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Terrific Tablature!

DC | NAMITA GUPTA
Published Dec 14, 2013, 9:36 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 12:03 am IST

In times of fusion music, when most musicians are shifting to Western music, here’s one person, who stood his ground. We speak to tabla aficionado Talvin Singh, who is in the city on December 15, for the Tablatronica performance.

Revealing why he picked tabla over other instruments, Talvin says, “The tabla has always been attractive, in terms of its look and yogic style. Initially, it was the dexterity of the instrument and the language. I love the fact that it has a language which represents all the 11 to 14 tones, that is what really attracted me. I love the idea of expressing everything possible through making interesting sounds on the pair of drums. The melodic and resonating sound of the incumbent had always excited my spiritual nerve.” About his latest album release, he says, “My new album is an archive from 2003 - 2013 and will be released in a special format.”

Talking about how long he’s been playing tabla, Talvin states, “I started playing on my grandmother’s knees, when I was five and coming from a Sikh family, we were exposed to Indian culture via spiritual congregations, where there was always music being practiced in the form of worship.”

For someone who has done a host of music collaborations and won several awards, Talvin shares, “I have a lovely trio with Eric Truffaz and Murcof. We performed at the Jazz Yatra in Bengaluru. Besides Atif Aslam, I have also enjoyed my collaborations with mainstream artists such as Madonna but my most memorable collaboration was with Bjork. Winning  the Mercury music prize was a big mark in my life and career. The prize acknowledged the innovation in music and that is a great feeling. After I won the award, people started judging my work very critically, which can sometimes put pressure on artists.”

We ask if he likes to get creative with any other form of art, as his passion for break dancing is also known by many and he quips, “I break dance early in the morning, it is called yoga.” He will be performing at Royal Orchid.

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