From mid-December to mid-January I am spending a month working on a music project with my wife Rebecca and a good friend Mark from Australia. Rebecca plays the Bansuri (Indian flute), she is also studying Dhrupad, (ancient Indian classical singing). Mark plays Laptop, keyboard and handles all the recording. I play Indian tabla.
So for each element we are discussing the characteristics of the element and getting into the mood, the feeling and then expressing this with the music. We are playing the music as a joint devotional practise. For each element we sat around a piece of paper and made notes about the element. We wrote what we thought the element is, or how it made us feel. So we learnt form each other what we were thinking. We wrote single words, short phrases or even a long passage. It really helped us to clarify our thoughts and our direction. When we finished we discussed what had been written and what direction we wanted to follow. Below is the notes for the air element.
We are all interested in the elements for different reasons. It is helping me obtain a better understanding of the five elements. It will help me to create visuals for the elements. Also I am learning how to express these elements with the tabla drums. I feel my tabla playing has improved a lot in the last few weeks. I practised a lot to get to a level where I can play and improvise while playing. I have not recorded or played with other people for 2 years, so it is great to get back into it.
Also working on this music project is helping me to think about what I want to do with my music visuals for the tabla.