Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ali Akbar Khan (1922-2009)

Ravi Shankar supposedly said that one does not learn how to play the sitar, one studies it. The Washington Post's obituary of master sarod player Ali Akbar Khan features a similar sentiment from him that I really like:

If you practice for ten years, you may begin to please yourself, after 20 years you may become a performer and please the audience, after 30 years you may please even your guru, but you must practice for many more years before you finally become a true artist -- then you may please even God.

Still, his best testimony is the music itself. Here's two selections from him in three videos (due to length).

A Lovers' Melody



Suzan said...

Thank you so much for this memorial to one of the world's great artists (and the links to his fine music).

I fell under his spell in undergraduate school when I took a political science course in Indian culture where his music was played and discussed, and then got to see "Concert for Bangladesh" later that year. (H/T to George!)

The New York Times has a lovely piece as well.

Happy Father's Day!


Comrade Kevin said...

I couldn't even begin to tell you how to play any instrument with that many strings. :)