||This article needs attention from an expert in Musicians. The specific problem is: examination of sources makes clear that the text is substantially plagiarized as judged by large blocks of factual text without any source, and where sources were added post hoc, there are inaccuracies in attributing content to sources; in addition, the article reads, in may places, like an advertisement or promotional piece for the title subject, and rife with weasel words. (November 2015)|
|Birth name||Lakshminarayana Shankar|
|Also known as||Shenkar|
April 21, 1950 |
|Genres||Carnatic, classical, electronica, progressive rock, soft rock, folk, fusion, jazz, occidental, pop, hard rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, conductor, photographer, arranger, producer, engineer, pedagogue|
|Instruments||Vocals, double violin, viola, electric violin|
|Custom-built double violin|
Lakshminarayana Shankar (born 26 April 1950), also known as L. Shankar and Shenkar, is an Indian-born American violinist, singer and composer. He has worked extensively in both traditional music from India, and in jazz, free improvisation and popular music, notably with singer Peter Gabriel in the latter.
Shankar was born in Madras, Tamil Nadu. Growing up in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, where his father V. Lakshminarayana Iyer was a professor at the Jaffna College of Music, Shankar was exposed to Carnatic music and other styles from an early age. His father was an esteemed violinist,[weasel words] his mother L. Seethalakshmi played the veena and all his five older siblings were also proficient in music. His brothers include the renowned[weasel words] violinist L. Subramaniam and L. Vaidyanathan, a music composer for Indian films. Shankar cites his family and Tyāgarāja as early inspirations.
Shankar was "[c]apable of humming complex lines from accent Indian compositions" when he was three years of age, and two years later began his study of the violin. He is said to have learned to play drums at the age of seven.[by whom?] At the age of seven, Shankar gave his first public concert, at a Ceylonese temple, Nallur Kandaswarmy. As Archana Dongre of Hinduism Today notes, "He gained considerable reputation in his early youth as an accompanist to some of the most eminent names in Carnatic music, playing all through India," names such as Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Chembai Vaithyanatha Baghavatar, Palghat Mani Iyer, and Alathur Srinivasa Iyer. Following the ethnic riots in Sri Lanka in the early 1950s, his family escaped to India.
As Dongre of Hinduism Today notes, "After obtaining a B.S. in Physics in India, Shankar came to the US in 1969, and earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University in Connecticut." His doctoral dissertation was titled "The Art of Violin Accompaniment in South Indian Classical Music". He worked as a teaching assistant and concert master for the University Chamber Orchestra, and through Clifford Thornton, he met jazz musicians Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Garrison, and John McLaughlin.
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Shankar and jazz musician McLaughlin would go on to found Shakti in 1975, with Zakir Hussain and Vinayakram, a "groundbreaking acoustic group," which has been referred to as a "pioneering" and "highly influential" east-meets-west collaboration that has a "fluid sound" that manages to successfully combine seemingly incompatible traditions.[according to whom?][weasel words][editorializing][this quote needs a citation]
Shankar's first solo album, Touch Me There, was produced by Frank Zappa in 1979. Shankar founded his own band, The Epidemics, in 1982, with the composer Caroline[disambiguation needed], which released three albums.[when?]
Shankar recorded periodically during the 1980s, doing both jazz-based material and Indian classical music. As World Music Central notes,
His 1980 release, Who's To Know, and Phil Collins' solo debut, Face Value, introduced the unique sound of [his] own invention, the ten-string, stereophonic Double Violin… [D]esigned by Shankar and built by noted guitar maker Ken Parker, [it] covers the entire range of the orchestra's double bass, cello, viola and violin.
He has recently developed a newer version of his instrument which is much lighter than the original.
Shankar co-produced a one-hour film directed by H. O. Nazareth in 1990, which went on to be nominated for Best Documentary film at the Cannes film festival. Shankar worked on the score of the film The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), composed by Peter Gabriel, with his music ending up on both albums of the score—Passion: Music for The Last Temptation of Christ and Passion - Sources. He won a Grammy for his work on the latter in 1994. 1996 saw a Grammy nomination for the album Raga Aberi. Shankar has performed on several of Peter Gabriel's records such as So and Us. Since 1996, Shankar has toured internationally with his niece, and fellow virtuoso violinist Gingger as "Shankar & Gingger". As World Music Central notes, they have garnered
critical acclaim and a growing fan base, performing at world even[t]s such as The Concert for Global Harmony and Nelson Mandela's 80th birthday celebrations. Shankar & Gingger's first release in the DVD-Audio format… One in a Million was released worldwide on… August 7, 2001.
After a successful tour of North America, the DVD went to number 1 on the Neilsen Soundscan DVD charts and stayed there for four weeks. In 2004, Gingger Shankar composed music with Shankar and John Debney, and performed on the score for the film The Passion of the Christ (2004).
Shankar has been praised for his ability to mix Eastern and Western influences, assimilating Carnatic music with pop, rock, jazz and contemporary world music. He admits: "Ultimately, I would like to bring the East and West together. That, I think, is my role."[this quote needs a citation]
More recently, Shankar has used a new stage name, Shenkar, and has created recordings under this name. In 2006–2007, Shenkar provided the vocals for the opening credit music and other themes for all episodes of the hit TV series Heroes. Lately,[when?] he has been working with Jonathan Davis, Stephen Day, and Ana Maria Lombo on their next records.[clarification needed]
|This section relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (November 2015)|
|This section requires expansion with: further recordings, each with citation, to fill in the missing years from 2008-present, along with any missing recording. (November 2015)|
The following is an aim at a complete discography, based on information from the World Music Central article on Shankar, and other sources:
- Shakti, with Shakti (Columbia, 1975)
- A Handful of Beauty, with Shakti (1976)
- Natural Elements, with Shakti (1977)
- Electric Dreams (1979)
- Touch Me There (Zappa Records, 1979)
- Who's to Know (ECM, 1980)
- Vision (ECM, 1983)
- Sérgio Dias (CBS, 1980)
- Song For Everyone (ECM, 1985)
- Epidemics, with The Epidemics (1986)
- Do What U Do, with The Epidemics (1987)
- Eye Catcher, with The Epidemics (1989)
- Nobody Told Me (ECM, 1989)
- Pancha Nadai Pallavi (ECM, 1989)
- M.R.C.S. (ECM, 1989)
- Soul Searcher (Axiom/Island/PolyGram Records, 1990)
- Raga Aberi (Music of the World 131, 1995)
- The Best Of Shakti (1995)
- Enlightenment (Ganesh music)
- Eternal Light (Moment! Records, 2000)
- One In A Million, as Shankar & Gingger (2001)
- Celestial Body (Mondo Melodia, 2004)
- Open the Door, as Shenkar (Big Deal/Rykodisc, 2007)
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- The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) – Double violin, violin, vocals, composer, record producer
- Jacob's Ladder (1990) – Violin, vocals, performer, double violin
- Robin Hood (1991)
- Jennifer 8 (1992)
- White Sands (1992) – Percussion, violin, vocals
- Ali (2001) – Writer, performer on track: "Dreams"
- Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) – Double violin
- Queen of the Damned (2002) – Vocals, double violin on Tracks: "Forsaken," "Redeemer," "System," "Slept So Long," "Not Meant for Me," "On the Beach"
- The Passion of the Christ (2004) – Composer, vocals, double violin
- Hidalgo (2004) – Double violin
- Born into Brothels (2004) – performer on track: "Sankarabaranam Pancha Nadai Pallavi"
- Heroes (2006–2009) (TV series) – Vocals
- Underwood, Lee (1978). "Profile: L. Shankar," Downbeat (magazine, November 2), see , accessed 4 November 2015.
- Lavezzoli, Peter (2006). The Dawn of Indian Music in the West [Bhairavi]. London, ENG: Continuum International. pp. 308–315. ISBN 0826418155. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- Special Correspondent (2007). "Music Director L. Vaidyanathan Dead". The Hindu (Chennai, May 20). Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- Dongre, Archana (2001). "Visionary Violinist". Hinduism Today (March/April). Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- Harris, Craig (2015). "Shankar: Artist Biography". ALLMUSIC (online). Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- Romero y Ruiz, Angel (Ed.); et al. (2015). "L. Shankar: Biography [with Discography]". World Music Central. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- Dasgupta, Priyanka (2007). "'I had to impress my dad'". The Times of India (June 7). Retrieved 4 November 2015.
Gingger, daughter of L. Subramaniam, is the artiste and composer behind the score of Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ.
- Titon, Jeff; Cooley, Timothy; Locke, David; McAllester, David & Rasmussen, Anne. "India/South India". In Schechter, John Mendell. Worlds of Music: An Introduction to the Music of the World's People (Shorter Version). Vol. 2 (3rd ed.). Boston, MA, USA: Cengage Learning. p. 223. ISBN 9780534627577. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
The presence of the violin, the saxophone, the guitar and the mandolin in Carnatic music, and the all inclusive nature of South India's cine and pop music industry are obvious examples… Since the 1970s, South Indian musicians have seen the connection between jazz improvisations and India's classical music traditions. From that awareness, the genre known as fusion was born, an interface between East and West that continues to excite a younger generation of musicians and listeners. The violinists L. Shankar and L. Subramaniam have worked extensively with American and European jazz and rock musicians over the past twenty years, as hastabla player Zakir Hussain.