January 21, 2018

Emani Sankara Shastry: INDE DU SUD - Concert de Vina [Ocora 558503] an LP recorded in France in 1975 and released there in 1980 (reissued 1984)

Here we have a recording by the great Carnatic veena performer, ES Shastry, recorded for the legendary Ocora label in France in 1975.

Ocora is one of those labels where almost every LP or CD released is a gem. They sometimes have a tendency to combine releases when reissued, but trying to fill up the minutes of a CD is a sin I can readily forgive when the production values are as high as Ocora's.

This LP was exceptionally difficult to scan, because of the cover's high-gloss deep black surfaces. I finally gave up and took a photo with my iPhone and then tarted it up a bit in Photoshop (mostly evening out the blacks near the edges). Don't bother doing a Google Images search for this LP -- there are some painful attempts out there.

My copy looks like it has never been played. There was almost no surface noise, something I have come to expect from French vinyl pressings.

Side one:
Raga Shree in Adi taal (22:48)
Side two:
Raga Vachaspati in Adi taal (21:25)

Emani Sankara Shastry: Veena (they choose to spell it 'vina')
Madras A Kannan: mridangam
unidentified: tanpura

Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Audio-technica AT440MLb
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: AudacityClickRepairand xAct

(the highest resolution I am capable of recording)

(after converting to wav, will provide "CD quality" audio resolution)

(the highest resolution file that the mp3 format supports)


  1. Thanks a lot for this one, always great to come across a new Ocora!

    1. Tane, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. The Ocora series is a real treat and deserves its stellar reputation. Look out for more of their Indian music releases coming this way in 2018.

  2. Thank you Richard!

    You are expanding my experience in forms of music that have long draw me in.

    The transfer is beautiful (listening now) as is the music. I LOVE that you post high-resolution files.

    Thanks again

  3. I can't get enough of this album. Not only does it sound amazing, but his playing just blows me away - SO soulful! Mississippi delta blues by way of the sub-continent. I don't have much exposure to Veena playing but another album I've heard, The Pulse Of Tanam: Ghana Raga Panchakam (Ragas Of South India) by M. Nageswara Rao gives me a similar impression.

    Thank you so much!

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. The Rao album you mention is part of the Nonesuch Explorer series. I have all the Indian releases from that series and plan on posting them sometime this year in the order in which they were released. Some of them were available very briefly as Japanese CD imports a few years ago, but even those are getting hard or next-to-impossible to find. All are very high quality musically.

  4. Thank you. Looking forward to hearing this transfer from a clean vinyl!