Classical Music Sentinel "The musicianship on this recording is quite remarkable. Guitarist Simon Thacker transcends the instrument and persuades it to produce music loaded with subtle nuances and character... A veritable melting pot of styles and influences that have truly merged into one."
"Shirish Korde’s Nada-Ananda concerto allows classical guitarist Simon Thacker ...to show just how invigorating music can be when it draws its sensibilities from a host of styles, releasing it from the inhibitions of genre pigeon-holing."
"I was deeply impressed by this disc – not just by the undeniably high standard of musicianship throughout, but also by the fascinating, accessible and interesting compositions, which demonstrate that successful collaboration between Eastern and Western music is, indeed, possible."
"Here's an east-west inversion: gentle spirituality from Nigel Osborne's work for 'guitar concertante'; and jazz with real swing in Shirish Korde's concerto, where the virtuosity of Thacker is matched by sizzling sounds from Jyotsna Srikanth's Indian violin and Sarvar Sabri's tabla playing".
"The third movement, in particular, is an exuberant virtuoso display of rhythmic complexity. Nada Ananda means joy of sound, an idea Korde captured in his music."
"An ambitious project which has proven very successful because of the musicianship and devotion of Simon Thacker....Just looking at all these musicians on stage with their instruments one experienced a heightened sense of anticipation, which was fulfilled in performance."
"Take one eclectically minded classical guitarist from East Lothian, grant him charge of an ensemble comprising two Indian virtuosi on violin and tabla drums, one of Scotland's leading string quartets, a Scottish-based Brazilian jazz bassist and a cross-genre percussionist and... the result is music of sinuous beauty."
"Trying to describe this album is difficult; simply calling it east meets west is not only an understatement but doesn’t do it justice! Sanskrit for the Joy is Sound, Nada-Ananda is an eclectic collection of diverse worlds and cultures cross fertilised in an elegant helix of sounds."
"Shirish Korde's...compositional approach to combining Western and Indian music was completely distinct to that of Nigel Osborne, which was a fascinating part of listening to these works. Korde's piece also built to an exciting climax. Simon Thacker is to be congratulated for undertaking such an adventurous programme."
Full review in Feb 2010 issue
"Taking its cue from guitarist John McLaughlin’s Indian adventures, this meaty offering [Shirish Korde’s Nada Ananda] called for much string bending from Thacker, featured marvellous interaction between Thacker and Srikanth and culminated in the kind of strikingly intricate, powerful unison playing from all involved that made McLaughlin’s group Shakti such a thrill."
"This is captivating and highly recommended to our readers.
Simon Thacker is a fine guitarist who has been devoting himself to exploring meetings of Indian and Western cultures with an outstanding intercultural ensemble."
Inside World Music
"Simon Thacker, is a stunning, Scottish performer of Western, European, and South Asian musical styles.....The mix of classical and Indian music is brilliant, moving, and creative."
"Simon Thacker is a musician who has always seen his instrument as international and his classical training as the portal to expressing a whole world of music. His Camerata Ritmata group explores jazz, Spanish and Brazilian influences, among others, and with the Nava Rasa Ensemble - featuring string quartet alongside Indian masters, bass and percussion - he goes right to the heart of Indian music"
"The virtuosity of the musicians on display here is not in question, and their ability to play as an ensemble is most impressive."
"As revealed in the mini-opera The Queens of Govan, staged at Glasgow in 2008, Nigel Osborne has a keen creative empathy with Indian music. He continues his syncretic explorations with this interesting concerto for guitar and a group combining string quartet, bass, percussion, Indian violin and tabla...though it reflects "my search for an Indian classical modernism", the last of the 10 parts has the catchiness of a carol (some vocalisation, too). Shirsh Korde's Nada-Ananda concerto for the same forces provides an invigorating complement."