News & Events

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 At the Pitt Rivers Museum on 7 September

Oxford Tabla ran another 'Hands On Tabla' workshop at the PRM on 7 September. 

It was amazing that we were performing so close to an impressive "backdrop" of  many interesting and wonderful exhibits. Below are photos taken on the day by Chris Paul.

From the Pitt Rivers Museum Events Page (https://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/event/hands-on-tabla-0):-

Hands on Tabla

Saturday 7 September, 14.00 - 15.30 

Caroline and Neil from Oxford Tabla will be joining us on the Clore Learning Balcony to share their tabla skills. Work together as a family to drum tabla rhythms on these beautiful Indian drums. This activitiy is suitable for anyone over 6 years old and adults can come and play too.

We will be running three 20 minute drop-in sessions at 14.00, 14.30 and 15.00.

 At the Pitt Rivers Museum on 27 July

We were delighted to be invited back to run another 'Hands On Tabla' workshop by Beth McDougall of the PRM. 

 

Unlike last time, this wasn't an events day with multiple activities going on. Nonetheless the museum was very busy and we had quite a crowd to enjoy and discover the sounds of tabla.

Photo credit: Beth McDougall of PRM

From the Pitt Rivers Museum Events Page (https://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/event/hands-on-tabla):-

Hands on Tabla

Saturday 27 July, 14.00 - 15.30 

Caroline and Neil from Oxford Tabla will be joining us on the Clore Learning Balcony to share their tabla skills. Work together as a family to drum tabla rhythms on these beautiful Indian drums. This activitiy is suitable for anyone over 6 years old and adults can come and play too.

We will be running three 20 minute drop-in sessions at 14.00, 14.30 and 15.00.

 In Montreal from 29 June to 6 July  

We made it back once again to Montreal, where tabla is kool and also there is a jazz festival and also so much scope for visiting organic retailers and restaurants, and where we met our friends Shawn and Caroline, and of course dropped in to Shawn’s summer workshop to join in with the extensive tabla practice. Montreal is always a delight.

Please see below various photos taken by NK.

 

Shawn teaching Indian rhythms to his students:-

A slideshow of group tabla practice:- 

Jonathan Voyer's Hindustani singing demonstration:- 

Our walk in La Forêt Urbaine:- 

A change from Caroline playing tabla!

Our drop in to the Jazz Festival and a very apt painting:- 

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed

 in Oxford on 27 June 

This was a very special and amazing concert and all tickets were sold out... On the poster (left) is the following caption:-

"In celebration of his honorary degree from Oxford University, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will perform Qawwalis that span his career and explore his family legacy. 

 

All profits generated will be used to enhance the Faculty of Music's Sounds of South Asia series."

Thanks so much to Sounds of South Asia series for organising this.

After the concert a spokesperson for the Sounds of South Asia series commented:-"Thank you, Dr. Rahat, for giving Oxford such a fantastic performance this evening at the Oxford Town Hall, and for your continued support with the Sounds of South Asia series."

 

Please see below a transcript of an interview with Doctor Des Oliver, artistic curator, about staging concerts in this series, and a youtube link to this interview.  

SOUNDS OF SOUTH ASIA SERIES

 Let’s Oxplore made a video about staging the Sounds of South Asia concert series in Oxford, which was uploaded to youtube on 4 April, featuring Doctor Des Oliver its artistic curator.

Below is a youtube link to this, followed by a transcript of what he said during it which makes revealing and interesting reading:-

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIx-kBYatlc&fbclid=IwAR1QKv6hF3pXITdP7yuu2aXJ29Vg3WZs2ZMn2-ICHA1NP78NbZJ0G1mMcdI

 Before the transcript here's Let’s Oxplore's youtube introducton:-

“The Sounds of South Asia concert series brings musicians and dancers from South Asia to perform in venues across Oxford. Dr Des Oliver, a classical composer and founder of the programme, talks about organising the concerts.”

 

Here's the transcript from Let’s Oxplore's youtube:-

“Ok, so my name is Des Oliver, I’m a classical composer and artistic curator of a series called “The Sounds of South Asia Series”, which is run by the Music Faculty at the University of Oxford. And the series aims to promote the music of South Asia through concerts and workshops and talks, and so far we’ve had concerts featuring Indian Classical vocalists, North Indian Hindustani vocalists, we’ve had like South Indian Carnatic violinists, we’ve also had music from the Indian diaspora, so that sort of folk music and that sort of popular music forms, and also as well probably what’s commonly understood as kind of crossover type music, where there are a sort of a mix of different influences from Western popular and folk music with Indian classical or folk music. It’s basically been going for sort of a year and a half now, and most of the things that we do, in fact all of them are open to the general public. We’ve got actually a concert coming up in two weeks which is focusing on the music of Afghanistan. John Baily and Veronica Doubleday, they’re practitioners of Afghan music and they’ll be doing a concert that focuses on the music of Kabul, and that will be accompanied by a dancer who trains in Indian classical dance. And also will be accompanied by Ensemble Zohra, or at least some of Ensemble Zohra, who are the first all-female orchestra from Afghanistan, who are actually will be here in Oxford as part of International Women’s Day, and this will all take place in the Holywell Music Rooms, which I think it will be the first time that they’ve had a dancer in that space. So I was previously a doctoral student at Worcester College, Oxford, and my PhD was as a composer and composers for our PhD in addition to writing a fairly extensive thesis, we also have to produce a huge composition of music, and for my thesis I was exploring how certain classical composers have used music from outside the classical tradition and so, sort of dealing with questions of cultural appropriation and so that sort of involved me having to reach out to musicians of Indian classical music both here in the UK but also in India as well. So that meant having lots of different sort of Skype conversations and one of the conversations I had was with a Hindustani performer called Shruti Jauhari, who’s also a musicologist as well, and I think that she was so sort of enamoured and intrigued by some of my questions that we decided that probably the best way to address these questions was through music. You know, very often, musicians the best way for us to address certain issues isn’t actually through verbal discourse at all but it’s through music-making. And so we invited her to come to Oxford, and I wanted to write a piece that included Western classical musicians and their traditions and to sort of try to bring the two traditions together in a concert that actually featured lots of different kinds of music, which is very unusual. So we had classical works that were influenced by the subject of India, but we also had some traditional authentic Hindustani repertoire, and my piece was kind of in the middle of that, which was acting as a bridge between the two. Yeah I mean I think the impact has been that it has very much helped to bring different communities together. So you know the challenge, I think initially was sort of reimagining those spaces that were historically for classical audiences and to make them welcoming for new audiences that perhaps hadn’t been to those venues before. And so I think the impact has been providing these spaces, and demonstrating that these spaces are available to different communities who perhaps would walk past these venues and not think about going in. But I think also the the impact as well, because we’ve been very surprised at the number of regular sort of concert-going audiences, audiences who would normally go to see a Haydn string quartet or something, those audiences have also been quite curious to see those spaces completely reimagined, and that has sort of been a challenge as well which is putting those audiences at ease. They’re in this very familiar space but the concerts are slightly different, they’re a bit more bit relaxed and slightly less formal, and so we’ve sort of had the challenge of how to give permission to those audiences to feel relaxed, that they can kind of walk around, they just don’t have to sit there, you know throughout the whole concert. And so I think the impact really has been bringing a lot of the different communities together and allowing them to sort of interact through the universal experience of music.“

RHYTHMS OF THE WORLD 

at PRM on 26 January

On 26 January Oxford Tabla were thrilled to be back again at the Pitt Rivers Museum to demonstrate tabla (as a solo and accompaniment instrument) and to run our 'Hands On Tabla' workshop - this time in three 20 minute sessions - and to join with 'Rhythms of the World'.

There's only one way - it has to be tabla! 

Please see below photos taken on the day by Beth McDougall (of PRM)

and NK. Also below is a fun promotional announcement by the PRM. 

Hover cursor over image to pause autoplay

"Join local musicians Natty, Caroline, Neil and Francis to travel the world through sound and rhythms! Take part in hands on tabla drumming from India and djembe drumming with African Rhythms. Listen to Natty tell the story of Ethiopian sounds and the music making of the Jali community in Mali. Make your own recycled musical instrument to take home and keep the rhythms going all the way home!

The tabla sessions (20 mins) with Caroline and Neil from Oxford Tabla and the djembe poetry workshops (30 mins) with Francis from Drumming Up, Peace on Earth are ideal for families with children aged 6+. Limited spaces, so do turn up early to guarantee a place.

The recycled musical instrument making is a drop-in session suitable for all ages.

Natty Mark, from the African School, will be in the Old Library talking with images and sounds about Ethiopian sounds and Jali community music making in Mali. There will be an opportunity to handle different musical instruments at the end of the session. This session is ideal for children aged 11+ and adults and will last approximately 40 minutes. It's easy."

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