In a one-two(-three?) punch of greatness I raced back to Ottawa on October 11th, 2005 for a concert featuring Ravi Shankar at the National Arts Centre after seeing Sir Paul McCartney (and Kevin Breit) in Toronto.
Things could be worse.
It was a sleepy drive home that ended up a little rushed and I got my butt into the soft seat atop the NAC’s Southam Hall with little time to spare. I was a bit harried from my microcosmic whirlwind and was happy for the slow, ethereal drones that began as soon as the performers sat upon the stage. Ravi was performing with his very-talented daughter Anoushka and when the pair of them started tickling their sitar strings the very molecules around my chakras gave up the ghost and coasted to a dead, peaceful stop. The Shankars put me into a timeless bardo of non-being that lasted close to two hours, at which time the house lights forced me back into a separate bundle of skandhas that walked themselves calmly out of the hexagonal concert hall and into the night.
I guess it’s no surprise that spirituality always comes with a soundtrack. Fortunately (I guess) I remain blissfully ignorant enough of Indian classical music such that it always makes me feel like I’ve been to church, or temple, or the Bodhi tree, or wherever it is that the psychedelic-spirit fish of the ohm hangs his pork-pie hat.
It’s really too bad that the great Ravi Shankar is no longer walking this Earth, but every time I hear a sitar I think of him so I suppose in that sense he’s still here. Or there. Or wherever.
So yeah, good show.