Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An extraordinary musician and a piece of history

Ravi Shankar died today. He was a most extraordinary musician who carried a tradition with fidelity from its home place, India, into a wider world while at the same time allowing it to interact and play with other musical traditions. To be at one of his concerts was to be transported.

The piece of history is that his elder brother, Udday, was instructor, mentor and friend to my closest friend, and she had studied dance with Ravi under his brother's gaze. Once, when Ravi came to give concerts in London, I went with her and we met him after the performance - a charming, endearing presence - he stood confident in his powers and utterly welcoming.

They can dance together now with a celestial harmony.

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