The concert opened with a performance of Bob Becker's Palta. As far as I know, this is the first piece to feature the tabla in a Western classical music setting. This was a very special performance, as Gurujee (Pt. Sharda Sahai) was in the audience (and he has played this piece many times in the past), Bob Becker was playing the piano part, and the audience was full of guru-bhais, tabla students, and Indian music afficionados.
The piece opens with a few moharas, followed by improvisations on an angrusthana.
Next on the program was Payton MacDonald's 1st Concerto for Tabla and Percussion Quartet. This piece continues in the tradition of Palta, and is the only of Payton's tabla concertos that wasn't written for me (I have since commissioned the 2nd and 3rd, and Samsara, a concerto with wind ensemble); an oddity in the repertoire! :) In this clip, I play variations on a well known Delhi kaida.
Payton was kind enough to conduct for this performance. With him at the helm, I know that I can get away will all kinds of things in my improvisations. :) Like Gurujee always says, "the train can only roll if the tracks are straight."