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!


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Inaugural Calgary Tabla Workshop

While in Calgary to accompany kathak dancer Sudeshna Maulik, I was also fortunate to present a small tabla workshop, organized by my percussionist friends Malcolm and Kyle. During the first half of the workshop, I gave a hands-on introduction to the tabla and basic techniques. For the second part, the focus was on North Indian rhythmic concepts, which we explored using clapping and bol recitation.

I ended the workshop with a short tabla solo. The participants all did a great job of keeping taal! I had a wonderful time, and I think that all the participants had great fun too. I'm always very happy to share my love for tabla and Indian classical music, and the time just flew by! Many thanks to Malcolm for organizing, and to Kyle for being such a gracious host.

Even the fish seemed to want to know more. :)
Keeping taal during the solo.

The whole gang!

As always, thanks to Caroline Tabah for the photos!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Kathak and Tabla in Calgary

This past March 1, I had the great pleasure of accompanying kathak dancer extraordinaire, Sudeshna Maulik, for a performance at the University Theatre in Calgary. We have performed together many times in the Montreal area, but this was the first time that we'd travelled so far to perform. Our performance was presented by the Calgary Raga Mala, who gave us a really warm welcome.

Sudeshna opened the evening with an invocation piece dedicated to Lord Shiva. Afterwards, sarodiya Raja Bhattacharya (who also travelled with us from Montreal) opened with a short alap in Madhukauns, which was coupled with recitation of Sanskrit poetry by local poet, Prabir Chandra. I then performed a short introductory solo in vilambit Dhammar taal, using a tabla tuned one-octave below the usual C tabla, to give a pakhawaj-like flavour. Sudeshna then joined us, and we performed a full segment of Dhammar taal compositions and improvisations.

After a short break, we resumed with Raja's Kirwani solo in Vilambit Teentaal. Sudeshna then returned to the stage, and we continued with the kathak recital through Madhya and Drut Teentaal. It was a full evening of kathak, punctuated by musical interludes and poetic verses.

More photos are available in my Facebook album.

Thank you to Caroline Tabah for the photos!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Ragleela Quartet in Prévost

This past March 16, Ragleela played our first concert since being in the studio this past January. It was really great to be back in action, performing with the group. We played a mix of old and new tunes. Cédric, who recorded with us on contrabass, wasn't available for the performance, and so we had Matthieu with us as a special guest. The concert took place at the Église St-Francois-Xavier in Prévost, which is just a little bit past Saint Jerome, in the Laurentians.

I had just received my TransTabla the Monday prior, and so this concert was a perfect opportunity to test out the TransTabla and its alternative tuning mechanism. Just before beginning the concert, it seems that there was a very significant temperature change, and so my tabla was very flat; almost a full semi-tone. With just a small crank of the TransTabla, I had my tabla back up to pitch in record time. Of course, I could have easily re-tuned the traditional way, but the TransTabla certainly saved me a lot of time in this instance! Also, when I fly with tabla, or when the temperature is below freezing, I prefer to loosen my tabla for transport, as a precaution. This was also much faster with the TransTabla.

In a way, the TransTabla reminds me of the early timpani tuning mechanisms. At first, timpani were tuned with individual tension rods, each with its own tuning key. Later, mechanisms were developed so that by turning one key, the tension around the entire drumhead could be adjusted simultaneously, and eventually, this was replaced with the timpani pedals that we have now. Hmm, a pedal to re-tune tabla? Probably not! :)

Thanks to Caroline Tabah for the concert photos!