Most songwriters and singers tend to write music and perform their songs based around the themes of heartbreak, love that was lost, or some other issue that is personal to them. In the album Land of Gold, Anoushka Shankar decided to take a completely different approach, one that is almost never, if ever, taken.
In a lot of ways, Shankar is following in the footsteps of her father, Ravi Shankar, from when he did a benefit concert in 1971 with George Harrison, as well as a documentary film and subsequent album, that was aimed at helping over seven million refugees of the Liberation War in Bangladesh. They also were able to help the victims of flooding, famine, and cyclones that destroyed the area. Their album featured a lot of the top stars of the day such as Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, and Bod Dylan. The concert brought in a crowd that numbered over forty thousand at Madison Square Garden, and included Ali Akbar Khan, a Sarod virtuoso.
After witnessing recent new, Anoushka was inspired to make the album Land of Gold because of the images of people running from unbearable hardships from the civil war, poverty, and oppression. She had given birth to her second child in the days leading up to the recording and was disturbed by the idea that she was able to provide for her children where, in deep contrast, so many others were not able to provide for theirs, no matter how hard they tried. They are, many times, completely unable to even give their children safety from the cruel world around them. Her words can make anyone reflect on the conflict going on and how it has created a humanitarian crisis that we have all witnessed in the news for quite a while.