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News |  28 Apr 2018 14:09 |  By RnMTeam

New label HariSongs to promote Indian classical music

MUMBAI: The George Harrison Estate has launched their new label, HariSongs, a platform to promote Indian classical music. Created in partnership with Craft Recordings, the label releases the Harrison family archive of Indian Classical and World music as well as George’s collaborations with his mentor and friend late Indian classical musician, Pandit Ravi Shankar.

On its launch, HariSongs has released two reissues, In Concert 1972 and Chants Of India in honour of two masters of Indian classical music, Sitar maestro, late Pandit Ravi Shankar and Sarod player, late Ali Akbar Khan. While In Concerts 1972 was a collaboration of Shankar and Khan, Chants of India was the last association of Ravi Shankar with George Harrison and was produced by Harrison himself. These titles, which are currently out-of-print, will be available for the first time ever on the streaming platforms via HariSongs music label.

In Concert 1972 captures the live recordings from a performance of Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan that took place at New York City’s Philharmonic Hall on 8 October 1972. It was edited and mixed by George Harrison with Zakir Hussain and Phil McDonald. In Concert 1972 also features tabla accompaniment by the great late Alla Rakha. Comprising of a jugalbandi of three ragas, this mesmerising concert became a poignant tribute to the guru of both soloists, the great Allauddin Khan, who had died but a month previously. He was the father of Ali Akbar Khan.

In Concert 1972 was originally released by Apple Records in 1973, along with a statement that read: “Within the small community of brilliantly gifted musicians there exists an even smaller world of Masters. Two of these masters recently joined together in concert.”

Chants Of India by Ravi Shankar and Harrison was originally released in 1997 on Angel Records. Recorded in Madras, India, and Henley-on-Thames, UK, this collaboration Shankar had spoken about it saying, “It was one of the most difficult challenges in my life, as a composer and arranger.” The composition draws upon the sacred Sanskrit texts of the Vedas, Upanishads and other scriptures.

Shankar had further expressed, “The repetitive uses of mantras invoke a special power within oneself and I have tried to imbibe this age-old tradition in this recording into which I have poured my heart and soul.” 

Meanwhile, the launch of HariSongs label by Harrision Estate coincides with the shared birthday month of both Ravi Shankar (7th April 1920) and Ali Akbar Khan (14th April 1922) respectively.