In May of 1971, Maestro Ali Akbar Khan was in Vienna to play a concert in Vienna’s Symphony Hall—used by Beethoven, Mozart, and many other greats. We were staying in a hotel in the old part of Vienna, near the university. The hotel was on a narrow street lined with coffee shops, bookstores and restaurants. Khansahib and Susan were on the 4th floor and Shankar Ghosh and I shared a room directly beneath them. (more…)
Baba (Ustad Ali Akbar Khan) was the kind of musician who appears on Earth maybe once every 1000 years. His creations, like Raagas Chandranandan and Gourimanjari, are unparalleled and changed the landscape of Indian and World Music.
Those of us who were privileged to witness some of his concerts and classes got a glimpse of a true genius. (more…)
My story starts with the moon raga and Khansahib’s recording of this most wonderful piece of music. His performance of the raga Chandranadan on connoisseur records was my introduction to genius on the sarod.
During the summer of 1968, our country was burning with the horror of the Vietnam war. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated and there was rioting in our major cities. (more…)
Unfortunately, Khansahib passed away before I began learning sitar. I began learning sitar in 2014 with Roop Verma. I then started having pretty electrifying dreams in which Khansahib would appear and play music. He was in a state of ecstasy and pure bliss, playing long concerts that just felt like an ocean of energy and sound. I could hear the music so clearly and deeply! It was (and is) powerful. I would wake up and feel so filled with inspiration and desire to practice. (more…)