Celebrating Ravi Shankar
07 Apr 2021
On this day in 1920, the greatest sitar player of the 20th
Century, Ravi Shankar, was born. A sitar virtuoso, his influence spread throughout the world and introduced the traditions of Indian classical music to a Western audience. It was George Harrison who christened him the 'Godfather of World Music' and the two became lifelong friends and collaborators after Harrison met Shankar in 1966.
Harrison persuaded Shankar that he should write an autobiography and share the incredible story of his life and work. After two years of hard work, the result was Raga Mala
, the critically acclaimed book in which Shankar shares not only his life story, but also his spiritual beliefs, his philosophy of music and art, and the history of the sitar.
Last year, to celebrate Shankar's centenary, Genesis released the final 450 copies of Raga Mala
and included an archival photographic print of a portrait taken at Shankar's home by the book's late publisher, Brian Roylance. A small number of copies remain.
'People always ask me what I want to be remembered by, and I would like it to be not for my mistakes, but for the things I was able to achieve - those that have touched the hearts of the people in my own country and beyond.' - Ravi Shankar