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Saturday, April 8, 2017

AIR unveils 'journo' Pt Ravi Shankar

All India Radio Archives Kolkata has stumbled upon one of the rarest programmes in India's cultural history. On eve of the 97th birth anniversary of Pandit Ravi Shankar on Thursday, the archives has unveiled the legendary musician in a new avatar -that of a journalist. Instead of a sitar in hand, Pt. Ravi Shankar took charge of the microphone to interview legendary tabla player Ustad Ahmed Jan Thirakwa Khan in Hindi. The archives has also traced and digitized six rare sitar recordings of the maestro. AIR Kolkata's station director Sutapa Dutta Gupta plans to release them commercially too. The tapes not only record the two masters in conversation for 23 minutes and 42 seconds, they also have Shankar listening to Thirakwa reminiscing about his childhood, years of training and performances with artistes from different gharanas. However, AIR hasn't been able to put a date to the recording.
"Thirakwa Khan saab spoke about how he would practise all night and get rest for half an hour in the morning. This was followed by another day-long session of riyaaz with a short break for lunch. When asked where Pt. Ravi Shankar's generation lagged, Thirakwa Khan saab pointed out that their riyaaz wasn't enough though they got a lot of appreciation because of publicity," said Soumyen Basu, assistant station director (programme), AIR Kolkata. On December 13, 2016, domain expert of AIR Archives Kolkata Tuhin Subhro Bhattacharya examined Pt. Ravi Shankar's interview and wrote a note saying: "This is one of the rarest of rare programmes of AIR. This programme should be preserved very carefully." That was evident on Thursday when the priceless seven-inch tapes started playing on the rare console tape recorder of the archives. For connoisseurs, the recording also has Ustad Ahmed Jan Thirakwa Khan demonstrating his tabla expertise in different gharanas and concludes with him keeping Pt Ravi Shankar's request to present a recital.
Tabla maestro Pt Anindya Chatterjee described the recording as "historic". "There isn't a single table player in India who has not been inspired by Thirakwa Khan saab. To have him interviewed by Panditji is a gem of a recording," Chatterjee said. Pt Tanmoy Bose never had the privilege of listening to this recording. "I'm overjoyed to know that AIR has traced this jewel," Bose said. The archives has also traced two interviews of Pt. Ravi Shankar taken by Pt Jnan Prakash Ghosh. One 27-minute-long interview has Pt. Ravi Shankar sharing numerous anecdotes about his first visit to Kolkata in 1932 "These are real treasures. I wish AIR broadcasts these too," said musicologist Anindya Banerjee. The archives has completed digitizing the six sitar recordings where Pt. Ravi Shankar is accompanied by Ustad Karamatullah Khan. They were done on February 2, 1966.

Source and Credit :- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/air-unveils-journo-pt-ravi-shankar/articleshow/58058061.cms
Forwarded by :- Shri. Jainendra Nigam PB News Desk,prasarbharati.newsdesk@gmail.com

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