Internationally acclaimed Tabla artiste Sutanu Sur shares his insights on the power of music in transcending boundaries and shaping cultural identities. In an exclusive interview, he discusses the profound connection between music and emotions, the celebration of diverse cultures through music, and the expressive power of the Tabla. Sur also reflects on his own musical journey, overcoming challenges, and offers advice to aspiring musicians.
Music: A Celebration Of Diverse Cultures
Sur believes that music is a universal language that unites people worldwide. He highlights the work of Indian American composer Reena Esmail, specifically her composition ‘This Love Between Us – Prayers for Unity,’ which explores the interconnectedness of religions in India. Sur was invited to perform as a featured guest tabla artiste on this piece, which used original texts from each religion, blending Indian and Western Classical genres. The collaboration involved over 200 musicians and received a standing ovation, demonstrating the significance of cultural diversity in music.
The Melodic And Rhythmic Language Of Tabla: Celebrating Cultural Fusion
Sur emphasizes the role of music in defining culture. As a tabla artiste, he highlights the unique language of the tabla, where each stroke is represented by a syllable known as ‘bol.’ This language, mentioned in Vedic scriptures, creates an interconnectedness between spoken language and the sound of the tabla. Sur’s tabla performance at the Green Lake Festival of Music showcased the fusion of Indian and Western Classical music, with the tabla bols used as the text of the composition ‘The Tipping Point.’ This fusion creates a harmonious and distinctive cultural experience.
The Expressive Power Of Tabla: Connecting Through Music And Emotions
Tabla, as the main percussion instrument in Indian classical music, possesses both melodic and rhythmic qualities. Sur explains that the tabla’s expressiveness allows it to elicit the appropriate emotions in collaboration with other instruments. He highlights the profound impact of music on our minds and emotions, noting that different styles of music can evoke varying moods. Sur also shares how playing the tabla improves problem-solving abilities and promotes mental well-being, as it engages acupressure points linked to alleviating anxiety and depression.
Road To Success: Embracing Challenges And Overcoming Doubts
Sur’s musical journey began at a young age, influenced by his musically inclined family. He started formal tabla training at five years old and received immense support from his family. Sur highlights the positive impact of rigorous tabla training on his academic skills, such as math, logical thinking, and analytical reasoning. Despite pursuing a career as a software engineer, Sur’s passion for music remained constant. Collaboration with Western orchestras and choirs brought new dimensions to his tabla playing and enabled him to overcome challenges and grow as an artist.
Unleashing The Power Of Practice: Pursuing Excellence In Tabla
Sur emphasizes the importance of practicing effectively to master any instrument, particularly the tabla. He emphasizes the significance of establishing proper posture, hand position, and finger placement for effortless playing. Sur also encourages aspiring tabla artists to develop their own style and maintain a lifelong passion for learning. He describes the tabla as a unique instrument that combines pitch and speed manipulation, allowing artists to showcase its improvisatory art.
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