Newsletter July 2009

1. Available Again: "My Music, My Life" by Ravi Shankar
- Again in our Assortment -

Ravi Shankar's first auto-biography "My Music, My Life", written around the end of the 1960s, does not only tell his personal life story, but is at the same time a first hand introduction to Indian music and a great collection of technical exercises and simple but musically attractive compositions (sargams) for sitar in a variety of ragas and talas. This unique combination makes the book one of the best basic publications on Indian music ever. "My Music, My Life" had been out of print for quite a few years, but a US publisher has recently re-edited it, and we are happy to be able to offer it again now! The new edition has the original foreword by late violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin, an additional foreword by composer Philip Glass and a completely new chapter titled "My Perspective Today".

180 pages, including 55 pages of exercises and sargam notations; format: 20,5 x 25,5 cm; paperback; price 21,90 Euro (+ shipping)

2. Bargains and Rarities at our Marketplace
- Special Offers -

In May and June we have presented unique plucked and bowed instruments at our marketplace. Now we continue with special bargains and rarities: three low priced sitars, a decorated shahnai and an extraordinary pair of kettledrums. Some of these items have been in the hands of collectors in the past few years and have recently been committed to India Instruments for sale. Others are discontinued models from our assortment or have been taken over from customers. Some of these offers are unique opportunities for musicians as well as for lovers of art, ethnomusicologists and museums.

All instruments (and many more) are featured in full detail at Special Offers - please take a look! Please note that we have not yet been able to produce English translations of the descriptive texts. We hope you will get the basic idea from the pictures and German texts, and we will be happy to answer any further questions personally! All instruments can be checked out personally upon appointment in our store in Berlin, too.

By the way, you can as well offer your own instruments, accessories or other items for sale at our marketplace! For a low fee of only EURO 10.- we will keep your simple text advertisement uploaded for up to six months! Details of the conditions are available at the bottom of the marketplace page.

3. 15 % Discount on Tanpuras and Harmoniums
- Special Offers -

15 years - 15 % ! With this onetime offer we commemorate India Instruments' 15th anniversary in business from April till September. Until July 31st there is still a 15% discount off the normal price of all tanpuras. This includes all traditional tanpuras from India as well as the hybrid instrument Sur Tanpura, a mixture of tanpura and swarmandal . Throughout August it's the harmoniums' turn - 15% off. These discounts continue until September, with 15% off sitars and sarods in the last month. With a possible saving of up to EURO 298.50 it behooves anyone considering buying an instrument to plan the purchase now.

Info on tanpuras is available here
Info on harmoniums here

The offer applies from the first to the last day of each month, and as long as supplies last. All ordered instrument purchases will be reckoned from the date of the order. During this discount each purchaser will receive a free postcard of Saraswati. As patron goddess of music, she is revered by Hindus and Muslims alike as a symbol of the unifying and universal power of music.

4. New Online Course on South Indian Music
- Education -

Renowned musicologist and flutist Ludwig Pesch is offering a new online course titled "The Music of South India" from September onwards. Participants do not only receive teaching material online, but also a copy of Ludwig Pesch's standard work "The Oxford Illustrated Companion to South Indian Music", which has seen it's 2nd edition in 2009 and is highly praised by music critics in India. Early registration before July 31st entitles you to a reduced fee.

Further info available at:

5. Invitation to Jubilee Celebration on July 25th
- Company Info -

India Instruments' 15th jubilee celebration will take place at our shop in Berlin on Saturday, July 25th. Everybody is welcome! The party will start at 14:30 with home-made cake, chai and mango lassi. So far we have planned the following programme:

15:00 - 15:20 Acoustic Asian World Fusion with Indigo Masala (in new line-up!)
15:30 - 15:50 compositions by late Kamalesh Maitra with the Raga-Tala-Ensemble
16:00 - 17:00 opening hour of the shop
17:15 - 17:45 afternoon raga on surbahar with Sebastian Dreyer and pakhawaj-accompanist Beate Gatscha
18:00 - 18:30 sitar-tabla-duet with Yogendra and Ravi Srinivasan

Apart from the official programme our little celebration is supposed to be an inspiring meeting place of like-minded lovers of Indian music, of refreshing old friendships and making new ones. We would be happy to welcome many friends from abroad as well - Berlin in the summer is always worth visiting!

6. Vacation in Berlin August 15th - 30th
- Company Info -

India-Instruments-manager Norbert Klippstein will be on vacation from August 15th - 30th. During this period the shop will only be opened to visitors in very urgent cases. Nevertheless queries by e-mail and phone will be handled. However, answers might take a little more time than usual. Small items might get shipped, but large instruments can only be shipped in case of emergency. We recommend placing any urgent or large orders before August 11th to avoid waiting periods later on!

7. Charlie Mariano Passed Away
- Orbituary by Ramesh Shotham -

Charlie Mariano passed away. The great American jazz sax player and worldmusic pioneer died of cancer at age 85 on June 16th in Cologne. Charlie Mariano began performing with professional show bands as early as 1942. During the 1950s and 60s he played with jazz stars like Stan Kenton, Shelly Mane, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus and McCoy Tyner and got famous for his unmistakable tone - Charles Mingus called it "tears of sound". His open-mindedness made Charlie Mariano continuously search for new musical horizons. Thus he left his successful career in US in the late 1960s, moved to Malaysia and Japan, lived and worked in Europe from 1971 onwards and finally settled in Cologne in 1986.

Charlie Mariano worked, amongst many others, with European jazz musicians like Jasper van't Hof, Eberhard Weber or Philipe Catherine, with the bandleader's band United Jazz & Rock Ensemble and with pop stars like Herbert Grönemeyer and Konstantin Wecker. However, friends of Indian music will remember Charlie Mariano most for his pioneering work in the field of worldmusic - long before the term became popular. In 1973 he studied the traditional double-reed instrument nageswaram in South India and later on played with, amongst others, the Karnataka College of Percussion, Dissidenten, Rabih Abou-Khalil and Dino Saluzzi. That way Charlie Mariano contributed a lot to making Indian music accessible to a larger public in Germany and Europe.

In recent years he has performed mainly in a trio with Ali Haurand and Daniel Humair and in a duo with Dieter Ilg. His inner calmness, benevolence, modesty and compassion made him a charismatic figure - on stage as well as in life. Charlie Mariano's sax can be heard on more than 300 published recordings. That way his music will stay alive in the world.

An exhaustive collection of data and material on Charlie Mariano's life and work (in German) is available at:

In our next newsletter we are planning to publish a personal tribute to Charlie Mariano by his friend and colleague, renowned world jazz percussionist Ramesh Shotham.

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