Tuesday, April 7, 2015

ravi shankar

Ravi Shankar
পণ্ডিত রবিশঙ্কর
(April 7, 1920 – December 11, 2012)

The ambassador of Indian music to the world experimented with Western styles and musicians throughout his entire lifetime.    Rabindra Shankar Chowdery was born in Varanasi, India, into a well-off orthodox Brahmin family.   Shankar grew up studying music and toured with his brother Uday Shankar in the Compagnie de Danse et Musique Hindou (Company of Hindu Dance and Music), travelling to Paris and eventually meeting guru and multi-instrumentalist Allaudin Khan.  He went to Maihar to study sitar under Khan for six years.  Then he went to Mumbai to work composing music for ballets in the Indian People's Theater Association.  He would become music director of the New Delhi radio station All India Radio for several years.  During the 1950's he began playing sitar internationally in Europe and the US.  At the same time he scored Indian film director Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy, with the first film  Pather Panchali winning the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955.  

During the 1960's, performances at the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock gave him further exposure, and his most famous student, George Harrison brought the sitar to a broader audience when he used it on recordings with The Beatles.  In 1971, Shankar and Harrison organized the Concert for Bangladesh at Madison Square Garden with proceeds going to UNICEF to help Bangladeshi refugees affected by flooding and violence. The Concert for Bangladesh album went on to win the 1971 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

He went on to earn an Academy Award nomination (for the soundtrack to Richard Attenborough's 'Ghandi'), fourteen honorary degrees, two Grammy Awards, and a membership to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.   He died at the age of 92 after undergoing surgery to replace a heart valve.  His two daughters are also musicians:   sitar player Anoushka Shankar and singer-songwriter Norah Jones.  With his tireless work to bring Eastern music to other parts of the world, Pandit Shankar is remembered as the Godfather of World Music.  

Shankar would express:   "A raga is a scientific, precise, subtle and aesthetic melodic form with its own peculiar ascending and descending movement consisting of either a full seven-note octave, or a series of six or five notes in a rising or falling structure called the Arohana and Avarohana. It is the subtle difference in the order of notes, an omission of a dissonant note, an emphasis on a particular note, the slide from one note to the other … that demarcate one raga from the other  ...  How does one put the spiritual significance of music on paper? Music transcends all languages and barriers and is the most beautiful communicative skill one can have. Music makes us all experience different emotions or the Navarasa as we call it. Different types of music, whether it is vocal or instrumental, Eastern or Western, Classical or Pop or folk from any part of the world can all be spiritual if it has the power to stir the soul of a person and transcend time for the moment. It makes one get goose-bumps in the body and mind and equates the highest mental orgasm and the release of grateful tears!  ...  Music has evolved like always. But as far as I am concerned, 1950's and 60's were the golden for Indian classical music. We had the best of the great senior musicians, middle aged and the younger ones. The whole attitude of the music world was different. The senior musicians may not have been very rich, but they were adored and revered  ...  I have experimented with non-Indian instruments, even electronic gadgets. But all my experiences were based on Indian ragas. When people discuss tradition, they don't know what they are talking about. Over centuries, classical music has undergone addition, beautification, and improvement—always sticking to its traditional basis. Today, the difference is that the changes are faster."


The Dick Cavett Show


"Evening Raga" Live at Woodstock

Live at the Concert for Bangladesh


Concert for Bangladesh - Ravi Shankar by zizoumaniac


George Harrison - The Concert for Bangladesh from Retazovvorks on Vimeo.

Live at Monterey International Pop Festival

"Dhun (Dadra And Fast Teental)"  

"Raga Bhimpalasi"

'Three Ragas'

"Raga Jog" – 28:21
"Raga Ahir Bhairav" – 15:36
"Raga Simhendra Madhyamam" – 10:57

'The Sounds of India'

An Introduction to Indian Music 00:00
Dadra 04:13
Maru-Bihag 14:45
Bhimpalasi 26:29
Sindhi-bhairavi 38:43

'West Meets East'

Prabhati for sitar, violin & tabla  4:08
Raga Puriya Kalyan  11:45
Sawara Kakali for sitar, violin & tabla (based on Raga Tilang)  8:46
Sonata for violin & piano No. 3 in A minor ("dans le caractere populaire roumain"), Op. 25   24:08

'Chants of India' 
produced by George Harrison

"An Introduction to Indian Music" – 4:13
"Dádrá" – 10:30
"Máru-Bihág" – 11:44
"Bhimpalási" – 12:13
"Sindhi-Bhairavi" – 15:00


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