“Collaborations,” a limited edition collection devoted to recordings by sitar master Ravi Shankar and his greatest pop music disciple, George Harrison of the Beatles, will be released by Rhino’s Handmade imprint on Oct. 19. More info on the package, including ordering details, will eventually be available on Handmade’s Web site.
You may know the back story: Harrison became interested in the sitar after the instrument was employed on the soundtrack of the Beatles’ film “Help!” He was also fascinated by the raga structures employed by the Byrds on such tracks as “Eight Miles High.”
In 1965, Harrison used the sitar on the “Rubber Soul” track “Norwegian Wood,” and committed himself to studying the instrument; by 1966 he was Shankar’s most celebrated Western protégé. Harrison’s work with Shankar sparked an international interest in Indian music and culture; it also ultimately pushed his group into their much-publicized association with their guru, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.