Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Great Northeastern Blackout of 2003 tabla solo concert:

It is Aug 14, 2003. My friend Lowell Lybarger is putting on a concert at the University of Toronto. The concert, called 'tabla Tabla TABLA!', is to be an evening of tabla solos by Toronto tabla players, myself included.

But alas! darkness descends upon the land! Dogs and cats, already living together, watch humans stumble around in the dark, and snicker silently as shins spark off low lying furniture (well...the cats do anyway). People in glowyglowy vests direct traffic at intersections with growing piles of donated food and water at their feet. I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror: "Candles!?! WE DON'T OWN ANY (bleeping) CANDLES!!". Beer supplies dwindle, fridges warm and a myriad of flaming beverages are invented. Bartenders dust off long forgotten memories of Prof. Watterson's math class to settle bills for wide-eyed customers. Lovers gaze into each others eyes, hypnotized by the dancing candleflames they find there. (There is, however, no baby boom associated with this, despite the sage predictions of Toronto's other circus mayor, Mel Lastman). The concert is.... cancelled.

Here's some footage of that night.

Fastforward a few months. The lights are back on. Lowell has booked the hall again. The concert has been renamed (hilariously) 'Tabla Power!' and a large gathering of tabla players has come together to geek out and make music.

Here are some excerpts from my performance that night: