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Ravi Shankar’s Nine Decades Vol. 6: Dutch India Airwaves: On May 27, 1957 Ravi Shankar (sitar), Chatur Lal (tabla) and Nodu Mallick (tanpura) performed in Amsterdam at the Concertgebouw. It was Shankar’s first appearance as a solo artist in The Netherlands. Though there is no audio of that concert, we are lucky to have this music, recorded earlier in the day at the Radio Netherlands studios in Hilversum as well as an interview with Ravi Shankar, done in both Hindi and English, recorded at a museum in Leiden. As a rare glimpse into Ravi Shankar’s early east-west travels, this installment of the Nine Decades series documents the excitement with which the western and eastern worlds greeted each other through the melodies, improvisations, and rhythmic cycles of Indian classical music.
Nine Decades Vol. 7: Live in Copenhagen: Fifteen years after his first international tour, Ravi Shankar is heard here, in 1971, continuing to stun western audiences with the beauty of Indian classical music. Ever the teacher, Shankar doesn’t just perform in his usual stellar fashion, but edifies the audience by walking them through the instruments, their construction and musical capacities, as well as the melodic and rhythmic forms of raga. Shankar displays the ease at which can be both virtuosic musician, ushering listeners on flights of artistic imagination, and intrepid educator, imparting the essence of the four-thousand-year-old tradition that is Indian classical music.
Ravi Shankar In Hollywood 1971: The never-before-released recording was found in the deep shelves of the Ravi Shankar Archive and includes inspiring performances of Raga Vibhas, Raga Parameshwari, Dhun, and Raga Sindhi Bhairavi. With Alla Rakha on tabla and Kamala Chakravary on Tanpura, the music is a powerful mix of the ingenious modal scales, compositional elements, melodic forms, and improvisational phrasings that mark all Shankar recordings. But more than this, as the moment of origination for the Concert for Bangladesh, the recording is imbued with the heart and soul of the Maestro and his life-long commitment to the power of music to change the world.