Zakir Hussain (tabla)
with Anantha R. Krishnan (mridangam)
Navin Sharma (dholak) &
Sabir Khan (sarangi)
In almost every music tradition, percussion is regarded as the ‘heartbeat’ of ensemble. This primacy explains why percussion instruments were the first musical devices ever created. Since ancient times, the Indian subcontinent has abounded in a variety of percussion instruments, of which the covered drums form a large part. Tabla, mridangam and dholak, though covered with animal hide, differ considerably with respect to their performance techniques, idioms and aesthetics, as well as the size, shape, material, timbre and their role in an ensemble. Nonetheless, they all are bound by the Indian concept of tala (rhythmic unit), which unlike in Western music, is essentially cyclic and not linear in nature. The performance seeks to bring together percussions from three music traditions: North and South Indian art music, and Indian folk music. The world-renowned percussionist Zakir Hussain and young Anantha Krishnan, grandson and disciple of the legendary mridangam maestro Palghat R. Raghu, will strike a conversation with their respective instruments, to be joined by Navin Sharma who is a disciple of Zakir Hussain’s father, the legendary maestro Alla Rakha. Sabir Khan, son and disciple of the legendary sarangi maestro Sultan Khan, will provide melodic context for the rhythmic improvisations. The ensuing explorations will elucidate the unity underlying the diversity of musical traditions.