Tuesday, 8 March 2011

***Philip Glass & Ravi Shankar -Passages (1989?) -Awesomely beautiful, joyous modern classical East/West collaberation! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!***

Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass met in Paris in 1965, when Glass was a young aspiring composer and Shankar was confirminghis place in the world's classical canon. Shankar acted as an informal mentor to Glass, and their interaction inspired Glass to consider the possibilities of rhythm. By the time they joined forces at a New York City studio, in 1989, the two occupied a more level playing field. PASSAGES differs from previous collaborations that Shankar had undertaken withWestern musicians such as Yehudi Mehuhin, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and George Harrison. On four of the six pieces, the two don't improvise together so much as refine each other's material, while on the remaining tracks, each composer is entirely responsible for the final composition. Shankar's lush orchestrations are most evident on "Prashanti" and the graceful "Ragas in Minor Scale", while Glass's repetitions manifest most hauntingly on "Channels and Winds". But on the finest tracks, "Offering" and "Meeting Along the Edge", their individual talents are subsumed into the collective experience.


1. Offering
2. Sadhanipa
3. Channels And Winds (psychelatte: omg, this is MESMERIZINGLY beautiful!!!)
4. Ragas In Minor Scale
5. Meetings Along The Edge
6. Prashanti

Amazon uk reviews:

1)East meets West

I had some ideas of what this would sound like before I heard it, but when I heard it I realised I was completely wrong! I thought that it would be typical Philip Glass with some sitar and Indian scales and sounds. It is nothing of the sort. Each track is not so much a collaboration as a joining of distinct parts. You can hear which parts are Glass and which parts are Shankar, but the glue that holds them together is the compositional genius of the two men. It does not just encompass India either, as there are Middle-Eastern motifs and scales used here, and some very Western orchestral parts. It is very light on the sitar, and Ravi Shankar probably has more input vocally than with his sitar playing. This is orchestral music without using a conventional orchestra from the West. It is Indian music without being limited to the traditional Indian instruments and arrangements. It is World Music at its best!

2) Journey to the East...and back!

This album at first glance brings together two of the most unlikely composers one could think of in a collaboration that crosses huge cultural differences but works exceptionally well. Ravi Shankar, whose music has been known in the West for many years , is known for his work with Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison among others. His musical reputation goes far beyond his exemplary sitar playing in the traditional ragas and covers much classical Indian music also. Philip Glass, mostly known for his repetitive structures as a member of the minimalist school and for his powerful soundtracks, has gained a wider audience with classical and popular music afficionados outside of the USA. This album works in many different ways. Despite their differing backgrounds each musician has produced memorable soundscapes which reach deeply into the history of each of the collaborators and their musical heritage and which emerge to enchant and delight the listener. It is often difficult to distinguish the individual contributions from each other in particular pieces which underscores their deep understanding and appreciation of each others work. The pieces are extremely moving and cover a whole gamut of emotions. Each composition has it's own particular feature which causes me to come back to this album again and again. In some ways this album is greater than either of it's component parts and will be a lasting testament to the work of these two great composers.

Musicians: Vocals Ravi Shankar and S.P. Balasubramanyam and the Madras Choir.
Orchestral group from Madras.
Soloists: Ronu Mazumdar, Flute; Shubho Shankar, Sitar; Partha Sarathy, Sarod; Partha Sarathy, Veena; T. Srinivasan, Mridangam & Drum Speech; Abhiman Kaushal, Tabla. Production Glass: Music by Philip Glass. Produced by Kurt Munkacsi for Euphorbia Productions, Ltd., NYC. Conducted by Michael Riesman. Engineered by Blaise Dupuy. Assistant Engineers: Michael McGrath, Ramone Diaz. Recorded at The Living Room Studios, NYC. Executive Producer: Rory Johnston. Edited with Sound Tools by Digidesign. Musicians: Strings: Tim Baker Violin; Barry Finclair Violin, Viola; Mayuki Fukuhara Violin; Regis landiorio Violin; Karen Karlsud Violin; Sergiu Schwartz Violin; Masako Yanagita, Violin, Viola; Al Brown, Viola; Richard Sortomme, Viola; Seymour Barab, Cello; Beverly Laudrisen, Cello; Batia Lieberman, Cello; Fred Zlotkin, Cello; Joe Carver, Bass. Woodwinds: Theresa Norris, Flute; Jack Kripl, Flute, Soprano Saxophone;on Gibson, Soprano Saxophone; Richard Peck, Tenor, Alto Saxophone; Lenny Pickett, Tenor, Alto Saxophone. Brass: Peter Gordon, French Horn; Ron Sell, French Horn; Keith O'Quinn, Trombone; Alan Raph, Trombone. Gorden Gottleib: Percussion. Jeanie Gagne: Voice. Michael Riesman: Piano. Art Direction by Melanie Penny. Design by Candyernigan. Photography by Ebet Roberts.

Tracks 1,5,6 Composed by Ravi Shankar, Tracks 2,3,4 Composed by Philip Glass.



Doktor Alphonzo said...

I have just come across your wonderful blog - many thanks for the opportunity to listen new music