The George Harrison estate is happy to announce HariSongs, a new label created to celebrate the Indian classical music George loved and believed would “help as a balance towards a peaceful daily life.” HariSongs launches today with two reissues in honour of both Ravi Shankar’s birthday (b. 7th April, 1920) and Ali Akbar Khan’s birthday (b. 14th April, 1922) this month.
Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan’s In Concert 1972, and Ravi Shankar’s Chants of India, are now available for the first time via streaming outlets, as well as to download.
Watch the Chants of India trailer, featuring rare interview footage with Ravi and George.
A statement by George Harrison
In 1966, through the grace of God, my life was blessed and enhanced from the sudden desire to investigate the classical music of India. Although intellectually, I could not comprehend it – the music, (which happened to be Ravi Shankar and the sitar) made more sense to me than anything I had heard in my life.
When I read Ravi saying he felt he had only started, I was overwhelmed, humbled and encouraged to try and understand the music and the man much more.
Miraculously I met Ravi Shankar and felt an even greater attraction to him, the music and later the tradition and self-discipline of India, without which, my life would be empty and pointless.
In 1966 I heard music which had been written by Ravi Shankar some years before (Nava Rasa Ranga). It was performed by Ravi, along with some other musicians, for All India Radio.
Until then I had not heard Indian classical music in any form other than solos or duets, and the beauty has haunted me for the past eight years and still haunts me today.
I hope this Music may help a little, to nurture the wealth of the West. God only knows.
– George Harrison, 1973
About In Concert 1972
In Concert 1972 features two of Indian Classical music’s greatest artists at the height of their powers, the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and master of the sarod, Ali Akbar Khan. The album captures the live recordings from a performance that took place at New York City’s Philharmonic Hall on October 8, 1972 and was edited and mixed by George Harrison with Zakir Hussain and Phil McDonald.
Featuring tabla accompaniment by the great Alla Rakha, this mesmerising concert comprises three ragas played in the jugalbandi style (or a duet played by two solo musicians) and became a poignant tribute to the guru of both soloists (and the father of Ali Akbar), the great Allauddin Khan, who had died but a month previously.
Stream or Download In Concert 1972
(Hi-Res 96/24 and 192/24 audio also available)
About Chants of India
Chants of India by Ravi Shankar and produced by George Harrison was originally released in 1997 on Angel Records. Recorded in Madras, India, and Henley-on-Thames, UK, this collaboration was referred to by Shankar as “one of the most difficult challenges in my life, as a composer and arranger,” and draws upon the sacred Sanskrit texts of the Vedas, Upanishads and other scriptures. He added, “the repetitive use 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.”
Stream or Download Chants of India
Visit HariSongs.com for more information.