Water Lily Acoustics


Here is some information of one of my favourite record labels. Kavi Alexander is a man who seeks emotions and virtuosos outside of popular world music and follow his heart and dreams by "chasing" them around the world. Find bellow the information about the label, equipment and forthcoming catalogue list. Stay tuned for exclusive Mono & Stereo and our Asian front end Allsight interview with Kavi.

Information on Water Lily Acoustics

Water Lily Acoustics is a Grammy Award winning record label, which for the past twenty-five years has striven to archive the great masters and virtuosos of both the East and the West. Founded in 1984 by Kavi Alexander, this small, independent company has succeeded in preserving for posterity, the artistry of numerous master musicians from around the globe, to great acclaim. The releases of Water Lily Acoustics, are prized by the connoisseurs and the cognoscenti, for the verisimilitude with which they render the music.

From its inception, Water Lily Acoustics had laid great emphasis on the virtuosos of the Eastern world and in capturing their art in its purest form. The reason for this, stemmed from the dire fact that the great Eastern musicians had seldom been recorded properly, with care and attention placed on sound quality and thus, most recordings of the Eastern masters, unlike those of their counterparts in the West, were of mediocre quality at best. That this goal has been realized fully can be gleamed from the numerous reviews Water Lily Acoustics as garnered worldwide, from music and audio journals, which stand as proof.

Water Lily Acoustics has become synonymous with pristine sound quality and its recordings are viewed as bearing a unique faithfulness to the original music source. This goal has been achieved by utilising proper microphone techniques, state-of-the-art recording equipment and scrupulously selecting the acoustically most suitable venues for recoding, those, which possess acoustics that enhance the music to be recorded.

Water Lily Acoustics has also gained a reputation for its innovative pairings of musicians from diverse cultures, who normally would never perform together. Water Lily Acoustics was the very first to pair and record Indian musicians, of both the Karnatic and Hindustani schools, with their Persian, Arab and Chinese counterparts, a trend copied by others much later.

All our recordings are offered with the highest fidelity sound, stylish graphics and extensive and informative notes on the music represented and its history.

You may kindly visit our web site at www.waterlilyacoustics.com and see for yourself, the caliber of artists recorded to date. While on the site, it is recommend that one also view the page titled "Forthcoming Titles". This will show the real extent of the Water Lily Acoustic catalog, as all the titles listed therein, have been recorded and mastered, but are yet to be released. In fact, this page, not having been updated in a while, has yet to list the recording of Ustad Zia Fariddudin Dagar, that of HRH The Maharani of Jaipur and the three recordings of the Hungarian National Philharmonic.

Water Lily Acoustics, has to date recorder the following Indian master musicians: Padmavibushan Ustad Dr. Ali Akbar Khan, Padmabushan Professor V.G. Jog, Padmavibushan Pandit Jesraj, Padmabushan Dr. N. Ramani, Ustad Imrat Khan, Ustad Zia Fariddudin Dagar, Padmashri Dr. L Subramaniam, Padmashri V. M. Bhatt, Padmashri Kadri Gopalnath, Padmashri Ustad Rashid Khan, Chitravina N. Ravikiran, Swapan Chaudhuri, Guruvayur Dorai and T. H. Subashchandran.

Of the younger generation of luminaries, the following musicians have been recorded as well: Dr. V. Balaji, Pandit Ronu Majumdar, Sukhvinder Singh Namdari, Abhijit Banerjee, Druba Ghosh, J.G.R. Krishnan, Thiagarajan Ramani, Shweta Jhaveri, Viji Krishnan and Sangeetha Shankar. Many of the master musicians listed above, aside from being the very finest from India, have further, been honored by the Indian government with the highest civilian awards.

South American, Asian and African master musicians record by Water Lily Acoustics are as follows: Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Sharafat Ali Khan, Shafkat Ali Khan (Pakistan), Dom Un Ramao, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira, Jose Neto (Brazil), Alex Blake (Panama), Jie Bing Chen, Wu Man (China), Saug-Won Park (South Korea), Drepung Loseling Monks (Tibet), Hamza el Din (Sudan), Papa Bunko Susso (Gambia), Simon Shaheen (Palestine), Kim Sinh (Vietnam), Abdellattif Belharrat (Morocco), Mevelavi Ensemble (Turkey), Usted Hossein Alizadeh, Arshad Tahmasebi, Madjid Khalaj, Haj Ghorban Soleimani (Iran) and Jorge Strunz (Costa Rica).

Symphony orchestras recorded by Water Lily Acoustics to date: The Philadelphia Orchestra (Maestro Wolfgang Sawallisch), The Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Maestro Yuri Temirkanov), The Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (Maestro Alexander Dmitriev) and The Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra (Maestro Zoltan Kocsis).

Prominent North American and European musicians recorder by Water Lily Acoustics to date: Ruggiero Ricci (US), Brooks Smith (US), Grant Gershon (US), Garry Woodward (US), Roger Lebow (US), Emma Lou Dimer (US), Jacky Terrasson (France), Chico Freeman (US), Ry Cooder (US), Taj Mahal (US), Bela Fleck (US), Jerry Douglas (US), Edger Meyer (US), Jon Hassell (US), David Hidalgo (US), Larry Coryell (US), James Newton (US), Martin Simpson (UK) and Teddy Tierup (Denmark). Many of the above listed musicians are multiple Grammy Award winners.

All the above-mentioned artists were produced and recorded by Kavi Alexander and the music released on Water Lily Acoustics.

Recordings released by Water Lily Acoustics have been nominated twice for the prestigious Grammy Award, with one of these nominations resulting in a win. Further, two other recordings done by Kavi Alexander, one for a major label and another for an independent label, were also nominated for the Grammy Award, with one of these also winning the coveted award.

Kavi Alexander has also recorded the following renowned musicians for various other record labels: Art Blakey, Bobby Watson, Wynton Marsalis, Pops Staples, Paramount Singers, Rev. Frank Wright, John Tchicai, Derek Bailey, David Lindly, Henry Kaiser, Purna Das Baul, Asha Putri, Tejandra Majumdar, Snehashish Majumdar and Ramash Misra.

For the Taiwanese label Wind Records, Kavi Alexander has made over thirty recordings of the leading virtuosos of China and Taiwan.


To date, music from recordings released by Water Lily Acoustics, have been featured in the sound tracks of the following six major Hollywood films:

“Dead Man Walking”. (Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon).
“Two Days in the Valley”. (Danny Aiello, Charlize Theron).
“Primary Colors”. (John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton).
“Angel Eyes”. (Jennifer Lopez, James Caviezel).
“One Hour Photo”. (Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen).
“Meet the Fockers”. (Robert de Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Barbara Streisand)
As well in the Jon Bon Jovi documentary “The Circle”.

Equipment for recording:

Hi Rez PCM:
DPA 4003 Omni mikes used for Jecklin technique.
Milab LC 25 Cardioid mikes for ORTF technique.
Pearl ELM 30 mikes for Blumlein technique.

AtoD (24/192)
Mytek Stereo 192 PCM Converter.

Mike Preamp
True Systems Analog P2
True Systems P Solo (On location).

PCM Recorder.
Sound Devices 722.

DSD Recordings;
All the same as above, except:
AtoD Converter: Meitner DSD AtoD (First generation)
Recorder: Tascam DS-D98..

Forthcoming CD's 

We can never go beyond man in all that we know and feel. -Rabindranath Thakur
Bishop Patrick, Rev. Lawyer, Dorothy Shell — Rock of Ages — Traditional gospel songs sung in the classical manner — the human voice accompanied by a piano. Bishop Pat Patrick, contralto, Rev. Michelle Lawyer, soprano and Dorothy Shell, piano. (WLA-GS-09-CD)
Dr. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan — Maihar — One of the greatest musicians of our times, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan performs the evening rags Jog and Yaman Kalyan, accompanied by Swapan Chaudhuri on tabla. The legendary master, as always, bequeaths us another masterpiece.

Papa Bunko Susso – Songs of Kings and Warriors – The jalis of Western Africa are the guardians of a rich oral tradition many centuries old. Papa Susso, a jali of the mandinka tradition, accompanies himself on the kora and sings the history of his people. (WLA-AS-15-CD)
Coleman Barks — Unfold Your Own Myth — The poems and letters of the 13th century Persian Sufi mystic and poet Mevlana Jelálúddín Rúmí. Translated and read by Professor Coleman Barks. The finest renditions of Rúmí’s writings into the English language to date. (WLA-PS-21-CD)
Druba Ghosh — In Praise of the Goddess — A brilliant young sarangi player and son of the eminent tabla virtuoso, Nikil Ghosh, Druba performs rags Jaijaivanti and a thumri in Mishra Khamaj. Tabla accompaniment by Kausar Ali.

Druba Ghosh — In the Shade of the Banyan — Excellent renditions by Druba Ghosh of rags Multani, Puriya, Kedara, and Pilu, as well as a coval performance of a Baul song. Tabla accompaniment by Kausar Ali.

Ustad Salamat Ali Khan — Her Footsteps... — The master of Khyal sings duets with his two sons, Sharafat and Shafkat. Second volume of rags from the same session that produced Breath of the Rose. Rags — Sham Wati, Puriya Kalyan, and Mia Ki Malhar. (WLA-ES-33-CD) 
Hossein Alizadeh — Music of Iran - Volume I — At the forefront of contemporary Persian classical music and an undisputed master of the tar and sehtar, Alizadeh also performs the music of ancient Iran — a tradition inseparable from the Sufi poetry of Hafiz, Sadi and Rumi. On this recording Alizadeh performs on the tar and is accompanied by Arshad Tahmasebi, also on tar, and Madjid Khalaj on zarb.
Hossein Alizadeh — Music of Iran - Volume II — On Volume II the master of Persian classical music performs on the sehtar and is accompanied by Madid Khalaj on zarb. (WLA-ES-36-CD)
Shweta Jhaveri — In Memory of Mira — Shweta Jhaveri, a student of Pandit Jasraj, sings two rags that capture the longing of the Lover for the Beloved. The maturity of Shweta’s vocal technique makes this solo debut a worthy tribute to Mira, the Rajasthani princess-turned-mystic, and devotee of Krishna. Rags — Ahir Bhairav and Multani. (WLA-ES-37-CD)
Dan and Jeanie Flowers — An American Tradition — The Flowers pay tribute to country music legends such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, and Kris Kristofferson. Their own compositions prove that their songwriting skills are to be considered with the best of the genre, while the beauty of Jeanie's voice will leave a lasting impression.
Shafkat Ali Khan — Crescent Moon — Scion of the Sham Churasi Gharana and son of Salamat Ali Khan, Shafkat Ali sings four thumris to the accompaniment of a pedal steel guitar by Robert Powell. This innovative recording blends together for the first time a Western instrument with Hindustani music, to which genre that instrument seems ideally suited.
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Forthcoming CD's http://waterlilyacoustics.com/forthcoming.htm
Abdellatif Belharrat — Recitations of the Quran — A vibrant young singer from Morocco, trained since childhood in the complex art of Quranic recitation, Abdellatif recites select surahs from the Holy Book of Revelation. Of the sacred art forms, this is one of the most beautiful traditions. Surat Qaf, Surat Ad Dariyyat, Surat At Tur, Syra Al Sajr. (WLA-ES-39-CD)
Sang-Won Park — Music of Korea — Volume I — A master of the kayagum, Sang-Won Park plays and sings modern as well as traditional music of Korea. He is accompanied by Dong Seok Kim on the changgo and Sung Raecho on the taegum.

Ustad Salamat Ali Khan — Moonlight and Musk — In this recording, Salamat Ali Khan and his two sons on the one hand break away from tradition, while on the other reinstate the older form of their gharana. They sing two rågs in the khyal style, accompanied by pedal steel guitar, and one in the dhrupad style. These recordings have no tablå accompaniment. Pedal steel guitar by Robert Powell.
Abdellatif Belharrat — Surahs of the Soul — With power and passion, Abdellatif recites and sings, in Arabic, songs of Morocco. He is accompanied by a Fender Stratocaster and a Hammond "B3," both played through Leslie amplifiers. Electric guitar by Dan Flowers and Hammond organ by Brett Larsen.
(WLA-CS-42 -CD)
V. M. Bhatt, Jie-Bing Chen — Silk, Jade and the Begging Bowl — The first recording ever of a Hindustani musician and one of the Chinese classical tradition. One of China’s foremost musicians of the younger generation, Chen performs on the erh-hu, a two string fiddle with a captive bow. Bhatt and Chen weave a fine melodic silk drawn from pentatonic modes common to both cultures, dyed in the hues of the folk traditions unique to both countries.
The Drepung Loseling Monks — Sacred Tantric Chants — The Drepung Loseling Monks from Tibet perform chants that accompany sacred Tantric rituals. The age-old Tibetan technique of an individual simultaneously creating multiple tones is utilized to great effect by these initiated monks, masters of this ancient vocal art. (WLA-ES-30-CD)
N. Ravikiran — Reflections on a Cola Bronze — A child prodigy and virtuoso of the Karnatak tradition, Ravikiran performs on an instrument known as the chitra vina, a lute with a wooden sound chamber and a gourd resonator, the metal strings of which are stopped with a block of ebony. Ravikiran performs the most demanding form within the Karnatak repertoire known as Ragam Tanam Pallavi. Ragam — Shanmukhapriya. (WLA-ES-48-CD)
Abdellatif Belharrat, Dr. V. Balaji, Shafkatt Ali Khan — Meknès, Multan, Madurai —
For the first time, three distinct streams that historically share certain common roots are brought together. Abdellatif is steeped in the Islamic art of Qurånic recitation. Shafkatt is a formidable young khyål singer. Balaji, although versed in Karnatak music, plays Hindustani music on the violin. Shafkatt sings in Urdu, Abdellaftif in Arabic, and Balaji in Tamil, while also providing violin accompaniment.
Dr. V. Balaji — Violin Solos — Dr. Balaji, although from the south of the subcontinent, performs on the violin the Hindustani music of the north. His style is tinged with a subtle Karnatak tone, thus giving his music a unique character.

N. Ravikiran, Hossein Alizadeh — Orientontology - Volume 1 — For the very first time, a master of the Persian classical tradition is recorded with a counterpart from the Karnatak tradition. They explore the essence of their respective eastern æsthetics and musical being. Ravikiran performs on the chitra vina and Alizadeh on the tar and sehtar. Ragam Behag/Dastgah Mahur; Ragam Sindu Bhairavi/Dastgah Shur; Ragam Mishra Bhairavi/Maqam Dad-Bidad; Ragam Shalini.
Martin Simpson, N. Ravikiran — Introspection — Martin’s simultaneous multiple notes and Ravikiran’s sequential single notes serve as counterpoint to each other which resolves in a harmony that is both musical and beyond the realm of music.

James Newton, Jie-Bing Chen — Yellow River Blue — Comprised as it is of original compositions commissioned especially for this recording and written by contemporary Chinese composer Gang Situ and American jazz legend James Newton, this music embodies the sound of the flowing Yellow River Blue. Chinese virtuoso Jie-Bing Chen’s erh-hu and James Newton’s flute know but the one river to the great sea. (WLA-CS-57-CD)
Dr. L. Subramaniam, Prof. V.G. Jog — Arc of the Bow — The two legends of the violin, from the north and the south of the subcontinent, are recorded here in an outstanding performance graced with beauty, power and depth. Ragams – Sindu Bhairavi and Jinjyotipriya.
Haj Ghorban Soleimani, Alireza Soleimani — Music of Iran, Volume III - The Bardic Tradition — Haj Ghorban is one of the last great bards from northern Khorasan in Iran. He is heir to an ancient tradition that he diligently keeps alive by passing on the lore to his son, Ali Reza. Accompanying himself on the Dotâr, a two-stringed long-necked lute, Haj Ghorban sings in a powerful moving voice that transcends linguistical borders. (WLA-ES-60-CD)
G.J.R. Krishnan, Wu Man, Puvalur Srinivasan,— Orientontology - Volume II — For the first time ever, a Chinese virtuoso of the pipa is recorded with two outstanding Karnatak musicians, one performing on the violin, the other on mridangam.

Rashid Khan — Khyal-e-Karnatak — The most prominent young musician of the subcontinent, Rashid Khan has proven himself a worthy successor to a heritage that successfully merges the mystical fervor of Islamic Sufism and Hindu Bhakti. In this recording of Karnatak ragams he is accompanied by a violinist of the Karnatak tradition, as
Martin Simpson, Jie-Bing Chen, Puvalur Srinivasan — Shanghai — In the 1920’s the port city of Shanghai was a hotbed of cultures in confrontation. Many musical streams came together in this city at that time. In this recording Martin, whose grandmother lived in Shanghai, and Jie-Bing, who was born there, explore and evoke the spirit of a Shanghai long gone.
V. M. Bhatt, Salil Bhatt — Father and Son — The master of the Mohat Vina ensures that his legacy shall prevail, for his son, Salil, has attained a proficiency of which he can be proud. On this recording of traditional rågs, they are accompanied by both tablå and mridangam.
David Hidalgo, V.M. Bhatt — Mexicalico — Calico is a fabric named after a port in India, and Mexicali is a town in California near the Mexican border. Thus, Mexicalico is an appropriate title for a recording that brings together a Hindu musician and one who is a repository of the musical traditions of Mexico.

Dr. N. Ramani — Kannan Kullal — The Legendary master of the Karnatak flute is supported by his son, also on flute, while Guruvayuar Dori, a master percussionist, provides rhythmic accompaniment on the mridangam.

N. Ravikiran — Reflections off a Cola Bronze — Ravikiran performs on the chitra vina, a lute with a wooden sound chamber and a gourd resonator, the metal strings of which are stopped with a block of ebony. In this unusual recording he is provided rhythmic accompaniment by T.H. Subashchandran on the ghatam.
Mevlevi Ensemble of Turkey — Music for the Sema — The Mevlevi Ensemble of Turkey, comprised of some of the finest musicians in that country, performs the music that accompanies the whirling ceremony called the Sema. This recording includes English renditions of Rumi's poetry translated and read by Coleman Barks.

Kim Sinh — Deer in the Mist — A blind virtuoso, Kim Sinh not only commands mastery over a vast array of traditional Vietnamese lutes but also the electric slide guitar. Kim Sinh was awarded the title "Vietnam's artist of merit" by the Government of Vietnam in 1983. (WLA-CS-73-CD)
When light returns to its Source, it takes nothing of what it has illuminated. -Jelaluddin Rumi

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