Musical tastes differ from person to person. Some like the slow and elaborate Vilambits, others like the punchy and faster paced Teentals. Here are a few of my favourite songs, a mixed fare, specially uploaded for your listening pleasure.
Indian classical musicians worship their instruments as if the Goddess of knowledge, music and art, Saraswati, bestowed them to them herself. During the Monterey International Pop Festival of 1967, legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix smashed his guitar all over the stage and later burned it into flames at the finale of his performance. Another guitarist, Pete Townshend, followed suit by breaking his guitar into bits and pieces. In sheer contrast, Pandit Ravi Shankar, who also participated, lifted the sitar to his forehead as a mark of respect for the art and the instrument. Recently, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan was seen weeping when his sarod was damaged during a flight. Herein lies the divinity of Indian classical music.
Every Raga is associated with a particular time of day or a season of the year. Each time of the day (i.e. before dawn, morning, noon, late afternoon, early evening, late night) is associated with a definite emotion. The cycle of day and night as well as the cycle of the seasons are supposed to be analogous to the cycle of life. The explanation of the time associated with each Raga may be found in the nature of the notes that comprise it, or in historical anecdotes concerning the Raga.
Subhra Guha – Raga Bihag (night 10pm-12am) :
Subhra Guha – Raga Bilaskhani Todi (morning 8am-10am) :
Shankar Family & Friends (1974), Disc 3 of the Ravi Shankar George Harrison Collaborations box set (3CD/1DVD), is the first joint recording project between the two. Shankar Family & Friends brought together Indian classical music icons such as Alla Rakha, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shivkumar Sharma, Lakshmi Shankar, L Subramanium and Western rock and jazz musicians, including Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Jim Keltner, Tom Scott, Klaus Voormann and Hari Georgeson (George Harrison). Composed by Ravi Shankar and produced by George Harrison, one half of the album comprises instrumentals and songs, while the second half is a thematic ballet. The instrumental part, I’m afraid, doesn’t live up to the expectation one would associate with such immortal geniuses. However, excellent vocals by the nightingale of Indian classical music, Lakshmi Shankar, are enough to lure you into preserving this CD for posterity.
Shankar Family & Friends – I Am Missing You (Indian Version) (30 sec) :
Music Festival From India DVD is the real cherry on the cake. It is a rare, previously unreleased concert performance recorded at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1974. This entire concert was originally filmed and recorded for the Material World Charitable Foundation. Over the years, many of these master films have been lost, destroyed or misplaced. This bonus DVD compiles all the complete filmed performances discovered from this historic concert, and the entire concert in stereo and 5.1 audio. The DVD includes the concert film and separate concert audio. The bonus feature (Ravi and Anoushka Mixing in 5.1) is rather disappointing though.
Some never-before released tracks on the DVD :
Music Festival (DVD) – Alap, Noom Toom, Jor in Raga Abhogi (30 sec) :
Music Festival (DVD) – Dhamar in Raga Vasanta (30 sec) :
Music Festival (DVD) – Khyal in Raga Kedara (30 sec) :
Music Festival (DVD) – Raga Mala based on Raga Khamaj (30 sec) :