December 10, 2017

Gayathri Rajapur: Raga du Sud de L'Inde [Le Chante du Monde FMX 58854] an LP recorded in the US in 1963 and released in 1967; then reissued in France in 1975

Here is album of vocal and Gottuvuadyam (also known as chitravina) music by Gayathri Rajapur

Originally it was released by Folkways Records in the US in 1967 and subsequently released in France under the "Le Chant du Mode" label. 

This LP is never going to wind up on anyone's "Audiophile Must Have" list. It was recorded in late 1963 (according to the original liner notes) under what appears to be a non-studio environment and is almost certainly (at least in this release) in mono. This transfer, however, sounds much better than what is available on the web and on youtube. If you have any doubt about this, then please check out the upload provided on youtube by the label.

Of some note is the presence of Dorothy Moskowitz on tanpura. Moskowitz was Rajapur's student at UCLA, and had a singing career in her own right, appearing (among other places) on an underground classic of experimental rock

Somewhere on the inter webs I located a PDF file of the original (surprisingly good) liner notes which were written for the US Folkways label by Joseph Byrd, who was Moskowitz' boyfriend at the time (see below).

Gayathri Rajapur: vocal and gottuvuadyam
Harihar Rao: mridigam

Side 1:
Varna in Raga Shankaraburanam
Kriti in Raga Bhairavi

Side 2:
Kriti in Raga Nathe

Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Audio-technica AT440
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 decoding into wav, can be burned to a CD)

(highest quality compressed audio file)


  1. Replies
    1. Many thanks for these materials! It looks like Gayathri was (for a short time) the teacher for Robby Krieger of the Doors fame. He mentions the female teacher of Indian music at UCLA in his memoir but does not give the name. But, he says she was the inspiration for him to compose the "Indian Summer" song from 1966, issued on their "Morrison Hotel" LP (1970). Well, this means the knowledge she gave him could inspire also his guitar parts on the famous track "The End" ("The Doors", 1967), and the very first Doors recording (sans their Krieger-less 1965 demo acetate), the soundtrack for "Love Thy Customer" instructional film for Ford from 1966 (can be found on The Doors' "R-Evolution" video compilation or on Youtube). Ilia Zavalishin, a Doors fan / researcher.