A tabla symphony

Last Updated: Sat, Dec 25, 2010 18:50 hrs

Piano, violin, cello, bagpipe... all kinds of musical instruments help make a symphony. But the tabla? It can be done — as Swara Nada Yatra demonstrates.

Swara Nada Yatra is an orchestra featuring 22 noted tabla players from India and abroad, along with four vocalists. The concerts feature prominent artistes from Karnataka including Pandit Nagarajrao Havaldar, Ashok Huggannavar and Mukunda Haveri.

Organised by the city-based Sunaada Art Foundation in association with the Chandaayan School of Music, New York, the orchestra will perform a series of concerts across Karnataka. The Chandaayan School of Music has been promoting Indian music in USA and India for the last 17 years. Most notably, it has organised an all-night concert series in New York every year for the past 11 years, which draws a packed audience.

Swara Nada Yatra began with a performance at IIM-Bangalore on December 21. It will travel, next, to Shimoga, Dharwad and Hospet, before closing in Mysore on December 27.

Pandit Sameer Chatterjee, founder of the Chandaayan School of Music, conceived the idea of a tabla symphony in May 2009 to portray the Hindu ashramas, or stages of life —Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyas — through music. He involved his students in the USA and in Kolkata, sending them the notes via the Internet. "Since the students were scattered across the globe, rehearsals were also held using Internet video," he says. "All the artistes met for the first time in Bangalore just a couple of days before our tour began, and had a rehearsal."

More from Sify: