Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In Memory of Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin

Listening to Anoushka Shankar & Essemble playing Indian Classical Music with special guest Patricia Kopatchinskaha in tribute to Yehudi Menuhin in Berlin; a change of taste and pace. I used to listen to the late Ravi Shankar, (the father) and Yehudi Menuhin a great deal when i was living at the dilapidated farm house on Humboldt Road while attending college at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay. My Landlord a Mr. Lee Lodl was a connoisseur of jazz and classical music and a great lady's gentleman from whom I learned a great deal of what being a gentleman was all about. All the way from the taste of wine to the making of good steak and fried mushroom and asparagus which grew in the surrounding fields on the farm. In summer the whole area is turned into a sea of cornfield that stretches as far as the eyes can see  while in winter it was a majestic landscape of white blanket of snow that would chill your bones and warm you soul.
The dance of the three instruments primarily, the sitar the violin and the tabla was flawless and took me as it had always did in the past with classical Indian music to a high intense climax especially with the violin and the sitar being pitted one and another, like it used to happen when Yehudi Menuhin played alongside Ravi Shankar in the past. This is when music or the powerful sounds of instruments in the hands of the masters can transport you to the height of your spiritual awakening even if it was for a split second in time. In moments like this it reminds one of the higher aspirations in life that man is destined to strive for for the benefit of his fellow man. Life is more than just a matter survival, it is also a celebration of the human spirit through creativity and receptivity despite the course of negative environment that we are traversing. Man has the capacity to uplift his own spirit midst all the trials and tribulations he faces in this life and all it takes is a little sense of willingness to perform one's best for the masses.
Not everyone is endowed with a 'God given talent' that can entertain or even purify the human soul with this talents. Those who have it in themselves such abilities aught to share these talents as a source of inspiration for the generations coming at the very least to foster the human spirit at a higher level of spiritual attainment than merely the act of survival alone. In this day and age whereby not much is out there for the lay man to reflect upon to lift up his spirit in the course of a day, sometimes a simple act of being creative and out of the ordinary can turn a man's sorrowful day into a bright sun shiny day. A smile from you can turn a gloomy experience into a happy one for another and what does it cost to smile at a stranger or to acknowledge a smile from another? 


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