Thanks to two masters, the pakhawaj is getting its groove back.
Bhai Baldeep Singh playing the jori.
With the predominance of the tabla as an instrument of percussion in North India, the pakhawaj, or a version of it, has come to be associated as a percussion instrument played primarily in the South. But, in fact, the barrel-shaped drum has been played in Punjab since the time of the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Arjan Dev (1563-1606). Without the accompaniment of the pakhawaj, no Gurbani kirtan would ever have sounded quite the same.
The devotional musical offerings in gurdwaras, sung in dhrupad style, were traditionally rendered to the accompaniment of the rabab, a stringed instrument, and the pakhawaj. Bhai Mardana, who accompanied Guru Nanak on all his travels, playing the rabab to the Guru’s compositions, was famously gifted his rabab by Guru Nanak Dev himself.
In a kabit (a form of Punjabi oral poetry) by Bhai Gurdas, the first interpreter of Gurbani, writes about the popularity of the pakhawaj in the 16th century: “Ghar-ghar baba gaviyai, vajjan tāla mridañg rabābā” or, each home has become a resting place where kirtans are sung to the accompaniment of rababs and mridangs (another kind of percussion instrument).
He is a professor at the department of Ethnomusicology, University of California, Los Angeles.
White Sun II, which was adjudged the Best New Age Album at the 59th Grammy Awards, has an India connection. It features Indian tabla player Abhuman Kaushal alongside kora player Mamadou Diabate, and the Punch Brothers’ violinist Gabe Witcher. The 2016 hit was put together by California-based group White Sun that comprises Gurujas, Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa and Adam Berry. The album left behind Enya and Vangelis to win the award.
It great to see something new and fresh, tabla meets beat boxing to give us tablaboxing.
A very cool well produced tabla solo
Two great masters sharing their knowledge and love for indian music
Once in a great while, there emerges a musician who, through his genius, injects that certain spark necessary to elevate an instrument to another level of expression and appreciation. For tabla, Ustad Allarakha was such an artist, having brought his instrument a stature and respect never before enjoyed. A disciple of Mian Kader Baksh, the great guru of the Punjab gharana, Ustad Allarakha was, in his lifetime, the most celebrated exponent of this style.
This is a collabration with the Shanti Children Project.
The children were then given a simple template to draw their circle artwork. Deo took photographs while they were drawing, when they finished and had some fun taking some more pictures.
Deo scanned the drawing and used the photographs he took to create the video. Using the software Max (Cycling 74) to analysis the sounds Deo played on the tabla drums to control the visuals, he recorded the video live, no editing, no post production.
The indian master of percussions Zakir Hussain played some astonishing pieces at Nuits de Fourvières festival in France. Here is an extract with the flute artist, Rakesh Chaurasia.
Dub Kirtan All Stars was formed by David Starfire and FreQ Nasty to fuse bass-heavy underground dance music with Yoga Kirtan, the call and response chants of Indian devotional traditions . They are a live band/DJ collective that tears down the boundaries between bleeding edge technology and ancient spiritual techniques, performer and audience, the sacred and everyday life. Don’t think, just feel the bass, dance and hear your voice ring out above it – the real All Stars are the audience – your voices complete the band.