Showing posts with label Ravi Shankar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ravi Shankar. Show all posts

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Beatle quotes: Ravi Shankar on George Harrison

"My nieces and nephews made me hear 'Norwegian Wood' after I had met George. Before this, I had not heard anything (by the Beatles) and I was not much impressed by it. But I saw the effect on the young people. I couldn’t believe it. It seems that they were lapping it up. They loved it so much."
                                                                                                                                - Ravi Shankar

Sunday, April 5, 2020

New book: "Indian Sun The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar"

Out April 7. Order from Amazon now.

For over eight decades, Ravi Shankar was India’s greatest cultural ambassador. He was a groundbreaking performer and composer of Indian classical music, who brought the music and rich culture of India to the world’s leading concert halls and festivals, charting the map for those who followed in his footsteps. Renowned for playing Monterey Pop, Woodstock, and the Concert for Bangladesh–and for teaching George Harrison of The Beatles how to play the sitar–Shankar reshaped the musical landscape of the 1960s across pop, jazz, and classical music, and composed unforgettable scores for movies like Pather Panchali and Gandhi.

In Indian Sun: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar, writer Oliver Craske presents readers with the first full portrait of this legendary figure, revealing the personal and professional story of a musician who influenced–and continues to influence–countless artists. Craske paints a vivid picture of a captivating, restless workaholic–from his lonely and traumatic childhood in Varanasi to his youthful stardom in his brother’s dance troupe, from his intensive study of the sitar to his revival of India’s national music scene. Shankar’s musical influence spread across both genres and generations, and he developed close friendships with John Coltrane, Philip Glass, Yehudi Menuhin, George Harrison, and Benjamin Britten, among many others. For ninety-two years, Shankar lived an endlessly colorful and creative life, a life defined by musical, emotional, and spiritual quests–and his legacy lives on.

Benefiting from unprecedented access to Shankar’s archives, and drawing on new interviews with over 130 subjects–including his second wife and both of his daughters, Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar–Indian Sun gives readers unparalleled insight into a man who transformed modern music as we know it today.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Ravi Shankar-George Harrison "Chants of India" set for vinyl release on Record Store Day June 20

Yet more Beatles-related RSD news.

For the first time on vinyl, Ravi Shankar’s 1997 collaboration with George Harrison, Chants of India. The album was produced by George Harrison and recorded in both India and at Harrison’s Friar Park studio in England.

Celebrating Ravi Shankar’s Centennial, this limited double red vinyl edition is housed in a gatefold sleeve with exclusive photo print.
More info on Record Store Day here.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Rare photos from George's first trip to India up for auction

Six rare photos from George Harrison's first trip to India in 1966 are up for bid via Omega Auctions, the Daily Mail reports.

The pictures include a shot of George, his wife Pattie Boyd Harrison, and sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and friends seated on some ruins. Also up for sale is an orange quilted jacket that George acquired on the trip.

Here's a look at the photos:

Friday, April 27, 2018

George Harrison launches HariSongs - new label for Indian classical music - video

The George Harrison Estate is launching a new record label HariSongs to reissue the Indian classical music George championed, recorded and produced - including his collaborations with sitar master Ravi Shankar and other Indian musicians.

You can learn more - and stream and download the inaugural, digital-only, releases here.

Here's the news release:

London, April 27, 2018 – The George Harrison Estate is happy to announce their new label, HariSongs, created in partnership with Craft Recordings to release Harrison’s archive of Indian Classical and World music and his collaborations with the finest exponents of Indian Classical music.

To celebrate this body of music, HariSongs launches today with two reissues in honour of both Ravi Shankar’s birthday (b. 7th April, 1920) and Ali Akbar Khan’s birthday (b. 14th April, 1922) this month.

These titles — both recently out-of-print, and never before available via streaming platforms — are the acclaimed Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan In Concert 1972 and the last collaboration by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, Chants of India. These digital-only reissues are now available for the first time via streaming outlets, as well as to download (In Concert is also on Hi-Res 96/24 and 192/24 formats).


About In Concert 1972


In Concert 1972 was originally released via Apple Records in 1973, with a statement that read: "Within the small community of Brilliantly Gifted Musicians there exists an even smaller world of Masters. Two of these masters recently joined together in concert ...". The album features two of Indian Classical music's greatest artists at the height of their powers, the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and master of the sarod, Ali Akbar Khan. The album captures the live recordings from a performance which took place at New York City's Philharmonic Hall on October 8, 1972 and was mixed and edited by George Harrison (with Zakir Hussain and Phil McDonald). Featuring tabla accompaniment by the great Alla Rakha, this mesmerising concert comprises three ragas played in the jugalbandi style (or a duet played by two solo musicians) and became a poignant tribute to the guru of both soloists (and the father of Ali Akbar), the great Allauddin Khan, who had died but a month previously.
Critical praise for In Concert 1972
“This wonderful recording comes from a show at New York's Philharmonic Hall with a dream team: Ali Akbar Khan on sarod and Alla Rakha on tabla. One of the three pieces, 'Raga – Manj Khamaj,' totals almost an hour, enabling you to get much closer than on most Shankar albums of the period, to the natural extension and patient exploration of an Indian classical-music evening."
Rolling Stone 
“This is the living, fire-breathing embodiment of one of the greatest partnerships ever forged in Hindustani (Northern Indian) classical music… Two musicians pouring their hearts out for their guru: that is the most succinct description of this sometimes smouldering, sometimes fiery, masterpiece.”
Gramophone Magazine 

About Chants of India


Chants of India by Ravi Shankar and produced by George Harrison was originally released in 1997 on Angel Records. Recorded in both Madras, India, and Henley-on-Thames, UK, this collaboration was referred to by Shankar as “one of the most difficult challenges in my life, as a composer and arranger”, and draws upon the sacred Sanskrit texts of the Vedas, Upanishads and other scriptures. He added, “the repetitive use of mantras invoke a special power within oneself and I have tried to imbibe this age-old tradition in this recording... into which I have poured my heart and soul”. 
Critical praise for Chants of India
“Perhaps the very best introduction to the enduring creative friendship between the Bengali classical master and the scruff from Liverpool's back streets”

"'Chants of India represents a creative milestone in the life of a veteran artist whose contributions to traditional Indian music cannot be overestimated."

"Shankar took Hindu prayers, mantras and scriptural texts and framed them within larger musical settings, incorporating both Indian and European instruments along with voices. The results are transporting – and very beautiful."
NPR Music
In Concert 1972
Ravi Shankar (sitar) & Ali Akbar Khan (sarod) with Alla Rakha (tabla)
  1. Raga Hem Bihag – 25:18
  2. Raga Manj Khamaj – 51:01
  3. Raga Sindhi Bhairavi – 26:18
Chants of India
All songs are traditional, arranged by Ravi Shankar, except where indicated.
  1. Vandanaa Trayee – 4:32
  2. Omkaaraaya Namaha – 1:53
  3. Vedic Chanting One – 3:12
  4. Asato Maa – 7:12
  5. Sahanaa Vavavtu – 4:26
  6. Poornamadah – 1:28
  7. Gaayatri – 3:26
  8. Mahaa Mrityunjaya – 4:43
  9. Veenaa-Murali – 3:36
  10. Geetaa – 2:13
  11. Managalam (original composition by Shankar, Dr Nandakumara) – 4:03
  12. Hari Om (original composition by Shankar) – 2:57
  13. Svara Mantra (original composition by Shankar) – 4:34
  14. Vedic Chanting Two – 2:13
  15. Prabhujee (original composition by Shankar) – 8:06
  16. Sarve Shaam – 5:09 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

A "psychedelic eye" mosaic that once graced the bottom of John Lennon's swimming pool has been restored and will be displayed in an upcoming museum display in London, the Kenwood blog reports.


Barry Tashian of Barry and the Remains recalls touring with the Beatles in 1966.
“I remember after the Toronto show, I went to George Harrison’s room and hung out with him for a while,” Tashian said. “I saw my first-ever cassette player that night; he played me Ravi Shankar. I also left my sunglasses in his room, and we got up early the next day, and I saw The Beatles arriving at the gig. I noticed that George was walking up the steps into the plane and came up the aisle, and he had on two pairs of sunglasses. I thought, ‘Wow, cool, he wore my sunglasses.’”

Gerald “Gabe” McCarty, who jammed with George Harrison in Benton, Ill., four months before the Beatles' American debut on the "Ed Sullivan Show" died July 3 at age 83.

Harrison was visiting his sister, Louise, who lived in Benton and ended up sitting in with McCarty's band, the Four Vests, while visiting the local VFW outpost.


The former Pigman Ranch in Missouri, where the Beatles spent a couple days relaxing during their 1964 U.S. tour is auctioning off a few items of Fab-related memorabilia ahead of the site becoming a state park.
Items for sale include household furniture and appliances in place when the Beatles visited the property for three days in September 1964: an antique fridge, antique chairs, original windows from the main house, an old green lamp, a yard swing, an old lantern, old doors, and occasional chairs.

The ranch was owned by the pilot of the Beatles' private plane for the tour, Reed Pigman. Several photos of the Beatles at the ranch ended up on the back cover of the band's Rubber Soul LP.
Pigman, meanwhile, suffered a cardiac event and crashed his plane in 1966. He and 82 of 98 other people on board the flight died as a result of the accident


Love, Love, Love: Various members of the Beatles clan are in Las Vegas this weekend celebrating the 10th anniversary - and re-vamping with new music and production pieces - of the "Beatles Love" show by Cirque de Soleil. Lots of media coverage, as you might expect, including this Guardian interview with Giles Martin, who created the mash-up music for the show with his late father, Beatles producer George Martin and two pieces from Variety: One on the show's makeover and another on the cast members.

Meanwhile, Sean Lennon tweeted this to prove he'd arrived in Sin City for the show.

And, based on the decor, it looks like Ringo's there, too:


Paul McCartney posed with Pennsylvania Highway Patrol officers during his tour stop in Philadelphia this week.


Roag Best, Pete's step-brother and son of Beatles assistant Neil Aspinall, told Beatles News Insider he's starting a new Beatles history museum in Liverpool.
"We bought a four-story building on Mathew Street between the Cavern Club and the Hard Day's Night Hotel," he said. The building faces the Cavern Club "so our position I think is pretty wonderful."
...The building will have displays of Beatles history going up through 1970 with memorabilia he inherited from his mother, Mona Best ("who was a hoarder") and from his father, Neil Aspinall (whose link to the Beatles should be known to anyone reading this) and stuff he has collected himself over a 30-year span. (Pete is not involved.)

An Australian man who pelted the Beatles with eggs when they visited that nation in 1964 is now a politician - and an eccentric one at that:
Mr Katter, a champion of Queensland farmers, has some unconventional views. He once claimed there were no homosexuals among his voters, promising to walk “backwards from Bourke to Brisbane” if any could be found.

He has called for the culling of bats because they carry so many diseases that they amount to the “greatest possible danger to human life”.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

Sony/ATV, which holds rights to most of the the Lennon-McCartney song catalog has signed a licensing deals that will make Beatles lyrics available for plastering on various products such as coffee mugs and greeting cards.
"We envision a broad licensed products campaign that encompasses everything from apparel, accessories and wall art to home electronics, gifts, stationery, and more," commented Lisa Streff, Epic Rights' executive vp of global licensing. "From All You Need is Love to Hey Jude, the opportunities to develop high quality merchandise that incorporates the words and sentiments of Paul McCartney and John Lennon's lyrics are limitless."

Work is underway to digitize 76 reel-to-reel recordings of lectures Indian musician (and George Harrison collaborator) Ravi Shankar gave while teaching at New York's City College between 1967 and 1972.


Via WogBlog: Newly discovered documents shine light, and raise new questions, about the Beatles' recording sessions in Hamburg with Tony Sheridan.


Mary McCartney talks about her mom's pioneering range of vegetarian meals and her own work to help launch the Meat-Free Monday campaign.
"She didn't even realise what a food revolutionary she was," says Mary proudly. "Vegetarian food ranges are quite mainstream now, but when she started, it was completely unheard of to have a range like that. I think we're all quite proud of it, and we want to work to ensure it carries on her ethics."

An economic study predicts the Beatles "brand" will generate $600 million this year alone.
The study found that tribute bands and live performances of Beatles music generate $225 million ($US) annually, or approximately 40% of the total. Book authors, Beatles-themed radio shows, museums and tours of famous Beatles locations generate an estimated $140 million ($US) annually.