The Marathon Weekend

Wow, what a weekend! In two days, I gave three concerts with three different groups, and presented a workshop, in addition to 1000km of driving! One of the great things about what I do is the great variety of musical projects that I have the fortune of playing with, and the adventures we have along the way.

On Saturday, I was in Quebec CIty with Ragleela to play on the Plaines d'Abraham. This was my first time playing on the Plaines, and I was pretty excited about it. The Plaines d'Abraham is quite an important place for music during the summertime, with a lot of great artists having performed there in the past. Upon arrival, we were really well taken care of by the crew, and had time for a nice soundcheck, which surprisingly is not always the case! We performed most of the tunes from our latest album, Deepchandi bleu, in addition to a few favourites from the previous album. There was an amazing turnout for the concert, the weather was perfect, and the full moon created a really special vibe.
Ragleela at the Kiosque Edwin Belanger, Plaines d'Abraham, Quebec City

Ragleela at the Kiosque Edwin Belanger, Plaines d'Abraham, Quebec City
The next morning, I was off to Ottawa to take part in the Festival of India. I started the day off by giving a tabla demonstration and workshop on North Indian rhythm. I introduced the instrument, the bols, talked about taal, Teentaal specifically, and ended with a short soloThe time just flew by! I stuck around to accompany santoor player Jonathan Voyer for his santoor workshop, which was right after. That evening, we performed a set together, with a performance of Raag Hamsadhvani, with an alap, gat in jhaptaal, and a gat in drut teentaal. Jonathan had spoken about the raga earlier, during his workshop, explaining that the name of this raag literally translates to 'sound of swans'. The raga has actually been taken from Carnatic music, and adapted to Hindustani music (as is one of my favourite ragas, Raag Charukeshi).

Duo Samskara - Jonathan Voyer, santoor and Shawn Mativetsky, tabla at the Festival of India, Ottawa.
The day at the Festival of India wrapped up with a Galitcha concert. Since we were performing on an outdoor stage, Kuljit (the band leader) decided to pull out the more lively pieces, including the addition of a couple of old Bollywood classics, Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jaana Sanam and Main Nikla Gaddi Leke. In putting together this blog post, I came across the video of the original Bollywood version of Mein Nikla, so just for laughs, here it is:

Because of the more dance-oriented set, Kuljit decided to perform standing up, which to me is somewhat unusual, but it let him move around more freely to interact with the audience. Kuljit had members of the audience dancing away, and he joined them on more than one occasion.

Galitcha at the Festival of India, Ottawa - Shawn Mativetsky, Linsey Wellman, Kuljit Sodhi, Matt Smith
So, three concerts and 1000km later, back home and writing this blog post! Until the next adventure...

(Thanks to Caroline Tabah for the photos!)

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