The notes of Khamaj, the raga used most in semi-classical musical forms, had resonated in the Abbey Road Studios in 1966, when George Harrison recorded Within you, without you, the famed Beatles’ piece that showcased Harrison’s understanding of the Vedas and his affection for Hindustani classical music.
He used sitar, dilruba and tabla to present one of their first bhajan-like pieces on an album. On Saturday, as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the eighth and one of the finest albums by The Beatles, The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in the UK will resonate with the iconic piece and many more from the album.
An assembled Liverpool-based rock band led by Thomas McConnell will combine forces with Jasdeep Singh Degun on sitar, Kirpal Singh on the dilruba, Pirashanna Thevarajah on the mridangam and Gurdain Rayatt on the tabla for the performance.
Grammy-winning mohan veena player Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt will also play his slide guitar along with son Salil Bhatt and tabla player Ramkumar Mishra as a part of the concert. The evening is a celebration of Harrison’s encounters with Indian music through Pt Ravi Shankar and during his stay in Rishikesh, and the eventual imprints it left on The Beatles’s music as they entered the studios. It is also a tribute to the uncredited Indian musicians who played on the album at the time.