I am singer, Sitar player, composer, scientist and explorer Shama Rahman.
I am the first Sitar player to perform on the ice in Antarctica where I was invited to be an explorer on an expedition with the first Antarctic Biennale.
I am the first artist-in-residence with the pioneering wearable technology mi.mu gloves.
I play with my 6-piece band and I have a forthcoming album entitled Truth BeTold.
Truth BeTold takes you on a transformative journey told through personal life experiences of childhood, revolution, disillusionment & love. This is sonically, lyrically and visually embodied through water forms such as playful creeks, melting river-flows, and the terrible calm beauty of the sea. These life stages are thematically arranged into three chapters reflecting Sufi poet Rumi’s questions:
Is it True? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?
My poetic songs draw inspiration from my Bangladeshi roots, the childhood desert landscapes of the Middle East, and my later move to the UK, where everything I knew collided with London’s vibrant urban energy and musical characters.
My compositions reflect London’s multiculturalism with ‘Truth BeTold’ highlighting a genre-bending style and described by Songlines Magazine as ’the triumphant expression of a unique vision and inimitable sound’. Songwriting Magazine says “…imagine Dead Can Dance and Björk getting together in a folk club, to make jazzy trip-hop records…with sitars.”
I take the sitar out of the traditional context, composing and performing across genres including, live electronica, hip-hop, drum ’n’ bass, jazz, worldbeats, Indian/western classical melodies, folk storytelling and beat poetry.
Thank you to my supporters for a successful Kickstarter campaign, which was 150% funded here (10 April to 10 May 2016).
You can listen to tasters from the album individually on this site
, or all together at:
If you find a taster that you really like, I’ll send you the whole track for free if you pop your email in the box and select which song you’d like. The project itself does not stop at writing the music however…
I was an artist-in-residence with a very special new form of music technology called the mi.mu gloves – gloves which respond to the wearer’s movements. I use them to explore new electro-acoustic cross-genre Sitar-led songs & spoken word with jazz, electronica, hiphop, drum’n’bass & worldbeats, Indian/Western classically-inspired melodic arcs & folk-inspired storytelling.
My residency culminated by scaling up the songs from the album into a multidisciplinary cross-arts performance via a collaboration with my live band of musicians, dancers and visual projection mapping artists. This was developed through public Lab sessions at the Southbank, with a final showcase in May 2016. This showcase involved a pioneering movement approach to an immersive theatrical Sitar cabaret/libretto performance of storytelling songs. The goal was to push the technology to discover its strengths and where it can add to modern possibilities of story-telling for musicians over the coming years.