The estate of George Harrison has announced the debut of a new record label, dubbed HariSongs, that will release and re-issue selections from the former Beatle’s archive of Indian and world music.
Ravi Shankar’s Chants of India and Shankar and Alib Akbar Khan’s In Concert 1972 are the first two releases available on the new imprint. Both albums are recently out of print and the reissues are timed to coincide with Shankar’s birthday month.
Chants of India was produced by George Harrison and originally released in 1997.Recorded in Madras, India, and Henley-on-Thames, UK, this collaboration was referred to by Shankar as “one of the most difficult challenges in my life, as a composer and arranger”, and draws upon the sacred Sanskrit texts of the Vedas, Upanishads and other scriptures.
A short documentary, also released by HariSongs, takes a look at the making of the album and features archival interviews with both musicians. Watch it below.
In Concert 1972 was originally released on the Beatles’ Apple Records in 1973. The album captures the live recordings from a performance that took place at New York City’s Philharmonic Hall on 8th October, 1972, and was mixed and edited by Harrison (with Zakir Hussain and Phil McDonald).
The audio for both reissues was sourced and remastered from the original tapes. Both releases are available to stream or download now.
A quote from George Harrison featured on the HariSongs website reads, “Ravi Shankar is probably the person who has influenced my life the most. Later I realized Indian music was like a stepping-stone to the spiritual path. I always had a feeling for that and the music led me there.”