Friday, June 26, 2009

Ustad Ali Akbar Khan

I just learned the sad news of the death last week of sarod master Ali Akbar Khan. While I remain shockingly ignorant about Indian classical music, even I am aware of Ali Akbar Khan and his efforts to pass on the traditions of Indian music through the Ali Akbar College of Music. Khan also wrote and performed the music for several films in the late 50s and early 60s, including Satyajit Ray's Devi (Goddess, 1960) and James Ivory and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's The Householder (1963).

On her blog Cafe Aman, Anastasia Tsioulcas has posted a tribute which includes this lovely video of Ali Akbar Khan and Swapan Chaudhuri playing the raga "Zila Kafi," which I'm reposting here:

Anatasia's post includes a link to a profile she wrote for National Geographic Music; that profile includes some recommendations for additional listening. There's also an informative Wikipedia article, and the AACM site includes a complete discography.

Ali Akbar Khan's passing is a profound loss to the musical culture of the world.

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