August 5, 2016

N Ravikiran: Vara Raga Laya [ECSD 40543] (LP released in India in 1985)

Here is an early release by Chitravina N. Ravikiran (born February 12, 1967), one of the best known veena performers of his generation. He plays the 20-string nava-chitravia and utilizes a slide (he says it is basically a length of PVC pipe) while doing so. 

Possibly because he appears to have some personal or professional connections to my area, I've had an opportunity to watch him perform in person three times, and have gotten used to hearing veena players being introduced as "a student of Ravikiran."

His early life is somewhat intriguing, with its reports of possessing phenomenal amounts of knowledge about carnatic music at the age of 2 years old. 

If you take the time to read the wikipedia article, it seems like Raviji is a bit smitten with breaking records, such as longest veena concert, or in breaking milestones in speed composing. I'm not really sure what to make of that. I would say that when I have seen him perform he has put a tremendous amount of effort into the performance. He also has spent a lot of time in educating, with frequent lecture demonstrations and writing several books about carnatic music, one of which i have read and found easy to understand and quite useful.

Here is video of an almost 3 hour concert given in the fall of 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(after extracting, will be suitable for burning CDR)

(highest possible quality compressed audio file meant for portable players 
such as the iPod or a smart phone


  1. Thank you so much for this album.

    I saw N. Ravikiran on TV, when he was about 13 or 14 years old. He played in a huge jazz festival in Stuttgart (if I remember correctly), in-between Miles Davis and similar all-time-greats. I was absolutely amazed by this kid then, and almost started to believe in reincarnation.

  2. Anyone who would like to purchase a NOS (new old stock LP (meaning a brand-new never used LP which is out of print -- and in this case which has been in storage by a former distributer of EMI LPs) can check out this listing from my favorite seller on Discogs:

  3. Thank you very much for putting online the MP3 file for HMV ECSD 40543. I bought that LP in 1988 and I was listening to it this morning. I was contemplating buying a second turntable (with direct MP3 connection to my computer) in order to digitize it. It suddently occurred to me that maybe ... And indeed, ... Can you tell us how you digitize LP-s ?