Moving my blog over to

Dear friends,

With the recent update of my website, I now have the ability to integrate the blog directly into the website, so that is what I am doing; it just makes sense. I will no longer be posting updates here. Thank you to all of you for your interest in my musical adventures. Please click along to my website for the continuation of this blog in the future! If you would like to update your RSS subscription, this is the new RSS URL:

I hope to see you over at!


Thursday, 13 November 2008

X-Mas in Goa video

Just in time for the holiday season! X-Mas in Goa is a duo for pandeiro and tabla, and was composed by Randy Gloss (of the group, Hands On'Semble) on one of his trips to India. This performance took place in September, 2007. Sorry for the delay in posting the video!

The tabla writing is mainly traditional, while the highly virtuosic pandeiro part makes use of both traditional and extended techniques. The piece opens with an improvised pandeiro solo, followed by two composed sections. After a short improvised tabla solo, the piece ends with a third composed section, based on the traditional Indian concepts of kaida and palta (theme and variations).

Fernando Rocha is playing the pandeiro part. Fernando is an incredibly talented percussionist, based in Minas Gerais (Brazil), where he is professor of percussion at Minas Gerais Federal University (UFMG). It was Fernando who first introduced me to this composition and some of the other Hands On'Semble repertoire. It makes for a great fusion of percussive cultures; traditional musics combined with some modern elements.

Monday, 3 November 2008

NAFDA North Frame Drum Fest 2008

This past weekend, I drove down to Brattleboro, Vermont where N. Scott Robinson and Todd Roach hosted the NAFDA North - Cooperman Frame Drum Fest 2008. It was great to meet so many talented musicians, and get to see various frame drums performed in both traditional and innovative ways.

Of course, I brought my tabla along (though they're definitely not frame drums!), and was fortunate to be able to sit in, and perform in a couple of pieces at the Friday night concert in Grafton, VT.

The first piece that I participated in was an original composition by Carnatic singer K.S. Resmi, accompanied by N. Scott Robinson on frame drum, and myself on tabla. We had just met only 30 minutes prior, but Scott and Resmi are such great musicians, everything flowed naturally. I wonder what the performance would have been like had we actually practiced the piece before. :)

I was also really happy to play in one of Marla Leigh's compositions. I had met her a few years ago at PASIC, but never had the chance to play together. She played flute and frame drum, and was joined by Patrick Graham on kanjira and caxixi, Mac Ritchey on oud, Todd Roach on ghaval and bendir, and myself on tabla. 

The next day was loaded with great workshops, and followed by a concert featuring all the workshop clinicians (minus Patrick, who had to return to Montreal for a gig). For more photos from the event, click here.

The event was sponsored by the Cooperman drum company. Patrick Cooperman was on hand with a selection of amazing drums for sale. It took great self-control for me to only purchase one drum; I could have easily bought at least three or four!

There is talk of hosting an event such as this somewhere in Canada. I will certainly try to attend, and will pass on word as soon as I hear anything. In the meantime, there is the upcoming NAFDA festival in New Jersey.