Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Ravi Shankar "The Sound of the Sitar"

I bought this on a visit to Claddagh Records, a shop that I always fear will have closed down next time I pass it. It specialises in Irish traditional music, but I go there more for their World Music selection, which is probably the best in Dublin (not that this is really saying much, I don't think anywhere other than Tower really stocks that much World Music. And apart from Tower there there isn't really anywhere that stocks anything*).

But what does it sound like? Well, do you like the sound of the sitar? Do you like the sound of the sitar playing while someone else does their stuff on tablas? Then this reissue from 1965 is the record for you, unless you have a load of other records by Ravi Shankar (or, indeed, by other sitar players, of whom I understand there are several). If you had a load of such records then maybe you would be able to judge whether this is a good or bad, standard or idiosyncratic example of the sitar music. I just like it in a "Ah, sitars and tablas, that's better" kind of way.

*OK, OK, apart from Spindizzy, Trout, and the soul-destroying hellhole that is HMV

image source

An inuit panda production


krady said...

Most of the "Ravi Shankar Collection" cds are great. I particularly recommend "Live at Monterey" which has excellent commentary by him from the stage.

ian said...

I suppose the thing I wonder about him is whether he is basically someone whose music you by the yard, or whether there is any real differentiation between different recordings.

he is also the subject of one of the greatest ever rock anecdotes.

krady said...

You mean the straight-up classical stuff of course, right? I, personally, think there is differentiation at least in the sense of the different types of ragas (evening, morning etc). Mind you I'm not great at telling the difference.

I haven't seen any full Ragas performed live though so I don't have a good sense for how the performances are changed/edited to fit into a CD. I wonder if that might introduce a degree of sameness.

ian said...

I am painfully ignorant when it comes to Indian music.

rener said...

I know someone called Ravi Shankar. He is no doubt endlessly amused by people coming up to him and making rofflesome sitar noises.