Possibly related to this blog because it concerns me playing the sitar , along with guitar and ukulele, the first music of mine under the “Same Actor” name, in three years, is to be released very soon in the form of a track, “The Current State of Play” on the Spirit of Gravity 20th Anniversary compilation.
I’m proud of video collaborations with the wonderful singers from the Singing in English course at l’Université Interage du Dauphiné and the musician volunteers of VS Art Grenoble. The aim was for people to find a bit of happiness either in the participation or the watching. Regular meetings have been on hold for nearly 12 months now so these video souvenirs are one way to stay musically together. Thanks to all involved.
Duets for guitar students with Pier Francesco d’Agata
Without promoters, there would be no scene. That means people working behind the scenes for no money while the artists on stage enjoy all the applause. The first promoters I knew were the Spirit of Gravity collective from Brighton. They gave me, my sitar and my laptop, and my music a big boost back throughout the 00s. They’ve been consistently providing platforms for genuinely experimental live music for the past twenty years. It’s damn impressive. They’ve re release the first compilation that we put together as well which still of course sounds great. Well done and thankyou Geoff, Tony and Dan in particular.
Due mainly to the fact that it’s the only instrument that fits in the car, it is the ukulele, rather than the sitar or guitar, that I’ve been playing most this summer. I’ve practiced lots of French songs accompanied by the uke, worked my way through the excellent book Ukulele Aerobics and composed three short solo uke pieces. Looks likes in order to make real progress with Indian Classical Music though , acquisition of a travel sitar may be the only way ahead.
Looking forward to developing my sitar playing more next year. Life has blessed me in a great many ways over the last couple of years and I have been lucky to have been invited to participate and lead some great and varied musical projects. Now I look forward to putting the sitar and Indian Classical Music workshops back at the heart of my work.
Ten years ago I was running music workshops with Asian elders in East London and the basis of those sessions was a selection of ‘evergreen’ Bollywood songs originally sung by Mukesh, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bholse and Lata Mangeshkar. It’s nice music. Now here in Grenoble I’m looking forward to two short concerts this week when I’ll play my ‘interpretations’ of some of those songs on sitar in cinemas before screenings for more recent Indian films. Thanks to the Grenoble Film Film Festival 2019.
Today Kevin and I will run a show, nothing to do with my sitar playing but everything to do with community music, at Stratford Circus with adults with learning difficulties. As such it feels a little special because this blog began with my first funded project, Olympic Sound in 2010, which also culminated with a show at Stratford Circus.
I’m lucky to be spending the summer in London again with friends and family. Days are spent working on Music For Wellbeing presents “Summer Music Sounds” and our show “The Rhythm Train”. It’s always a pleasure to work with Kevin Plummer.
I make sure at least part of each evening is reserved for sitar practice. Thanks, exactly like last summer, to my dear old teacher Ramesh Chandra for lending me a sitar upon which to practice. Thanks to Dharambir Singh for the inspirational teachings.
It was a pleasure to watch a series of performances by students of my sitar teacher, Ustad Dharambir Singh following Gurnima Day. I saw the very nimble , skilled and innovative Jasdeep Singh Degun for the first time, he performed a Karnatic raga, Saramati. Guruji spoke of the guru/students relationship and he played another obscure raga Gori Baraga. All the performances were fascinating and brilliant to me. I haven’t been able to play a sitar for week due to traveling around the UK for music work and not having a sitar (!) Now I look forward more than ever to resuming practice ( I will acquire a sitar in two days I hope) and playing a short piece at such an event this time next year.