as a very personal recording, with lengthy improvisations and a mix of nylon and steel string guitars, supported by many percussive and melodic instruments including Cajón, Bansuri flute, Piano, Saxophone, Tabla and Djembe.

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