‘Errmm, no mate, they’re not bongos, no…..’
Chris Hills – tabla
Jon Seagroatt – saxes, organ, bass
Below is a segue of a number of the improvisations that tabla player Chris Hills & I recorded in 2019. All of the pieces started with just tabla and sax. I added the organs and / or basses later.
The tonal centre of each section is set by the tuning note chosen by Chris for the dayan.
Though Chris is trained in classical Indian playing, I was keen not to fall into ‘faux Asianisms’ (footling around harmonic minor modes etc.). Instead I concentrated on interweaving my own timbral, rhythmic and stylistic devices into Chris’ patterns and thekha.
This was a nice project, but we had difficulty deciding how to advance it; could we take it live…? What about the bass and organ parts? Could we run those from a laptop…? Is it a recording only project…? etc., etc.
In the end Coronavirus came knocking, which put the whole enterprise on hold for the time being. Hey ho.