Pandit Ravi Shankar at the Kremlin, 1986: “Shanti Mantra”

From Sandip Roy:

“Ravi Shankar was our Columbus. While one explorer came looking for India, the other took India to the world. Perhaps that’s why it’s only fitting that the first time I saw him perform was not in India, but at the Kremlin in Moscow.

“I was no classical music connoisseur, just a callow student, part of an Indian youth delegation and he was performing with a Russian folk ensemble and the Moscow chamber orchestra. I remember the draughty, rather dreary hotel dining room, the cold windy Red Square and the rickety Aeroflot airplanes. But most of all I remember the Kremlin vibrating with Ravi Shankar’s Shanti Mantra…

Raga: A Film Journey into the Soul of India (1971)

Out in October…

“Originally released in 1971, Raga: A Film Journey into the Soul of India documents the life of sitar master Ravi Shankar in the late 1960s and early 1970s, following him on his return to India to revisit his guru, Bengali multi-instrumentalist and composer, Baba Ustad Allauddin Khan. It further explores Shankar’s life as a musician and teacher in the United States and Europe, initiating those in the West to the exceptional world that is Indian classical music and culture. Through rare and candid footage shot in both India and the United States, Raga sheds light on Shankar’s influences and collaborations, from Allauddin Khan to his famed dancer brother Uday Shankar, to his associations with Western musicians Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison. Fully narrated by Shankar himself, Raga reveals music as the soul of India and of Shankar’s life. The premiere DVD release of Raga features a digitally re-mastered 35mm print optimized to modern color range resolution and standard and a fully re-mastered audio soundtrack.”