by Blair Jackson
And now for something completely different. Simon Thacker is a Scotland-based guitarist, composer, and tutor who has forged a fascinating and productive career creating unique fusions of classical guitar with various world music and jazz purveyors. He has a particular affinity for Indian music. Among the ensembles he’s led are the Nava Rasa Ensemble (which included both Indian and Western classical musicians), Simon Thacker’s Ritmata, and Karmana (a duo with Polish cellist Justyna Jablonka). The guitarist has played extensively in India and Pakistan (not to mention all over Europe), alone and playing with others.
This video is a remarkable collaboration between Thacker and tabla player Sarvar Sabri, shot in Pakistan earlier this year. Of the song, Thacker says: “I had recorded a Pakistani song —actually, their unofficial ‘second national anthem’—which I was asked to reimagine in solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar school atrocity [a December 2014 episode in which terrorists slaughtered 145 people, including 132 children] when I toured there in January. Its unlike everything else I’ve done in that it is taking basically a pop song and taking it closer to a new folk or classical tradition, rather than reimagining a tradition.”
You can learn more about Thacker at simonthacker.com.