Friday, July 24, 2009
Zakir Hussain: tabla meets taiko
Zakir Hussain again demonstrates his interest in musical collaboration across cultures, this time with an unidentified taiko performer. After a meditative start, things really get rolling at about 2:20. Zakir's fingers and hands are capable of registering 20 distinct beats per second.
This short YouTube video was featured on "Runes" a couple years ago, but it mysteriously disappeared. I'm pleased to offer it again.
"Zakir and His Friends," the outstanding 1998 world tour of percussion musicians, isn't available online, on DVD or in most video stores — but it should be.
If you've got the time (an hour and 40 minutes), I also recommend the excellent Millennium Concert Gateway video of a 2000 performance in Mumbai with more of Zakir and an outstanding ensemble of Indian percussionists and other musicians. If you don't have time for anything else, be sure to skip ahead (to 1:04:48) for a dazzling six-minute ghattam (clay pot) solo by U. Selvaganesh. The last 10 minutes of "dialog" among the performers, building to a final crescendo, are also worth a listen. These are world-class musicians who obviously enjoy performing together.