It began with the tabla.The sound of droplets falling into water and then air bubbles breaking the surface. The patter of rain on pipes and stone was in the Barber Centre. I could see such a scene in my mind’s eye. The wobbling clangs from the sitar were clashes of thunder in the passing spring flurry. Then there are elephant footfalls. There are dozens of hooves from a herd pounding by. Wheels turning. A waterfall emerges from the sarod. There is the drama of life then the sudden soothing presence of peace. Morning, midday and night speed by at times, like a time-lapse film.
I found two videos that place the scenes and play the music beautifully, but they are separate. If you go to this sitar and sarod duet and place it on 2:45 seconds then open this Rediscover India time-lapse video and mute it they sound and look wonderful together. Get them both going and watch the time-lapse events unfold.
I was watching Tein Taal: A Fusion of Spiritual south Asian Music a concert hosted by the TRUSU India Club on campus. The three musicians, Mohamed Assani a Vancouver-based sitarist, Shahbaz Hussain a tabla virtuosos and Kenneth Wells a Kamloops-based sarode player, played a wonderful series of traditional songs.
I have no idea how the musicians were able to sit as they were. One leg neatly tucked to their side and the other crossed over in front.
Shahbaz Hussain’s fingers were a blur most of the time.
He pulled so many sounds from the tabla. And Mohamed Assani seemed to bend the music he played as it stretched across the room.
Kenneth Wells’ softer sarode brought a harmony to the songs–in a sense reining in the energy of Assani’s sitar and smoothing it out.
I was transported across various regions of southern Asia without leaving Kamloops. I listened to three instruments I had never heard before in person. And as a student I was given free entry.
My wallet was very happy. And so was I.