New Release & Tour: Yorkston/Thorne/Khan – Navarasa : Nine Emotions / Westlin’ Winds

Photo Credit: Jon Pountney

Yorkston/Thorne/Khan – James Yorkston (guitar/nyckelharpa/vocals), Jon Thorne (double-bass/vocals) and Suhail Yusuf Khan (sarangi/vocals) – are pleased to announce their new album Navarasa : Nine Emotions will be released on January 24th.

Navarasa : Nine Emotions is the trio’s third record. The first fruits of their fantastic expedition entitled Everything Sacred appeared in 2016. The second, Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars, followed in 2017. Navarasa : Nine Emotions takes their journey many, many leagues on.

At the heart of YTK’s transporting new album is the subcontinent’s navarasa; the nine (nava) emotions or sentiments (rasa) of the arts. This central unifying underpinning is a centuries-old organising principle. The individual artistic emotions range from Shringara (love, beauty) through Hasya (laughter, mirth, comedy), Raudra (anger), Karuna (sorrow, compassion or mercy), Bibhatsya (disgust), Bhayanaka (horror, terror), Veera (heroism, courage), Adbutha (surprise, wonder) to Shanta (peace, tranquillity).

Each song on YTK’s new album is connected to one of these emotions, and the first track to be shared from Navarasa : Nine Emotions is “Westlin’ Winds”, paired with Adbutha.

Stream “Westlin’ Winds” below…

“Westlin’ Winds” starts with the life-destroying Act I of Robert Burns’ poem ‘Now Westlin Winds, (And Slaught’ring Guns)’ and deliciously transplants its disjoined, nature-extolling and life-affirming Act II onto Indian soil with a composition “in Purbi, a specific dialect of old Hindi. I learnt the song,” says Suhail, “by listening to various qawwali [Muslim devotional song] singers singing at Hazrat Nizammuddin’s dargah [shrine] in Delhi. Its source is Hazrat Amir Khusrau.” Thus YTK unite one of the key spiritual visionaries and architects of Hindustani art music, the poet-philosopher Hazrat Amir Khusrau with the key literary visionary of Scottish and Scots-language culture, Robert Burns.

This bricolage of diverse cross-cultural elements is apparent across Navarasa : Nine Emotions and all of what YTK create. James Yorkston weaves in Scottish folk, sangster and literary strands. Jon Thorne is grounded in jazz and groove. What the New Delhi-based, eighth-generation hereditary musician Suhail Yusuf Khan brings to this feast of pulses and cycles is northern Indian classical, light classical (thumri, for example) and Sufi devotional musical and literary forms. What binds these diverse musical strands together is, in James’ phrase, “a dark happiness”.

Yorkston/Thorne/Khan will play a special album launch show at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections before their own UK headline tour in March. Dates below…

22nd January – Celtic Connections @ Drygate Brewery, Glasgow
10th March – Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester
11th March – Kings Place, London
12th March – Mac Arts, Birmingham
13th March – The Met, Bury
14th March – Music Room, Liverpool Phil, Liverpool
15th March – Bristol Folk House, Bristol
19th March – Stapleford Granary, Cambridgeshire
20th March – Selby Town Hall, Selby
21st March – CatStrand, New Galloway
22nd March – Summerhall, Edinburgh
23rd March – Perth Theatre, Perth
24th March – Eden Court, Inverness
25th March – The Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore
26th March – The Barn, Banchory
27th March – Tolbooth, Stirling
28th March – Eastgate Theatre, Peebles


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