Happiness is the Resonance of Being
Have you ever wondered what happens when you combine tabla and technology? Join us to find out a new mode of artistic expression!
Started out of a garage in 2013, Workbench Projects situated right under Halasuru Metro Station is an innovative hive and workshop for artists, entrepreneurs and technocrats. Founders, Anupama and Pavan have created a unique public space to nurture DIY culture in the community and facilitate personal projects and ideas to help spark imagination. Born and brought up in Toronto, Canada, Gurpreet Chana Singh started playing the tabla at the age of 3. Trained in the instrument for 14 years, he is now known as “The Tabla Guy”. He began his meticulous research of introducing the tabla into the digital world 7 years ago through Tablix. “An instrument is so beautiful you can’t mess it up,” says Gurpreet.
Though there are multiple theories regarding the origin of the tabla, it has been a particular percussion instrument in Hindustani classical music since the 18th Century. The smaller drum is known as poda (treble) and the slightly bigger drum is known as duji (bass). “There is a language associated with the basic strokes when one plays the tabla. Hence it is also known as the ‘Talking Drum’ as it seems like the drums is conversing with each other,” he added. “When I began my exploration of integrating tabla and technology, my main goal was to stay true to the sounds of the instrument and not compromise the tradition and style while playing in a digital world,” says Gurpreet. He played a few pieces in between to demonstrate the resonance after developing Tablix. He even discussed about the development of the software to customise the pitch of the sound and ideas on how to handle coding. With the mechanical vibration of the skin helping air travel through the instrument, he can change the sound of each stroke with a different effect.
Gurpreet also introduced a musical instrument originated in Switzerland in 2000 known as ‘Hant’ or ‘Hang Drum’. Made out of nitride steel sheet with a hole at the bottom, playing notes on a hang drum are limited. But the difference in size of each part can create a different tone field and multiple overtones. “I have collaborated with other musicians exposing myself to the compositions of different genres from around the world. And currently, I am working on a project with a violinist,” he added.
“I was absolutely amazed by the concept of Tablix,” says Sanma, one of the founders of the mobile application, Urban Trippie. “I was informed by a friend who works with Explore Life Travelling. I loved the fusion of Western music with the tabla,” added Sanma.