It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro and composer at the age of 92. We saw Ravi Shankar in 2011 at Birmingham Symphony Hall, it was one of the most jaw dropping musical events we have attended – simply brilliant. Ravi, a gentle slightly frail man alternatively caressing and thrashing the sitar with gusto and creating, with his fellow musicians, an all-enveloping sound. We will never forget that evening, and wish to extend our sympathies to those who knew, cared and worked with him, over the years.
Here is an obituary of his life and work.
The clip here is from Sidney, Australia 2011, from the same concert tour that we saw in Birmingham, so gives an slight flavor of the evening that we had.
If you want to listen to more Ravi Shankar playing, I can suggest the albums that he did with the virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin as a great starting point. Shankar wrote the violin parts for Yehudi in the Indian style and the collaboration is a fine example of two masters of their instruments creating something even greater than parts. If you wish to hear a more traditional Indian sound with lazy gentle sitar, or fast climatic sitar do not know what you are looking for then think ragas – you will see on some track listings Afternoon Raga slower gentle piece, or Evening Raga mostly faster – I know, for those who know (Rasikas), that this is overly simplistic, but works for me.
For regualr readers I am very much hoping that the next post on this blog should be SF or book related, rather than an obituary to a someone who has inspired or touched us with their life and work.