Celebrated percussionist Subhash Dhunoohchand on the relevance of his electronic avatar in the World Music scene
* What's your live set up like?
My performance will be focusing on tabla, a two pieces drum, where classical music of India and electronic music made by computers will be important. The audience will be able to enjoy different genres of music across the globe. My repertoire embeds contemporary and folk of India, sometimes sounding Bollywood as well as world music.
* Describe the Tablatronic sound?
Tablatronic World Peace contains traditional music of India most of the melodic scales are known as raga and rhythms known as taala in a unique and modern way. I play the rhythm part of it on the tabla, and interact with the computer. Like jazz, this music also depends a lot on improvising. In this project, the melody and the electronic rhythm are set, and I am always improvising with my tabla. The music is delivered in such a way that it’s talking to all — from a child to an elderly person. Tablatronic is the synthesis of tabla and electronic music.
* What aspect of your musicality do you hope to highlight at major events?
I strongly believe that music is a universal language, it can be used to break down boundaries. I am trying to bridge electronic and Indian music while composing. I will say this — with music you can communicate across cultural and linguistic boundaries in ways that you can’t with ordinary languages. Every human culture has music, just as each has a language. That why music is now becoming very global.
* How can Indian music festivals be improved upon?
In India, there should be more cultural exchange among the different Indian musical genres. Hopefully, even create a bridge Carnatic and Hindustani music. This is one way to educate the audience and help widen their musical horizons
* Can music be used as a political tool?
Music is a way of life, where politics is an integral part of it. Yes, musicians today have a strong engagement with their fans and through this more are becoming opinion leaders, giving them a responsibility to raise awareness and take action on issues that need attention. We can help close the extensive gap between the rich and the poor as well as between different ethnicities in developing countries.
* Of all your experiences in the music industry, what's your biggest takeaway?
I was born in Mauritius and grew up hearing the namaz, bells of the church, and Hindu devotional music
every day on the radio. All co-existing and working in a unified way. The diversity of emotions I have come across is invaluable. Tablatronic World Peace is equal to tolerance and inclusion. I was fortunate to have a teacher, Pandit Sudhir Kumar Saxena, who inculcated a non-separatist attitude and the need for right human relations in me.
The artiste was in Chennai recently for the Global Isai Festival.