13 December 2012
Last updated at 00:34
Raghu Rai, one of India's most acclaimed photographers, has taken pictures of many of the country's top musicians over the years. Some of these photographs were displayed at a recent exhibition in the eastern city of Calcutta. This picture shows Ali Akbar Khan, a master of Indian classical music who played the sarod - a stringed instrument.
The exhibition, titled India's great masters - A photographic journey into the heart of music, was held at the Harrington Street Arts Centre in Calcutta. On display were pictures of 12 of the greatest Indian classical musicians. This photo shows classical vocalist Bhimsen Joshi as he mesmerises the audience.
There were nearly 60 images on show and all of them were in black and white. This picture shows Bismillah Khan, the Indian shehnai maestro who died in 2006, at a concert in Delhi. He was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna (the Jewel of India) in 2001, and gained worldwide acclaim for playing the shehnai for several decades.
Rai took photos of the legendary musicians in their homes, during classes, at concerts and as they travelled across continents to perform. Here, he captures a performance by classical singer Kumar Gandharv, who was famous for his unique vocal style, in Delhi.
Raghu Rai began photographing music legends in the early 1980s while working with the news magazine India Today as its director of photography. Over several years, he followed these artists around the world to take their photos. Here, Hariprasad Chaurasia is seen playing the bansuri, an Indian bamboo flute.
Hariprasad Chaurasia's father was a well-known wrestler and he wanted his son to follow in his footsteps, but his love for music won. The flautist began taking lessons at the age of 15 and during his music career spanning several decades, he collaborated with several Western musicians, including John McLaughlin and Jan Gabarek, and also composed music for a number of Indian films.
Ragu Rai's photographs are not merely portraits but "capture moments or facets" of each musician's life with their music. In this picture, S Balachander, is seen playing the veena [plucked instrument] in Mahabalipuram in southern India. Balachander, who died in 1990, was also an accomplished filmmaker who produced, directed and acted in films and sang songs.
Rai's understanding of classical music and his ability to catch the right mood helped him add an extra dimension to his photographs. This picture shows the late sitar player, Ravi Shankar, at a recital.