Vishwa Mohan Batt (V.M.Bhatt), Anwar Khan & Divana - Desert Slide

Tagged with: Desert Slide Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt Anwar Khan Manghaniyar mohan veena guitar sitar sarangi tabla dholak kartal Divana zaman Rajasthan India Hindustani Thar Langas Manganyar gipsy gypsy Ry Cooder Slide Guitar Tansen Ravi Shankar

Desert Slide is the latest project of the Indian slide guitar virtuoso Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. The former student of Ravi Shankar first gained international attention with his 1994 Grammy Award-winning album collaboration with Ry Cooder. And he straddles the cultures in more ways. It was his love for the characteristics of North American slide guitar that led him to invent the Mohan veena, a hybrid guitar with 19 strings which is now recognised as a true Indian classical music instrument. Desert Slide sees him collaborating with the internationally renowned Gypsy musicians of Divana from Rajasthan. The soaring tones of the Mohan veena intertwine with inspirational singing, mellifluous melodies of the kamancheh and ecstatic rhythms of tabla and dholak. A meeting of masters inspired by the vast expanses of the Thar desert. Not to be missed.

(taken from virtualWomex Artists)

"Desert Vision II : the spiraling sounds of the mohan veena intertwine with the vocal harmonies of Anwar Khan Manghaniyar, in a sort of long tracking shot through the desert immensity.

Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt claims his filiation with Tansen, master of music in Akbar's court (XVIth century). But he also composes and innovates, like Pandit Ravi Shankar whom he was the first student of or like his fellow musician Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, who also shows a real interest in slide guitar. The creation of the mohan veena, half guitar half sitar instrument, with bluesy and hawaiian sounds, forces the player to go beyond the boundaries of traditional playing, also fascinating.

As a grammy awarded for the project recorded as a duo with Ry Cooder in 1994, Vishwa Mohan Batt is one of the few Indian musicians who is known by Westerners. This former Ravi Shankar’s student manufactured the Mohan Veena, a guitar which combines the features of indian traditional string instruments with the ones of the north-american Slide Guitar, the most beautiful characteristics of which he keeps sublimating.

For this project, this virtuoso, who is a native of Rajasthan, joined his gipsy fellow countrymen, the Divana, whose talents are today very well known. As part of the caste of the Langas and Manganyars musicians, who formerly devoted themselves to Radjahs, these artists met with success in Europe through the groups Divana and Chota Divana. In this project, they demonstrate an almost absolute grace thanks to the singing of the great Anwar Khan as well as the playing and the mastery of saranguis and percussions (tablas, double drum Dholak and the castanets Kartâl).

Thanks to the aerial glissandi of the Mohan Veena and the shimmering lyricism of the Gipsys, this meeting has created a powerful and bright music. Recorded in an obvious magical one shot elan, the record combines pagan and divine love songs, which were taken from an ancestral songbook. This meeting, which is halfway between savant hindoustani art, folk traditions of the Thar desert and an elegant modernity, is a musical jewel."

(taken from

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