Sacha Silva - Anatomy of a Coup
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Sacha Silva
Anatomy of a Coup
Migrant Worker Records (www.sachasilva.org)

Even if juxtapositions like Indian classical singing, Middle Eastern percussion, and flamenco guitar have become increasingly common ingredients in the commercial "world-music" blender, it's not often that the qualifications "guitarist-composer" and "development economist" appear on the same résumé. Enter Sacha Silva, born in Canada of Sri Lankan and Bulgarian descent, teamed with fellow economics student and UK-Indian singer Munya B. (Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay) and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Morgan (not incidentally, also a composition fellow at the Royal Academy of Music). Anatomy of a Coup reflects upon an extended stint of travel and work in the global South, including the 2006 Fiji military coup to which Silva was witness. Dappled with radio-broadcast snippets from the U.S. invasion of Grenada in 1983, an extract from Fidel Castro's farewell address to Che Guevara, extended prophetic quotes from W.B. Yeats, and more, Anatomy is audacious precisely in eschewing the customary pretense of dogmatic idealism and multi-kulti "world-beat" mishmash.

Sidestepping the deadly tedium of all that (albeit not without a committed, non-sectarian humanitarian politics of its own), this is an impressionistic recording of manifest artistry that gives the music the last say. Singing in Hindi and Bengali, Munya B's soaring soprano leads the way in a spare setting wherein guitar, classical strings, and percussion weave a shifting field of sonic textures that carry the music forward without ever getting in the way. Aligned with "a new generation of global wanderers, travelers, immigrants, expats and half-breeds," this project is one astute answer to the challenge of bringing one's own cultural sensibilities to the international encounter, in a nuanced appreciation of the role that crafted musical dialogue can play in this, our impertinently globalizing world. - Michael Stone

CD available from cdRoots

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