Daily Recco, December 11: Love Letters of love, loss and healing
Anoushka Shankar's album, Love Letters, is an ode to the process of falling in love, suffering a heartbreak and eventually healing.
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Love, they say, is a process. In her Grammy’s nominated album — Love Letters — sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar lays bare the details of the process.
The process has several stages, according to Anoushka. The first step is falling in love. Then comes the desire for the person. The desire eventually leads to heartbreak and loss. And the final stage is healing through loss.
It is no surprise, therefore, that the six songs in the album — intrinsically personal in its nature — were written in the wake of her divorce in 2018 from the man she loved and married in 2010 — filmmaker Joe Wright. And it shows, for she was initially not planning to release the material, but was just journaling her thoughts and the tunes. She then started sharing it with her female friends who then reportedly gelled with the tunes and the words. We see you nodding in agreement if you are one of those who know the healing power of girlfriends as your emotional support system. Incidentally, Anoushka’s primary collaborators on the album are also primarily women. By her own admission, the album has the “kind of female energy” that she thought could resonate globally. And it did!
We did it! I can’t believe Love Letters has been nominated for a Grammy!!! Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey both within and behind the music. Love you so much!!! https://t.co/eyyQVkZRoP— Anoushka Shankar (@ShankarAnoushka) November 24, 2020
Despite Anoushka’s personal history, the lyrics speak individually to each of us who have fallen in love, lost and healed. And this is where Love Letters succeeds. It is not Anoushka’s story, but each and every listener’s. For instance, take the opening track — Bright Eyes. The lyrics speak of the irreparable loss and the hurt — “Does she feel younger than me? As you’re lying in your bed; Does she feel younger than me? Or is that in my head?” The pain eventually follows with “Do you call her bright eyes too?” However, when she plucks the strings of her sitar, the notes somehow do not seem angry, hurtful or bitter. The music is calm, deep, and the expression of one who has healed.
As the week and the year come to an end, listen to Love Letters. Move on. Heal and let go.