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  • RAVI SHANKAR!!!!!!

    Lug 4 2010, 23:14

    Thu 1 Jul – London Philharmonic Orchestra

    I've never actually done one of these before, so sorry if it sucks.....

    I found my way to the Royal Feastival hall easily enough, but being unemployed it was a very over priced and expensive place for me, I looked to what entrance I was going in on my ticket and when I got inside I couldn't actually belive how good my seat was I was three rows from the stage!

    I got a ticket discount because I'm unemployed and since I was there early I sat and watched the preconcert lecture on indian music and maths, it was actually rather interesting and I enjoyed it Then as people started lining up outside I met a man who was obsessed with Philip Glass he seemed nice enough but seemed, rather intent on assuring me Ravi Shankar wouldn't be there in person, and from what the conductor had said about phoning Ravi the night before the performance I was pretty much convinced I'd never get to see the man himself, how wrong I was!

    About five minutes before the lights went down, George Harrison's wife, a whole stream of indian classical musicans, and finally Ravi Shankar and his wife walked in, to a standing ovation from the entire crowd, he was sitting on the front row, and natrurally people were going up to him, I turned to the guy next to me and said "I'm never gonna have this chance again!"

    I got in the crowd of people as well and when they'd cleared I finally got to go up to him and meet my Idol in the flesh! I hold him in the highest respect and honour so I decided not to pester him by taking his photo or asking him to sign anything (I didn't have a pen on me anyway)

    I've been listening to him since I was 10 years old, that predates my intrest in Jimi, Sabbath or anything else, so I was quite in awe of him, he was a very kind man, shook my hand and thanked me for all the nice things I said to him, without a doubt the most famous person I've ever met in my life!

    I then sat grinning like a cheshire cat for the rest of the night! I still am now days later!

    Now the bit where I know nothing about classical music becomes painfully clear...

    John Adams

    This was called "Shaker Loops" It was pretty cool, It focused on how contrasting rhythms interlock with eachother, much like they do in indian music, the overall effect was really soaring!

    Philip Glass

    This was his Violin concerto, he had a great soloist on stage for this, but being foolish I didn't buy the programe so I can't remember his name, I really enjoyed it overal but on first impression for me it was a bit like watching Malmsteen widdle over the Orchestra on his album, but a whole lot better! I'm going to find this on iTunes soon so I can listen again!

    Then we had an interval, where I frantically went outside and told my entire phonebook about meeting Ravi!

    Ravi Shankar

    Now with him barely being able to walk, much less play Sitar he could only sit like me and watch as his daugter Anoushka Shankar played the solo Sitar part in his new symphony, it proves without doubt that the man is a genius of the highest order and its only his body that is growing weaker with time.

    Anoushka Shankar is amazing on Sitar as well, so I got my evenings mastery of Sitar playing regardless, it went on for ages but at the same time it was timeless, the perfect blend of east and west after many years of trying, I hope this is recorded soon for the world to hear!

    Ravi himself and the performers then got what seemed like a 20 minute standing ovation at the end, I bumped into him again as I was walking out so I thanked him for existing and told him he was a genius again, did the indian greeting thing he'd shown me earlier on and left, it was like a relgious experience!

    I might have to start going to more classical gigs too actually, this was my first in over a year, but now I'm happy, I've lived one of my dreams, and I loved evrey single moment of it!