INDIAN SUN: The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar

Book number: 90865 Product format: Hardback Author: OLIVER CRASKE

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Bibliophile price £6.00
Published price £20

Ravi Shankar became a household name when the Beatles started promoting his music in 1968, but he was already a prominent figure in the American West Coast scene, with David Crosby of The Byrds pronouncing him one of the finest musicians on the planet. By 1967, when Shankar had settled in California, Indian music was linked with the psychedelic experience, though Ravi denied taking drugs himself and was horrified by a visit to Haight-Ashbury, centre of San Francisco's hippie scene. The Monterey Pop Festival was initially built round Shankar's performance, and although the Festival was ruthlessly taken over and reorganised by The Mamas and the Papas, Ravi's own performance was widely hailed as a profound religious experience. Shankar had the good fortune to be born in Benares, centre of Hindi pilgrimage. His early career was spent on tour as a dancer, including a visit to Weimar Germany as Hitler was rising to power, and he had meetings with Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. But it was his change to concentrate on the sitar that brought him world fame as he introduced audiences to the two key elements of Indian classical music, the raga or melody and the tala, the time or rhythm. Shankar first visited America in 1956, and he moved to California in time for the Summer of Love, performing at Woodstock as well as Monterey. His international fame increased as he became associated with conductors such as Zubin Mehta and Yehudi Menuhin and he was nominated for an Academy Award for the musical score of the film Gandhi. This comprehensive biography by an author who knew him personally includes not only Shankar's career but also his personal life including many love affairs. 658pp, photos in black and white and colour.

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ISBN 9780571350858

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