Last Friday Pt Kumar Bose played in London(South Bank) acompaning a Kathak dancer. I can't even remember if there was anyone dancing as my eyes were stuck in the tabla of Kumar Bose. He was simply AMAZING!!!! Words can't even begin to describe it! I have got some records of him but seeing him playing life was enough to set in motion a new set of abstract inspirations rushing up and down my whole body...
Anouska Shankar was there(she is very gorgeous and for some reason yet unknown, my heart kind of raced when I saw her...). Ravi Shankar was there and also Sanju Sahai. Trully an amazing performance plus this coming Friday Kumar Bose is playing in Birmingham and on Saturday in London.... Biirmingham and London, here I come...!!!! On the 18th or 19th he is playing in Leicester and on the 31 of July in the Purcell Room, South Bank with Purbayan Chatterjee on Sitar.
Was great to see pandit Kumar Bose play friday 12th at the MAC theatre in Birmingham. It was his first solo in the UK so the audience was very lucky to be there. He was very humble and asked for forgiveness if he made any mistakes. And anything great he did was due to his Guru Maharaj. He said his duty was to do this seva for the audience (such sweetness and kindness). I think the audience really felt a love for these words.
It was great to see, when playing his eyes were closed for long periods as if he were meditating and listening to the heavens. The expression of his body moved with his tabla playing, it was like he was dancing with the tabla.
His arms would rise in the air after playing certain bols and you would see his eyes watch the Bol rising to the skies. It was magical to observe this action, again he played Bols with bodily actions as if he were catching them out the air and bringing them to his tabla. Was weird, the sound and actions of his playing was showing pictures in front of my eyes.
He had a deep authority him; his stare would make you freeze as if you were a child and you did something wrong. And then you would see him smile after he finished a piece and you would then begin to relax.
Furthermore nearing the end of the performance he began to talk to the audience while still playing, displaying compositions of the great masters, Pandit Kanthe Maharaj, Pandit Kishen Maharaj, Ustad Tirakwa, His Father, Pandit Anokelal Mishra, And a Few other legends.
I loved a piece that he began to describe about Radha and Krishna. Radha was very angry and talking irritably about Krishna's behaviour. Lord Krishna was replying back with and uncaring attitude as if he did not give a dam what she was saying making her even more angry.
It was great how he showed this on tabla the sharp angry mood of Radha being played. And the uncaring laid back talk of lord Krishna being played, it just blowed my mind. It was a truly spiritual performance.
This kind of Tabla playing has opend my mind. It's on a higher level of technicality and speed.
If you are Star Wars fan he is just like a Jedi Knight, skilled with their hands but always getting guidance and being in connection with the FORCE.
Thankyou Kumarji for allowing us to see you play. Could not get chance to speak to you but i will show my gratitude on the tabla forum. May you Inspire all Tabal Lovers.
Raju, I couldn't put it more beautifuly. I was there in Birmingham and I have to say that the trip was trully worth it. Next morning, I was back in London and prepared to brace myself again. The show in London was just like the one on the previous night but with a much better sound system (said by the man himself ), plus the fact the he seemed a lot lot more inspired. The presence of Pandit Sharda Sahai, Frances Sheperd, Anouska Shankar and Talvin Singh could do nothing but to inspire him. The audience was simply glued to his hands. There were moments when I could feel a continiuos drumming throbing movement in my chest.The power in his hands!!! The power!!The power!! Amongst other amazing things was when he played a very difficult rela which involved bols like "dingeranage". He played the rela so fast still you could see that his arms, upper body and face were completly relaxed. Amazing interpretation of compositions and a great understanding of "Nikas" (if I spell it correctly). He made me view the way of playing tabla/Benaras solo in a completly new light. I realised that although being a Benaras Gharana student, I hardly had any power in my playing(if I was driving the neighbours nuts before then they don't know what coming their way now...). How to aply more feeling in simple things like just playing a "dha dhin dhin..." whether fast or slow. ...And also how to sit. I had realise this before but the need for a straight back while playing can't be over emphasized. Kumarjee sat most of the time on a half lotus position which kept his back completly straight while he was playing. This not only gives you more height over the tabla but also induces you to a more meditative like aproach to your playing.