Must read (and hear) Ravi Shankar remembrance and our Mercury day poem

One of the great things about living in Los Angeles is public radio station KCRW.

It’s morning music show, “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” is absolutely awesome. First hosted by Tom Schnabel, who helped define “world music,” the show has been through three other hosts (who I think are always the station’s music directors, too): Chris Douridas, Nic Harcourt (who helped bring Coldplay to America’s attention) and now Jason Bentley. Bentley’s awesome and has a true joy of music.

With that new fangled Internet thing, you can enjoy KCRW wherever you are. (Check out Saturday nights when the never dull Henry Rollins is on for two hours.)

Ravi Shankar, who died on Tuesday, was the first guest that Schnabel interviewed on the program, way back in 1979. Schnabel has a must-read (and listen to) remembrance of Shankar right here. It includes this memory from the show’s producer, Ariana Morgenstern:

“In those early days, it was hard to get well-known musicians to come by a college radio station. but little by little we got in some great artists.

Ravi Shankar, we met several times and liked each other immediately. I was in my early 20′s. Once, he came by and I noticed this opulent diamond ring. I couldn’t avoid it and asked him about it. He told me his guru had given it to him as a gift. He materialized it out of nothing, sheer will.  That seemed unlikely to me but he said that was true. he invited me to his show that night at Royce Hall. after a stunning concert, I went to the meet and greet. As the doors opened, I saw a long line of friends, fans waiting to kiss his bare feet and have a chat. He turned toward the door saw me and left his place and came to greet me. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Years later, when Tom went to interview him at his house, Tom returned with a note for me.”

The link above has a snippet of Schnabel’s remembrance and a few great photos. Worth checking out if you are a Shankar fan.

I’ve been trying to think of an appropriate poem to mark Shankar’s passing. This is the best I can do. It’s by Shelley, “Music, when soft voices die”:

 Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory—
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken.
   Rose leaves, when the rose is dead,
Are heaped for the belovèd’s bed;
And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,
Love itself shall slumber on.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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