Here we have a relatively obscure cassette of a performance by shehnai maestro Ramesh Khaladkar. It was released on the Swarashree label, which seemed to have an arrangement with CBS Records in India.
Believed to have been invented by the legendary musician Ustad Bismillah Khan's ancestors in the early 19th century, the shehnai quickly became an integral part of Indian classical and folk music. Its distinctive double-reed design and melodious, haunting tones distinguish it from other wind instruments.
Originally crafted for outdoor performances and auspicious ceremonies, the shehnai found a special place in Indian weddings and religious festivities. Its association with celebratory occasions elevated its status as an instrument of joy and auspiciousness.
Over the years, maestros like Ustad Bismillah Khan brought the shehnai to the global stage and it is now an accepted instrument in Hindustani classical music.
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre6ii at 24bit/48kHz resolution
Software: Audacity and xAct.
Monitoring: Digital line out from a MacBook, Focal Spirit One headphones with Schitt Audio Asgard headphone preamp with 4490 DAC