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!


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Cycles - CD release coming soon!

Cycles is the culmination of over ten years of collaborating with Canadian composers, creating a new repertoire for tabla that combines elements of Indian classical and Western classical music. The resulting works draw their inspiration from Western and Indian music in varying degrees, and reflect the personalities and approaches of the individual composers. Cycles features new works for tabla from Canadian composers Paul Frehner, Jim Hiscott, Christien Ledroit, Nicole Lizée, and Bruno Paquet and features guest performances by the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, directed by Brian Current, as well as Marie-Hélène Breault on flute, Catherine Meunier on vibraphone, and Xenia Pestova on harmonium. The CD is being released on the ombu productions label, and will be available on October 14.

The pieces on the CD are:
Elementalities, for flute, vibraphone, and tabla, by Christien Ledroit
Metal Jacket, for tabla and harmonium, by Nicole Lizée
Les arbres célestes, for tabla and pre-recorded tape, by Bruno Paquet
Shadow Play, for flute and tabla, by Jim Hiscott
Ke-Te, for solo tabla, by Paul Frehner
Trade Winds, concerto for tabla with string orchestra, by Christien Ledroit

Producing this CD has been quite a journey for me. It represents ten years of new music for tabla, and the CD project itself took over one year to complete. The chamber music pieces were recorded in September and October 2010, and the tabla concerto with the WSO was recorded in February 2011 by the CBC.

Performing Christien Ledroit's Trade Winds, concerto for tabla, with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra
Photo credit: Scott Webster, Windsor Star
Many thanks to all who collaborated with me on this special project! I will post links to purchase the CD once it becomes available.

Open House at the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal's New Maison Symphonique

This past September 8, I had the pleasure of performing with Erreur de Type 27 for the opening of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal's new symphony hall, named the Maison Symphonique de Montréal. The new hall, at Place des Arts, is a major new concert hall for Montreal. The OSM invited groups from across Quebec to come and perform for their open house event. The trio was made up of Marie-Hélène Breault on flute, Catherine Meunier on marimba and vibraphone, and myself on tabla. (Marie-Hélène and Catherine also played on my upcoming CD, Cycles!) We presented excerpts from our upcoming Musica Masala show on October 14.

Erreur de Type 27 performing at the Maison Symphonique open house

The open house ended up being a huge success - there were literally thousands of people who lined up to see the new hall. You can see some of the loooong lineups in the OSM's Facebook photos. Over the course of the day, we performed four times; three times in the main foyer, and once in the new hall. The new hall looks great. I can't really comment on the sound, as I wasn't in the audience, but we received very good feedback after our performance. We performed Christien Ledroit's Elementalities, for flute, vibraphone, and tabla; Jim Hiscott's Shadow Play for flute and tabla; and Payton MacDonald's Farmaishi in a special arrangement for flute, marimba, and tabla.

A fun fact: I used Maestro Kent Nagano's podium for my riser. It's made of very heavy hardwood (oak?) and weighs about 200 pounds! Unfortunately, no riser was available in the foyer...

Performing in the foyer.

Thanks to composer Christien Ledroit for the photos!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Santoor and tabla recital at McGill University

This past September 30, I accompanied santoor player Jonathan Voyer for a recital at Tanna Schulich Hall at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montreal. The concert was part of the Journées de la culture (Culture days) and also was in celebration of UNESCO International Music Day, which was interestingly started by the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin (himself a great lover of Indian classical music, and longtime collaborator of Pandit Ravi Shankar).

Jonathan chose to play Raag Charukeshi, which is one of my favourites on santoor (recommended listening: Pandit Shivkumar Sharma's recording of Charukeshi, with Pt. Kishan Maharaj, on the album Sympatico). The raag just seems to work so well on santoor, and creates a very special mood. Jonathan played an alap, followed by a gat in vilambit jhaptaal, madhya teentaal, and then drut teentaal.

We really had a great performance. A great hall, great audience, and great mood. This was one of those performances that just felt right. The hall was almost completely full to capacity and the audience was very enthusiastic. We even got some audible appreciation at times during the drut, which is very rare here in Montreal.

Our CD, Shanta, can be purchased from us directly, or online via iTunes and CDBaby.