My rhythmic understanding comes from first studying the south Indian Carnatic flute and later the mrdangam, tavil and kanjira in Bangalore. I moved to Canada in the late 1970’s and gradually my ideas expanded to include percussion on other surfaces and self designed objects. I decided to transpose the south Indian drumming techniques, solkattu and compositional ideas to other instruments broadly known as FingerWorks, with a percussion trio under the same name. Around this period there were other projects and collaborations under way in Montreal, Canada and internationally. Some are listed below.
In 1994, I began building instruments based on the Indian 22 shruti octave for the project Espace Shruti, I consulted with master wood worker Nicholas Munroe during the process, some instruments were micro tonal Metallophones, a bass Bamboophone, a Shruti Marimba, Zithers and others. This project was in collaboration with french sculptor Pascal Dufaux who created a huge metallic sonic sculpture to house the instruments. La Troisième Oreille duo with Claude Lepine and myself had a series of performances at Théâtre la Chapelle, Montreal 1995.
This project led me on an unexpected path of sound exploration and discoveries. I moved from the acoustic field and started thinking about a compact electric instrument for other colours and possibilities. In 2000, I conceived the six and 12 string electric Shruti stick with preparations (a cross between a zither and an electric guitar), which I use extensively today. I prepare these instruments in different ways and in specific areas of the instrument, to obtain various types of sounds and tones. In my solo concerts and spontaneous compositions, I am often inspired by the form of a Raga. In my case for each piece, I use specific prepared sounds and selected tones to create a theme, surrounded by atmospheres, layered rhythmic pulses and dynamics to tell a kind of story..
My interdisciplinary work began in 2004 with the solo project "Ici et La" in French, directed by Guy Laramee and a great team of people. The project was about immigration, family, new world experiences, learning french with lots of humor. Performances were held at Théâtre la Chapelle, Montreal 2004.
"Chance" is an important factor to recognise and use to our benefit. A pivotal "chance factor" happened one day in the spring of 2012, the sun shone in my rehearsal room and a shadow of my instrument with preparations appeared on a wall near by...a light bulb went off in my head and I played the strings and saw the shadows move and dance on the wall. This was the beginning of a journey with light, sound and shadows. Since then, my instrument has turned into a stage for characters and props clipped onto the strings to create shadows for short stories. The following two videos I re-created as they appeared on my wall the first time.
Fingerworks trio with Patrick Graham, François Taillefer, myself with invited artist Glen Velez, 1999
Wiens/Lozano/Anandan trio 1998
with conductor Kaspaar de Roo and Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt 2003 - 2005
Wobble Dax 1 & 2 midnight
TRIO + 1
No audio available for Espace Shruti
Audio Visuals are comming.
THE WEB SITE IS PRESENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION...TBC