For some reason I’ve had the chance or luck (or karma) to meet several of my musical influences. Mainly those who had a profound role in the -Asian Underground/Massive- music movement. Short meetings nevertheless, but they were all very spontaneous and a nice memory.
It was end nineties when a mate (through another mate) gave me a copy (on TAPE) of Karsh Kale’s “Classical Science Fiction from India”. It was this piece of music and Talvin Singh’s Grammy winning “O.K.” that started to influence me heavily and changed the way I wanted to play music. Along with the almighty Zakir Hussain they became my major inspiration to fondle and fiddle away on that magical instrument called “Tabla”. Of course since 95% of my “tutoring” is DIY, I ain’t too fab on it. Nevertheless, it was never my intention to play Indian Classical music but rather to use it (tabla) in semi-electronic sets and more as a “groove-instrument” rather than becoming a virtuoso on it.
First weekend of April 2009…for me, the last weekend of a 9-month stay in India & Nepal before I took off back to Europistan. My flight was leaving from Mumbai and had one last weekend to kill. Which is easy for me since Bombay (Mumbai) is so far my most favourite city in India and elsewhere. (There’s tons of shtuff to do, to see, to explore, to eat, to find, to discover, to listen, etc. And there’s this amazing venue in Lower Parel called “The Blue Frog” where they have artists on stage from around the globe! Check this place out when in Bombay!) While reading through “Time Out – Mumbai” under the cool breeze, created by the ceiling fan, my eye wandered off to an ad for the New CD release of the Midival-Punditz starring (their frequent collaborator) Karsh Kale and all this was happening at the blue frog…two nights in a row that very same weekend. My “last” weekend in India was going to be a musical one!
At the Blue Frog later that night… Although, through the help of my (then) girlfriend, I was able to hang out with Karsh and the Punditz for a few memorable moments, the real treat and surprise, however short-lived it was, came afterwards. While standing outside (the blue frog) for a cigarette (yep, I know, filthy habit) some guy asked me for a light. Since we were the only two standing there, we had a brief conversation. Can’t remember exactly what the guy’s role was but I think he might have been from Karsh’s or the Punditz’s management. All of a sudden there was this gorgeous lady walking up to us and introduced herself to me and greeted the dude I was standing with. Clearly they knew each other well. I got her name right though, Anoushka… We had a brief conversation about where I was from and about music. And then it hit me, I was standing there talking with the amazing Anoushka Shankar, daughter of Sitar-Maestro; Ravi Shankar. (-°-)
Enjoy the beautiful playing of Anoushka Shankar in this amazing performance!