By Ravi Shankar
About the image
In 1994, George Harrison persuaded Ravi Shankar to write his autobiography, to celebrate the great musician’s 75th birthday. Over two years later, after extensive research, interviews and writing, Raga Mala was published to great success. In his autobiography, one of the twentieth century’s most important musicians shares his life story, with a foreword by Shankar’s close friend and guest editor, George Harrison, and an afterword by Yehudi Menuhin.
The title of the book, Raga Mala or 'Garland of Ragas' was chosen by Shankar as it refers to a style of playing where the musician plays a series of musical melodies while constantly returning to a main theme. As Shankar explains, this is how he went about recalling his memories and how the book might be received by the reader, one recollection sparking from another.
The edition features a remarkable collection of nearly 300 photographs in black and white and colour, a large number of which had never been published before. Further items such as letters, notes, news clippings and hand-written sheet music, are drawn almost entirely from the personal archives of Ravi Shankar and those of the book's editor, George Harrison.
Originally published as a limited edition of 2000, only 450 copies remain. Bound in Bangalore raw silk, specially created for this book, with gilt hand-tooling and gilded page edging, the edition is available in three colour choices: gold, purple and blue. Each is housed in a special slipcase.
Each book is signed by Ravi Shankar. Commemorating the centenary of Ravi Shankar's birth, Raga Mala now also includes an archival photographic print of a portrait taken at Shankar's home in California by the book's late publisher, Brian Roylance. The monochrome print is numbered and stamped, and is suitable for framing (size: 5" x 7").