Two weeks finally spent with my family in London. Again there was no sitar to play but at least I honed my guitar skills every night in my mother’s shed, usually devoted to her painting. Much to be grateful for as always. In the end a flying visit to see old musician creative friends in Coventry strengthened my resolve to refocus on the sitar.
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.
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.