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Ravi Shankar 
Carnegie Hall Concert 2000

Full Circle: Carnegie Hall 2000

 

 

5 out of 5 stars=    Melodious and Mesmerizing

Reviewer: The Rebecca Review.com

“Because I improvise completely (of course observing all the complex discipline of the raga and tala forms) I feel constrained performing for an audience with the knowledge that it is being recorded for a DC. But luckily this time it worked!”Ravi Shankar

This was my introduction to Ravi Shankar, the famous sitar player born in Benares, India in 1920. He was the first Indian instrumentalist to attain an international reputation.

It is interesting to note that in 1962 he founded the Kinnara School of Music in Bombay. In 1965, George Harrison of the Beatles studied sitar with Shankar, and Beatle recordings began featuring Harrison playing the sitar.

“Ravi, because of his upbringing and living in Paris and traveling in Europe, could relate to all the musicians, theater people and painters he met in the West. It also made him willing to persevere to reach a mass audience, and led to the future role he would have in really bringing world music to the West.” –George Harrison (1943-2001)

As a youth, Shankar was a solo dancer who performed with his brother Uday’s Indian dance troupe in Paris. He later married Ustad Allauddin Khan’s daugher, Annapurna. His own daughter “Anoushka Shankar (1981–), who studied with her father, is also a virtuoso sitarist.” See B00000DCI0 for an album by this artist. Here, she joins her father at Carnegie Hall where he first performed as a musician and dancer in 1938. The same year he became a pupil of the great Indian instrumentalist Ustad Allauddin Khan.

Among Shankar's many musical compositions are the scores for the motion pictures Pather Panchali (1954) and Apu Trilogy. He has also collaborated with musicians like Zubin Mehta and with composer Philip Glass in their electronic recording “Passages (1990).

This is music which is probably still quite exotic for many listeners, but you can be easily seduced into listening if you give the music time to weave its magic spell. As the music progresses you actually can become a bit mesmerized by the sounds of the sitar, tabla and tanpura. 

 

The sitar is indigenous to the Indian subcontinent and was actually popularized by Ravi Shankar in the 1960s. It is a fretted string instrument with a gourd-like body and a long neck. It has from 3 to 7 gut strings, tuned in fourths or fifths or both. There is also a lower course of 12 wire strings that vibrate sympathetically with the first set.

Shankar believes that a “raga” is an aesthetic projection of an artists inner spirit. This concert presents soothing and exhilarating blends of contemplative raga forms.

The Hindu/Urdu word “rag” is derived from the Sanskrit word: “raga.” This means color or passion. When you think of raga, think of an acoustic method of “coloring the mind of the listener with emotion.” Raga is technically one of the melodic formulas of Hindu music having the melodic shape, rhythm, and ornamentation prescribed by tradition.

The characteristics which define raga are:

The seven notes (Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni) of the Indian musical scale called “swar.” The “swar” (notes) are assembled to make the scales. These scales are called “saptak.”

Modal Structure called “that.” There are 32 seven-note combinations of the “swar,” yet only ten are conventionally accepted as “thats.”

Number of notes used in the rag called “jati.” A seven-note rag is a “sampurna jati.”

Ascending and descending structure called: “arohana/avorohana.” The “arohana” is the pattern in which a rag ascends the scale. The “avarohana” describes the way a rag descends the scale.

Important notes are called “vadi” (a note which is strongly emphasized) and “samavadi.” (a note that is strong but only slightly less so).

Characteristic movements to the rag called: “pakad” or “swarup.” for instance the "Pa M'a Ga Ma Ga" is a sign for Rag Bihag. The Indian Swar (notes) are Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni.

In addition to the main characteristics of “rag” there are some that are attributed to times of the day. There can also be male and female rags. Tradition dictates that certain rags are performed at certain times of the day, seasons or holidays. Playing rags at the wrong time may bring disharmony. At the right time they may bring harmony.

Ravi Shankar has also been awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen of England.

See his autobiographies:
My Music, My Life (1969)
Raga Mala (1997).

Perfect accompaniment to an Indian-inspired dinner or just when you want to take a sound journey. Also perfect for listening to while giving or receiving a massage.

Indian Swar

Shadj

Sa

Rishabh

Re

Gandhara

Ga

Madhyam

Ma

Pancham

Pa

Dhaivat

Dha

Nishad

Ni

 

MoonWater

 

Warm Ambient Skies, December 25, 2006

Soft ambient lights fall from the sky like twinkling stars descending to earth. A refreshing stillness permeates this album with soothing acoustics and expansive invitations to mesmerizing relaxation. Like a warm mist, MoonWater sweeps across stillness embracing moody textures and unveiling invisible dimensions of soul escape. The consistent mood throughout makes this perfect for relaxation, meditation, contemplation and inspiration. Rudy Adrian creates music you can sink into while your spirit rises within you to a new clarity. Truly Magical!

~The Rebecca Review

 

Jim Noir Tower of Love

 

Mellifluous Moods , December 16, 2006

"My Patch" seems to be a funky melodious invitation to danger with hypnotic bouncy road trip appeal. There are elements of the Beatles and Nick Drake mixed with a more edgy electronica. "I Me You I'm Your" seems to filter in from space like a psychedelic haze and then leaves just as quickly.

"Computer Song" cascades over itself with creative lyrics and a melodious tension. If someone in a tribal forest was riding on a train it might sound like "Tower of Love" but then suddenly you are on a carousel going round and round and a circus appears with a soft orchestral appeal. It is difficult to define a category for some of the songs, but this one has an especially magical innocence.

"Key of C" is unexpected but expands the sound in bubbles within bubbles of acoustic appeal. "Climb a Tree" has interesting waterfalls (you hear then again in Turbulent Weather) and explores guitar within an especially beautiful ballad with mellifluous moods. This is an album you can put in the CD player and listen to without a worry in the world. If you love Pink Floyd, Nick Drake, The Beach Boys or The Beatles, you might really fall in love with this sound.

~The Rebecca Review

 

 

Concert Tickets

 

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