On November 8, East Meets West Music will release volumes two and three of the Ravi Shankar Nine Decades series. The series is a multi-volume project featuring rare and never-before released recordings hand-picked by Ravi Shankar from his vast archive and lovingly remastered.
The second installation of the Nine Decades series, Reminiscence of North Vista, is a live recording from a private party at Ravi’s North Vista home in Los Angeles on August 29, 1969. Ravi moved to the Hollywood house in 1968 and regularly had parties attended by luminaries such as George Harrison, John Lennon, Peter Sellers, Marlon Brando and many others. This recording perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the performances at these gatherings. Recorded just one week after his legendary Woodstock appearance, the set features the Maestro performing two evening ragas with Alla Rakha on tabla (as well as the sounds of crickets and party-goers).
Volume three in the Nine Decades series, entitled Orchestral Experimentations, is a set of nine studio tracks featuring Ravi Shankar’s earliest compositional experimentations with his National Orchestra recorded between 1950 and 1954. The orchestra consisted of many of the finest Indian musicians of the period, and in these recordings one senses the excitement Ravi felt at having such resources at his disposal. Not only was Ravi inspired by the players to experiment with orchestration, but he enjoyed the freedom to explore both North and South Indian systems, as well as use some Western technique. Ravi also maintained his natural inclination for improvisation by recording usually within a hour or two of completing the composition.