On November 24th and 25th of 1995, at the Cirque Royal in Brussels, world music pioneers and lifelong friends Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar presented From the Sitar to the Guitar, a musical journey that starts nearly a thousand years ago in Rajasthan, India, and culminates in Spanish flamenco. For the first time, in aid of the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation and the Ravi Shankar Foundation, this historic event is now available on DVD and CD.
From the Sitar to the Guitar features extraordinary and previously unreleased performances by Ravi Shankar, Blanca del Rey, Langas and Manghaniyars of Rajasthan, Ludovit Kovác, Trio Loyko (featuring violinists Oleg Ponomarev and Sergei Erdenko) and Abdelli.
After the concerts, Yehudi Menuhin wrote: “Ravi Shankar established an atmosphere which was magical… The audience was gasping with the joy which comes of seeing a dream fulfilled, which unhappily does not exist in our ordinary life.”
The DVD contains the complete November 24 concert (2hrs 20mins) plus interviews with the participating artists, vocal and instrumental demonstrations and rehearsal footage (approx. 50 minutes of extras).
It is accompanied by an exclusive CD with 78 minutes of unreleased highlights from the November 25 concert.
In his new foreword for the booklet, Ravi Shankar writes: “This is a beautiful DVD aptly named From the Sitar to the Guitar, showcasing the musical voyage of gypsies and the evolution of the human dialogue through harmony and sound and thereby crossing all boundaries and barriers. I am also very thankful that the proceeds from the sale of these DVD and CD will go to both Yehudi’s and my foundations.”
The From the Sitar to the Guitar concerts were originally produced by the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation in 1995 and conceived by its Secretary General, Marianne Poncelet.
Eleven years later, celebrating the 90th anniversary of Yehudi Menuhin’s birth, Kairos Communications is releasing the DVD+CD of these historic moments. “We are very happy to have saved this unique material from oblivion. It is an honor for us to have the opportunity, through this production, to contribute in perpetuating the philosophy and message of such truly great men as Lord Menuhin and Pandit Ravi Shankar. A message of friendship, love, understanding and tolerance, which in today’s world is more relevant than ever“, said Johan Ral, Managing Director of Kairos Communications, an independent Belgian company.
The From the Sitar to the Guitar DVD+CD will be officially launched at the Asia Society in New York, in the presence of Ravi Shankar on 28 September, and at the Ravi Shankar Centre in New Delhi, India, on 4 October 2006.
More events are planned, notably in Madrid, in the presence of Blanca del Rey (date to be confirmed).
For more information go to:
- www.ravishankar.org/foundation_frame.html, Ravi Shankar Foundation
- Yehudi Menuhin Foundation