Friday, August 16, 2013

Short solo in Chartal Ki Sawari w full band

oh hello again,

Tabla solo in Chartal Ki Sawari (11 beats) with Autorickshaw quintet accompanying:

Last Friday my band Autorickshaw played a concert on the mainstage at Harbourfront in Toronto. One of the things I've wanted to try for awhile is to have a full band playing a big fat lehara. It's risky tabla can have a hard time with audibility when there are drums and guitar and bass, but this seemed to work out well. That's Justin Abedin on guitar, Dylan Bell on bass, Ben Riley on drums and Suba Sankaran grooving.

Chartal Ki Sawari is a very cool tala, and I learned all this material in a workshop with Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri a few years ago.

The theka is:
Dha . . . terekite Dhin. . .  Na . . .  Thun . . . Na . . . Kat . . . Ta . . .
Dhin . . Na . . Dhin . . Na . .

Those last three beats are what I love about this tala.

There's a kaida, a gat and a pair of parans.

Kaida theme:

Dha trekeDhetete Ghena Dha - GhenaDhatiDhage Dhinnagena
Dhatreke Dhetete Gene Dhinnagena
Dhatreke Dhetete Gene Thinnakena
The decision to recite the 'sawari' part of the composition (dhatrekedhetetegehetdhinnagena/dhatrekedheteteghenethinnakena) and the tihai was completely spontaneous, though it seems to work, so I think I'll keep it for future shows.

 The band is playing a version of the Jaunpuri gat heard in this video with sitarist Chris Hale:

My other Chartal Ki Sawari piece is this way out experiment from my upcoming album (I can't WAIT to make the video for this track):

aaaaand that's all for now!
tata, dinginatoms!

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: