This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ravi Shankar, the Indian composer, sitar musician, and collaborator of artists like George Harrison. In honor of the milestone, folk-rock singer Johnny Irion has assembled a group of all-stars to record a new song for Shankar, “Inside the Endless Om.”
Written by Irion and songwriter John Goodwin, the cosmic journey features contributions from Jeff Bridges, Stone Temple Pilots’ Robert DeLeo, Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen, Tim Bluhm, Greg Loiacono, and Alan Kozlowski, a student of Shankar’s. All of the musicians recorded their parts remotely in accordance with social distancing.
“It was Alan who heard the vibe of ‘Inside the Endless Om’ in its infancy,” Irion says in a statement. “Just the guitar hook and melody, and encouraged me to finish it.”
“Inside the Endless Om” will be released digitally and on limited-edition vinyl via Blackwing Music, the record label of the seminal pencil company. Blackwing is also releasing a special Shankar pencil.
“People scratch their heads when they hear a company known for pencil making has its own record label,” says Grant Christensen, Blackwing’s managing director, “but our vision has always been to inspire creative expression, and support deserving artists, like Johnny, whose work does the same.”
Irion has been on a creative streak these past few months, and recorded and released his own version of the German Sixties hit “Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht” in April.