Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ravi Shankar ( a lesson with ... ) Salle Pleyel Paris Sept 2nd 2008

Ravi Shankar is in Paris for what is supposed to be his last ever european shows. He's with his daughter Anoushka .
He played a "normal" concert @ la salle Pleyel yesterday which i couldn't go to .
But tonight is different , this is a Master Class with the Master of indian music in the very same theatre.
Of course, both shows are Sold Out because it's probably the last time ever that a french audience will have the pleasure to hear such a gifted musician.
For the people who don't know him , he's a sitar player from India , as a kid he was a dancer ( he first came in Paris in 1933 ) and then turn to the sitar .
He's wellknown in western countries for playing the Monterey & Woodstock festivals and for co-organising "the concert for Bangladesh" in 1971 with Beatles' George Harrison.
He's also the father of Norah Jones( yes , the one ).
I really did not know what to expect tonight. First he started talking about his life then about indian music ( what it is, where it comes from , how you play it , the different rhythms and so on ... ) I thought he would never stop . You can't imagine how complicated this music is .
After a good hour , we still haven't listen to a single note of music. He started introducing each instrument ( tabla , flute ... ) with a demonstration of each instrument by each musician ... at last.
The end was more interesting with a real song played while Ravi was leading on vocals.
Sad he didn't play at all sitar . As you can guess you really have to be into Indian music to fully appreciate this Master Class ( which is not my case ).
Nevertheless on our way home we felt that we have lived a very special event in the company of such a great player who popularized Indian music in western countries , the kind of event that only happens once in your life.
I only wish i was there yesterday to hear him play.
Olivia Harrison widow from Beatles' George Harrison was there Backstage .
Last song from the Master Class :