Blind School Music Program | Gandhinagar, India

Music education has a profound impact on the creative expression and communication of blind children. At a school in Gandhinagar for children who are both blind and come from impoverished backgrounds, children receive musical instruction for two hours each day. Over the past the 8 years, I have been working closely with Project Ahimsa and the outstanding music teacher Tejas Parmar to build this unique music program.

The staff believes that music education has played a major role in enabling the school to achieve an astonishing 90% graduation and retention rate. In October 2011, legendary world music act Rupa & the April Fishes visited the Blind School for a day of interaction and performance alongside the children at the Blind School.

Learn more at:

www.projectahimsa.org
www.theaprilfishes.com

Video edited by: Robin Sukhadia (Project Ahimsa International Grants Director)
Video Shot by: Neelanjana Banerjee & Donny Marya.

Tabla with a Difference with Bandish Projekt

On June 19, 2011, Bandish Projekt (Mayur Narvekar) and I linked up via Skype to showcase the history and repertoire of tabla, the drums of north India to a riveted audience at the Indian Summer Festival in Leicester, UK. The session included a live improvisation on kaidas or compositions and a discussion on where tabla is today.

About the artists:

Bandish Projekt / Mayur Narvekar www.bandishprojekt.com
BANDISH PROJEKT is Mayur Narvekar, a Composer, Producer, Dj, Remixer, Performer and a multi-instrumentalist.’ Bandish’ in its Indian classical connotation means “composition”, while Projekt reflects its innate extermination. Like a creeper and a tree, the music is the symbiotic conjoining of the sounds folk music fused with electronic or classical Indian ragas entwined into trio hop. BANDISH PROJEKT fused melodies of yore with IDM (Intelligent dance music). 2010 marks the year when BANDISH PROJEKT released its new album ‘CORREKT’ and collaborates with the urbane performer to add new dimensions to its promising musical compendium. Also releases “BROWN SKIN BEAUTY ” New single from Bandish Projekt feat. Last Mango In Paris both on Bheja fry Records.

Tablapusher / Robin Sukhadia www.tablapusher.com
A Master in Fine Arts graduate from the World Music program at the California Institute of the Arts, Robin Sukhadia has been studying tabla (classical north Indian drums) under Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri at the California Institute of the Arts and the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California. For the past seven years, Robin has traveled internationally on behalf of Project Ahimsa, an organization committed to empowering impoverished youth through music education. In 2010, Robin was awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Award to expand his work with music education in India.

PANDIT SWAPAN CHAUDHURI @ LACMA

Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri at LACMA Part 1 from Distortion Productions on Vimeo.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art — An epic exhibition India’s Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow (December 12, 2010 – February 27, 2011) culminated in a special interactive tabla performance featuring Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri of the Lucknow Gharana. Held on February 24, 2011 and moderated by Fulbright Scholar Robin Sukhadia, this multimedia/instructional presentation showcased historical research, archival images and live tabla performance. They chronicle how Lucknow’s culture brought together the best living musicians, poets and arts patrons of the day to further evolve the tradition of the extraordinary percussive instrument of the north Indian classical music tradition.

In this special one hour program produced by Distortion Productions, Swapanji elaborates on his tabla lineage which is traced to the courts of Lucknow rulers, synthesizing a wide range of other drumming traditions to become what it is today. He also discusses the role of British colonial destruction of Lucknow, and its consequential impact on the spread of tabla and classical Indian music beyond Lucknow’s borders into north India and the world.

REHABILITATION CENTER FOR CHILDREN | MUSIC PROGRAM

RCFC (Rehabilitation Center for Children) provides comprehensive surgery, rosthetics and physical therapy for over 500 poor children from West Bengal and Bihar each year, free of cost. Some of the children stay for over 2 years here as they undergo slow and painful corrective surgery. But what is most remarkable, is that every child walks out of the hospital after their stay on their own. Music plays a major role in their healing and empowerment…

FUSION OR CONFUSION? EXAMINING WORLD MUSIC TODAY

Fusion or Confusion? Examining World Music Today
An Interactive Session with Robin Sukhadia

Kolkata International Music Festival
November 20, 2011 5pm
Weaver Studios Kolkata | FREE

Who are the current pioneers blending traditional world music with contemporary pop and electronic music? How are classical traditions of north and south Indian music finding new audiences via its inclusion in contemporary forms of music?

Join World Musician and Fulbright Scholar Robin Sukhadia for an audio overview of major trends in world music, with a special emphasis on how Indian classical music is being integrated into jazz, Latin percussion, western classical music, African music, pop music and hip hop. The interactive session will feature an open discussion on fusion and confusion musical experiments by artists including Zakir Hussain, John MacLaughlin, Peter Gabriel, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Bjork, Talvin Singh, Nitin Sawhney, Ali Akbar Khan, and MIA.

Beyond the Stage: Applying Music as a tool for Empowerment and Healing | Interactive Session led by Robin Sukhadia

Beyond the Stage: Applying Music as a tool for Empowerment and Healing

Interactive Session led by Robin Sukhadia

ITC Sangeet Research Academy
November 18, 2011
2 – 4 PM |  FREE

The application of music as a healing modality is receiving more attention throughout India and the world as a result of the work of a wide range of Music Therapists and Music Educators. These innovative individuals are increasingly applying their training in classical and non-classical Indian (both Carnatic and Hindustani) and world music to empower children and adults suffering from a wide range of afflictions. South Asia’s deep musical traditions are finding new power as a tool to empower underserved communities.


Join Robin Sukhadia, a Fulbright Scholar based at ITC SRA, for an afternoon discussion/presentation designed to engage SRA scholars and Gurus in a dialogue focused on the following questions:

What are current examples of effective applications of Music Therapy and Music Education in India?
What is music therapy? How does it differ from music education?
How can musicians who are gifted as healers/teachers think beyond the performance stage?
What can India offer the global community of Music Therapists?

ITC Sangeet Research Academy
www.itcsra.org
1, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Road
Tollygunge | Kolkata- 700 040

RAJASTHAN INTERNATIONAL FOLK FESTIVAL | RUPA & THE APRIL FISHES

I’m thrilled to be accompanying the legendary Rupa & the April Fishes at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival on October 15, 2011! Begun in 2007, the Jodhpur RIFF brings together more than 250 Musicians and performing artists from across Rajasthan and around the world to celebrate their musical heritage and create new sounds through innovative collaborations, for five days in October each year. Timed to coincide with the brightest full moon of the year in north India, Sharad Poornima, Jodhpur RIFF features a series of spectacular concerts and events based in and around Mehrangarh Fort – voted “Asia’s Best Fortress” by Times Magazine.

ABLETON MUMBAI WITH BANDISH BEAT FAKTORY

On October 2 – 4, 2011, I’ll be leading a special session at Bandish Beat Faktory examining how to use Ableton Live to manipulate natural sounds and existing media to create new sonic textures and atmosphere. Specifically, I’ll be sharing how to converge the power of Ableton Live + simple tools (mobile phones, wave recorders, the web) + media (mp3s, interviews, sound from YouTube clips, noise) to create atmosphere and wholly original music. Learn more / Sign up at www.bandishprojekt.com

EKATVA Launches Tour in Ahmedabad, India

EKATVA is a 90 minute dance/drama musical performed by 16 slum children, hoping to share a message of ‘oneness’ and universal love, to the world. A Manav Sadhna experiment, EKATVA features Sixteen children from some of the largest slums of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. They were selected through a nine month audition process, and are being trained and developed, by two mentors from Manav Sadhna and teachers from Darpana Academy, to perform a 90-minute dance-drama production sharing Gandhiji’s message of ‘Oneness’. After one year of training and development, the children will tour the show across India, the US, and the UK.

Choreography by Mallika Sarabhai (Darpana Academy). For the past 4 months, I have been working alongside Project Lead Nimesh Patel at the Gandhi Ashram to support EKATVA. I shot the photographs of the children in this video.

Learn More at www.ekatva.blogspot.com and join us on Facebook (ekatva-oneness)

Supported in part by Compassionate Chefs Cafe, Manav Sadhna and Project Ahimsa.

The Artist’s Way: Tabla, Seva, & Sadhana A workshop by Robin Sukhadia

The Artist’s Way: Tabla, Seva, & Sadhana
A workshop by Robin Sukhadia

Within each us is an Artist seeking to breakthrough. For those courageous enough to listen and to channel creativity, Art can serve as the most powerful form of enacting change.  Join Robin Sukhadia, Fulbright Senior Research Scholar and Project Ahimsa Grants Director, for a special talk/workshop on the connection between Art and Social Change at Moved by Love on Saturday September 3, 2011 6:30pm. Robin will be sharing his journey of studying tabla and also drawing connections between Art and Service by highlighting Gandhi’s own connection to artists Rabindranath Tagore and Leo Tolstoy. The workshop will emphasize techniques developed as part of the Artist’s Way, a multi-step process developed by Julia Cameron for recovering and nurturing the artist within all of us.

Moved by Love – Ahmedabad

Mahatma Gandhi Ashram Sabarmati

Saturday, September 3, 2011

6:30pm


About Robin

A Master in Fine Arts graduate from the World Music program at the California Institute of the Arts, Robin Sukhadia has been studying tabla (classical north Indian drums) under Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri <http://www.swapanchaudhuri.com>  at the California Institute of the Arts and the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California for the past nine years. For the past seven years, Robin has traveled internationally on behalf of Project Ahimsa <http://www.projectahimsa.org> , an organization committed to empowering impoverished youth through music education. He has developed innovative music education programs at the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad (Manav Sadhna), the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Machine Project in Los Angeles and the Sangati Center in San Francisco. In 2010, Robin was awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Award to expand his work with music education in India. Learn more at www.tablapusher.com.

JHAPTAAL TABLA SOLO – SARASWATI PUJA, KOLKATA 2011

I gave a tabla solo recital in Jhaptaal (10 beat cycle) at the Saraswati Puja celebration at Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri’s home on February 8, 2011. I was accompanied on Santoor by Shri Amit Kumar Das. This video is Part 1 of the 30 minute recital.

“I remember the first Saraswati Puja I played at in Kolkata, back in 2004. It was in the exact same place, and for me it was a very special moment in the very early stages of learning tabla and coming to Kolkata. To return after many years, and be able to give back, this time with a bit more confidence and a bit more humility, felt really empowering. It was a beautiful and warm day in Kolkata, and just that morning, we had a beautiful puja for the Goddess Saraswati in Swapanji’s ancestral home near Lake Market. The intensity of the morning’s blessings were heavy on my mind and heart, and I was feeling a lot of joy for all that I had learned so far in my study of tabla, and all that was yet to come. The recital was one of my favorites during my time in India in 2011.”

Compositions by Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri; Video by aysi Chander

LACMA: Lucknow through the lens of tabla with Swapan Chaudhuri

Los Angeles County Museum of Art — LACMA’s epic exhibition India’s Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow (December 12, 2010 – February 27, 2011) culminated in a special interactive tabla performance featuring tabla Master Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri of the Lucknow Gharana. Held on February 24, 2011 this multimedia/instructional performance examined, through live tabla performance and through projected images and research, how Lucknow’s culture converged the best living musicians, poets and arts patrons of the day to evolve the tradition of tabla, an extraordinary percussive instrument of the north Indian classical music tradition. I facilitated a dialogue with Swapanji accompanied by projected slides giving further historical and geographical context to the musical performance and its connection to the city of Lucknow.

 

Special focus was given to Swapanji’s own tabla lineage which is traced to the courts of Lucknow rulers, where tabla synthesized a wide range of other drumming traditions to become what it is today. Swapanji recited and performed a wide range of compositions which parallel the dance traditions that evolved in Lucknow. He also discussed the role of British colonialism towards the destruction of Lucknow, and its consequential impact on the spread of tabla and classical Indian music beyond Lucknow’s borders into north India and the world. Guest performances by Rina Mehta (kathak), Debashish Chaudhuri (tabla), Antara Bhardwaj (vocal), Javad Butah (tabla) & Ben Kunin (sarode) provided further insight into how tabla supported the development of a wide range of artforms in Lucknow.

Here in this highlights reel, Swapanji shares compositions of the Lucknow Gharana with accompanying explanations of how tabla evolved in Lucknow, his Guru Acharya Santosh Krishna Biswas, his Dada Guru Hirubabu (Hirendra Kumar) Ganguly, and compositions from Lucknow Khalifa Ustad Abid Hussain Khan. The finale to the concert featured a tabla duet by Swapanji and his nephew, Debashish Chaudhuri. Javad Butah accompanies on harmonium.

Special Thanks to Tushara Bindu Gude, Claire Kim, Julie Romain, Mitch Glickman, Randy Gloss, Liza Matluck, Tim Witter, Bill Witter, Daniel Karp, Jim Santi Owen, Amit Kumar Das, Jaeger Smith and Danny Kim

Video Shot and Edited by Jaeger Smith

More information on the artists available at:
www.swapanchaudhuri.com
www.tablapusher.com
www.debasishchaudhuri.com
www.javadbutah.com

JUN TABLA, ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND FILM SCORING WORKSHOP AT NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DESIGN – AHMEDABAD, INDIA

nid1.jpg

I'll be giving a 3 hour workshop on scoring for film, tabla and technology at India’s National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad. Considered to be the premier design institute of India, NID produces world class architects, sound artists, industrial designers and more. I’ll be specifically sharing techniques of sequencing, sampling, and how they converge with tabla and film scoring. I have always been inspired by NID, and I feel honored to be able to interact with the students through music. I am planning to showcase Ableton Live and the Akai MPC1000!

Saturday – June 18, 2011
NID Campus Ahmedabad
Main Auditorium
9:30 AM to 12:30 PM

WORDS FOR RAIN – MUSIC & POETRY AT SEVA CAFE AHMEDABAD

WORDS FOR RAIN – MUSIC & POETRY AT SEVA CAFE AHMEDABAD

EVENT,TABLA,UNCATEGORIZED

The Seva Cafe in Ahmedabad is a unique space where cuisine, compassion and creativity come together. The concept of the space is based around volunteerism and paying it forward, where guests give payment without prices. Neelanjana and I are excited to be presenting an evening of poetry, tabla and visuals at Seva Cafe. Featuring Puskhar Sharma (of Brownstar) and additional special guest artists.

RSVP, directions and additional details available on Facebook

Saturday, June 25, 2011  |  7:30PM  |  FREE
Seva Cafe Ahmedabad
Shoppers Circle – Opp. Municipal Market
CG Road, Ahmedabad India

JHAPTAAL TABLA SOLO | ITC SANGEET RESEARCH ACADEMY 2011

I gave a 30 minute tabla solo recital in Jhaptaal (10 beat cycle) at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata, India on January 22, 2011. Shri Amit Kumar Das accompanied me on Santoor. This recital was a major creative milestone for me in my study of tabla with Swapanji. Jhaptaal, with its uneven subdivision and beautiful lilt, is one of my favorite cycles of time. The compositions I have learned in Jhaptaal are among my favorite and so it was a joy to be able to share them with the audience of Scholars and Gurus at the Sangeet Research Academy. I am most appreciative of the faculty and resources at SRA, which have been supportive of my music education research and my study of tabla. Special thanks to Mr. Ravi Mathur and Ratnaboli Bose for their support and encouragement.

Compositions by Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri; Video by Mayur Narvekar.

Digital Media Literacy Workshop – Kathmandu, Nepal – 2011

In March 2011, I was invited by CalArts/Center for Integrated Media to co-teach a Digital Media Literacy Workshop at Shree Mangal Dvip School in Kathmandu, Nepal. Made possible by support by Fulbright South Asia and Project Ahimsa, Neelanjana Banerjee, Tom Leeser (CalArts) and I spent 7 days at Shree Mangal Dvip School (www.himalayanchildren.org) teaching HD video recording, sampling, and poetry. SMD school, founded by Thrangu Rinpoche, serves 600 children from the rural and remote parts of Nepal.
These workshops are initiated by CalArts and the Center for Integrated Media and they are a part of CalArts’ ongoing curriculum development. The workshops aim to bring future CalArts/IM grads to Nepal as part of the workshop’s growth and development.

Special Thanks: Angela bscher (Planning, Video & Photography), Pema Lama (Class Support & Video), Shirley Blair (SMD School Director), Tom Leeser (CalArts IM Director), Neelanjana Banerjee (www.neelanjanabanerjee.com), and Fulbright Regional South / Central Asia Grant.

APR KARMAGOTCHI – WEST BENGAL

I recently made a site visit to armagotchi, West Bengal in January of 2011. The village, 2 hours north of Kolkata, India is using music to preserve its traditions even as urban culture threatens its simple way of life. Project Ahimsa (www.projectahimsa.org) provided support to repair all the the traditional drums in this video, and provide a salary for 1 year to the music teacher who works with village elders to pass on traditions to village youth through music. Special thanks to Rosalie Giffoniello of Empower the Children, and Neelanjana Banerjee (photographer).

CONFERENCE ON MUSIC AND WELLNESS IN INDIA | KOLKATA | MARCH 15, 2011

Music and Wellness in India
Conference of Music Professionals Who Work with People in Need

March 15, 2011|  2:30pm – 6:00pm|  FREE| American Center – Kolkata
38 A Jawaralal Nehru Road, Kolkata 700071(near Maidan Metro stop)

Featuring workshops/talks led by
Tanmoy Bose (Tabla Maestro, Percussionist)
Eric Fraser (Fulbright Scholar, Music Therapist)
Robin Sukhadia (Fulbright Scholar, Project Ahimsa Program Director)
Sangeeta Pandit (Benares Hindu University)
Nimesh Patel (EKTAVA, Mahatma Gandhi Ashram)

For Entry Contact eric.fraser.bansuri@gmail.com

The application of music to heal is receiving more attention throughout India and the world as a result of the work of a wide range of Music Therapists. These innovative individuals are increasingly applying their training in classical and non-classical Indian (both Carnatic and Hindustani) and world music to empower children and adults suffering from a wide range of afflictions.

In an effort to create a unified group to promote the progress and profession of Music Therapy in India, Fulbright Senior Research Scholars Robin Sukhadia of Project Ahimsa (www.projectahimsa.org) and American board certified music therapist Eric Fraser-MA-BC, have joined together to organize this unique conference. The conference will feature presentations by some of India’s leading experts in music therapy and specialized music education wellness.  Each of these presenters are helping to define the direction of music and wellness in India, and will be sharing their groundbreaking work.  Administrators and professionals in the field of wellness/therapy and musicians of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to attend.

To attend or to inquire about presenting at the conference, please email eric.fraser.bansuri@gmail.com or visit us on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=143339535725773

Tabla & Healing: Empowering Youth Through Music | Lecture/Tabla Solo by Robin Sukhadia

Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Robin Sukhadia presents a special multimedia showcase of over 8 years of project implementations focused on empowering youth through music. The presentation will be followed by a tabla solo performance with Santoor accompaniment by Shree Amit Kumar Das.

RSVP at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=161668013883908

Made possible through the generous support of USIEF (United States India Education Foundation), Project Ahimsa (www.projectahimsa.org) and Fulbright

Robin Sukhadia

An MFA graduate of the World Music Program at the California Institute of the Arts, Robin Sukhadia has been studying tabla under Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri at CalArts and the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael , California for the past eight years. For the past seven years, Robin has traveled internationally on behalf of Project Ahimsa (www.projectahimsa.org), an organization committed to empowering impoverished youth through music education. He has developed innovative music education programs at the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles , the de Young Museum in San Francisco , the SF Asian Art Museum, the Sangati Center , and the Mahatma Gandhi Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat . He is currently a Fulbright Senior Researcher Scholar in India researching the impact of music education on poor children in India. Learn more at www.tablapusher.com

Amit Kumar Das

Born into a musical family, Amit started learning santoor at the age of 12 with professor Dulal Roy with whom he studied for over 17 years. Since the passing of his first Guru, Amit has studied with Ustad Aashish Khan, Smt. Amina Paerera, and Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. He earned his diploma from Prayag Sangeet Samity in 2008. His extensive performance highlights throughout India include the Dhrupadi Music Circle, Dhwani Music Circle, Sursagar Society, Rupak Music Circle, Sangeet Research Academy, and Rajya Sangeet Academy.