The George Harrison Estate announces new label, HariSongs. First reissues available now digitally

Posted on 8 May 2018
By Khyle Deen
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The George Harrison Estate is happy to announce their new label, HariSongs, created in partnership with Craft Recordings to release the Harrison family archive of Indian Classical and World music and George’s collaborations with the finest exponents of Indian Classical music.

To celebrate this body of music, HariSongs launches today with two reissues in honour of Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan’s shared birthday month (b. 7th April, 1920 and 14th April, 1922, respectively). These titles — both recently out-of- print, and never before available via streaming platforms — are the acclaimed Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan In Concert 1972 and the last collaboration by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, Chants of India.

These digital-only reissues are now available for the first time via streaming outlets, as well as to download.

About In Concert 1972:

In Concert 1972 was originally released via Apple Records in 1973, with a statement that read: “Within the small community of brilliantly gifted musicians there exists an even smaller world of Masters. Two of these masters recently joined together in concert …”

The album features two of Indian Classical music’s greatest artists at the height of their powers, the sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and master of the sarod, Ali Akbar Khan.

The album captures the live recordings from a performance that took place at New York City’s Philharmonic Hall on October 8, 1972 and was edited and mixed by George Harrison with Zakir Hussain and Phil McDonald. Featuring tabla accompaniment by the great Alla Rakha, this mesmerising concert comprises three ragas played in the jugalbandi style (or a duet played by two solo musicians) and became a poignant tribute to the guru of both soloists (and the father of Ali Akbar), the great Allauddin Khan, who had died but a month previously.

Audio for this reissue was sourced from the original master 1/4” analogue tapes which were digitized at FPSHOT (Friar Park Studio Henley-on- Thames) and remastered by Paul Hicks, Gavin Lurssen & Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering (Hi-Res 96/24 and 192/24 audio also available).

Stream or download In Concert here: Digital-C

Critical praise received:
“This wonderful recording comes from a show at New York's Philharmonic Hall with a dream team: Ali
Akbar Khan on sarod and Alla Rakha on tabla. One of the three pieces, “Raga – Manj Khamaj,” totals
almost an hour, enabling you to get much closer than on most Shankar albums of the period, to the natural extension and patient exploration of an Indian classical-music evening.” – Rolling Stone

“This is the living, fire-breathing embodiment of one of the greatest partnerships ever forged in Hindustani (Northern Indian) classical music… Two musicians pouring their hearts out for their guru: that is the most succinct description of this sometimes smouldering, sometimes fiery, masterpiece.” – Gramophone Magazine

About Chants of India:

Chants of India by Ravi Shankar and produced by George Harrison was originally released in 1997 on Angel Records.

Recorded in Madras, India, and Henley-on- Thames, UK, this collaboration was referred to by Shankar as “one of the most difficult challenges in my life, as a composer and arranger,” and draws upon the sacred Sanskrit texts of the Vedas, Upanishads and other scriptures. He added, “the repetitive use of mantras invoke a special power within oneself and I have tried to imbibe this age-old tradition in this
recording… into which I have poured my heart and soul.” 

Stream or download Chants of India here: Digital-W

Critical praise received:

“Perhaps the very best introduction to the enduring creative friendship between the Bengali classical master and the scruff from Liverpool’s back streets.” – Mojo

“Chants of India represents a creative milestone in the life of a veteran artist whose contributions to traditional Indian music cannot be overestimated.” – Billboard

“Shankar took Hindu prayers, mantras and scriptural texts and framed them within larger musical settings,
incorporating both Indian and European instruments along with voices. The results are transporting – and very beautiful.” – NPR Music

Digital Track Listing
In Concert 1972
Ravi Shankar (sitar) & Ali Akbar Khan (sarod) with Alla Rakha (tabla)
1. Raga Hem Bihag – 25:18
2. Raga Manj Khamaj* – 51:01
3. Raga Sindhi Bhairavi** – 26:18

* Gat composition is by Ravi Shankar, composed instantaneously onstage. The music is improvised by both
Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan.

** Gat composition also by Ravi Shankar, and improvised by both Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan. This Gat
was played first time in 1958/59 in a concert arranged by Rajeev Dave in Allahabad.
Chants of India

All songs are traditional, arranged by Ravi Shankar, except where indicated.

1. Vandanaa Trayee – 4:32
2. Omkaaraaya Namaha – 1:53
3. Vedic Chanting One – 3:12
4. Asato Maa – 7:12
5. Sahanaa Vavavtu – 4:26
6. Poornamadah – 1:28
7. Gaayatri – 3:26
8. Mahaa Mrityunjaya – 4:43
9. Veenaa-Murali – 3:36
10. Geetaa – 2:13
11. Managalam (original composition by Shankar, Dr Nandakumara) – 4:03
12. Hari Om (original composition by Shankar) – 2:57
13. Svara Mantra (original composition by Shankar) – 4:34
14. Vedic Chanting Two – 2:13
15. Prabhujee (original composition by Shankar) – 8:06
16. Sarve Shaam – 5:09