1. LA SAGESSE (WOMEN, I'M CALLING YOU) 4.27
2. SPEAKING IN TONGUES III 2.14
3. WAITING 6.01
4. SHEHNAI SONG 2.03
5.   LOVE IT IS A KILLING THING 4.48
6.   SPEAKING IN TOUGUES IV 4.57
7.   WOMEN AND CHILD 3.37
8.   EN MIREAL DEL PENAL 3.36
9.   A SAILOR'S LIFE 4.20
10.   ABBESS HILDEGARD 3.26
11.   KAFI NOIR 6.45

 

 
 


been guided to musical and personal discoveries. I think it has worked this way because I have had no musical sense of geographical and traditional barriers.

The voice has always been the centre of my universe. I had been experimenting with soul, gospel and other highly ornamented styles before joining Monsoon in the early 1980s. Later, as I started to listen to other vocal musics, especially British folk music, I discovered that the key ornaments sung by June Tabor or Sandy Denny, for instance, were exactly the same as the ones used in the north Indian tradition.

To find the links between these juxtapositions of notes was a real key for me. I made up silly names for them so that I could identify each one. With time I could listen to a piece of music and recognize new connections. To be able to follow at great speed in my mind the exact notes of each ornament that someone else was singing was a real thrill. The links are all there in Islamic, Andalusian, Bulgarian and Celtic musics, for instance.

The concept of drone has been important in bringing these many influences together. I think that life has a drone, like your blood singing in your ears or the sound of a stream. Where there is a constant drone, it’s not difficult to bring musics together as I do. I am often unaware of the precise joining point between two styles; it seems so natural to slip from one style to another.

It’s fascinating the way that you can move from singing a soul vocal to an Islamic vocal, and then into that very hard guttural sound of Andalusia. It becomes a kind of vocal chain, with techniques leading into each other.

My last album, Weaving My Ancestors’ Voices illustrates crossing points between different musics within a single vocal line. The Zen Kiss has moved on. The structure of my songs have become more challenging now that those connections have been absorbed into my sub-conscious. I now see a place, like the eye of the storm, where there’s just pure vocal.