Need Your Input on New Song Introduction

As some of you may know, in the last year or so, I’ve been in the middle of recording a new album on the theme of detachment.  I’m really enjoying the process of creating and recording the songs as well as collaborating with some incredible musicians from all around the world.
We are now working on a duet in English and Arabic (with my talented friend Nasim Maani) entitled ‘Free Thyself’.  My producer has worked long hours in the past few months arranging and re-arranging this piece and we are almost at the point where the song seems complete.  The one question we have is about the introduction and that is where we need your input and advice.   We had envisioned for the song to have a Middle-Eastern/South Asian feel to it (because of the Arabic lyrics) and so we had recorded a sitar player (the only one we could find in Beijing).  After the recording we weren’t sure whether it suited the song and wanted to know what you think.  There is a beautiful guitar melody and harmony happening in the intro and we weren’t sure whether the sitar overshadows that.  Below I am sharing two versions of the introduction so that you can hear the difference (one is with the sitar and the other is without the sitar).  I would love to hear your comments below as I’m sure it will help us make the decision of whether or not to keep the sitar. I look forward to sharing the whole song with you when the full album is ready.




    Svetlana May 8, 2014Reply

    To my mind (and ear) the sitar adds some spice without being too much. A very decent addition. The music is lovely!

    Guillermo May 8, 2014Reply

    Yes with sitar, it feels more complete than the other.

    Bret May 8, 2014Reply

    I much prefer the sitar-enriched version, though the other one is beautiful too.

    Bagul May 8, 2014Reply

    “With sitar” sounds much better

    Kenneth Bowers May 8, 2014Reply

    I like the addition of the Sitar. I feel that it adds some depth to the music and does not distract from it in any way.

    Joyce H May 8, 2014Reply

    I also like the sitar version! Sorry for all the post with no comment ;-(

    Anonymous May 8, 2014Reply

    hi Elika…both are nice but i feel the music from the sitar is overpowering your rendition. The one without the sitar brings out the beautiful melodious warbled just as “the nightingale”…today music has too much synchronization that the pure voice is m

    Sarmad Garmroud May 8, 2014Reply

    Lovely intro, dear Elika. Amazing!
    I first heard the alluring sound of the sitar in George Harrison’s songs, and ‘My Sweet Lord’ is one of my favorites. I think it sounds great. Humble suggestion: let it only play when you aren’t actually singing. Your voice is awesome. Let the sitar do the fill-in.
    Much love to your awesome family, and all the very best with the album!

    Sholeh May 8, 2014Reply

    I like the sitar! Either way it is beautiful but it adds an interesting element that I like.

    Behruz May 8, 2014Reply

    A flute piece will be a great addition to the sitar.

    Marshall May 8, 2014Reply

    I like the sitar and wish it was used more in music, but I have loved your music and I’m sure I will like which ever version you use. Thanks for giving us a choice.

    Varya @ CWOV May 8, 2014Reply

    Keep sitar!!! Absolutely! I also agree on sitar being as a fill-in.

    Guiti May 9, 2014Reply

    A new twist with sitar! lovely! Sitar is one of my favorite instruments. I often listen to Anoushka shankar .

    Julie Iraninejad May 9, 2014Reply

    Hi El, This is really beautiful both ways. Can’t wait to hear the CD! I like the sitar version and the one without it- so i am not much help at all! Maybe go with the sitar version as it adds a little exotic flavor to the piece!

    Muni May 9, 2014Reply

    Thank you for inviting us to help decide. After listening carefully several times, and also knowing that Nasim will be signing the Arabic portion, I have to say ‘no sitar’. OR, use the sitar towards the end as a fading ending… The various instruments and your voices are overshadowed by the sitar. Hope this helps. Much love.

    Bob Russell May 9, 2014Reply

    I like both, however, since the voice is the important thing here I believe without is clearer.

    J Lan May 9, 2014Reply

    I liked both versions but I would say that with the sitar it sounds East Indian, not Middle Eastern or Asian. I think it is a very distinct sound and leaves a very distinct feeling. If that is what you are trying to convey than it works fine. If not, leave it out. It is beautiful without it.

    Anna Resendiz May 9, 2014Reply

    You intro chant has some zitar, which I love and so I would be disappointed if I didnt hear more…love the instrument and think it goes very well with this.

    Bruce May 9, 2014Reply

    Hell ya! Throw in that there Sitar. Sounds real good eh.

    Jaleh May 10, 2014Reply

    No sitar as I love your voice and music so much that the less contamination of other sounds the better! There is a purity without it!

    Elika May 10, 2014Reply

    Thanks to each of you for your comments. I have read every one of them and taken note of what your reasoning is behind your answer. A couple of you mentioned that you are concerned that the sitar would overshadow the vocals so I wanted to assure you that the sitar is only in the introduction and at the end of the piece.

    Jarome May 10, 2014Reply

    So exciting to hear this teaser from possibly the best music you have ever written! I like the Sitar, it adds a unique flavour to the song.

    Elika May 14, 2014Reply

    Thank you Jarome for all your support.

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