Friday, December 14, 2012
Ravi Shankar – "Raga Ahir Bhairav"
RIP. It would be hard to overstate Ravi Shankar's influence on introducing world music… to the world. He was an excellent musician, a true master, and also a good composer. I'm fond of his work with Phillip Glass, he did the music for early films of the great Indian filmmaker, Satyajit Ray, and Beatles fans are well aware of Shankar's influence on George Harrison. Still, for all the fusion and crossover work he did, much of it very good, it's his traditional music that may be the most, well, transcendental. I haven't been able to authenticate it, but he allegedly said something I love about education and learning being an ongoing process: "One does learn the sitar – one studies it." He leaves behind an amazing legacy. Here are the obituaries from The New York Times, Los Angeles Times (also an appreciation), The Washington Post and the AP (plus another piece, "Sitar maker says Ravi Shankar’s legacy will inspire another generation of musicians"). Other appreciations abound. Shankar was ridiculously prolific, and YouTube features a great deal of his music, including a playlist or two. Local KCRW DJ (and world music guru) Tom Schnabel will be doing a Ravi Shankar tribute show this weekend. (I'll update the link for the specific show after it airs.)