My life as a musician and repairer
Born in London, I have been studying and working in the world of Indian Music for 40 years now. I have learnt tabla under the great Ustad Lateef Ahmed Khan and Ustad Faiyaz Khan. I have also spent a few years learning sitar under the watchful eye of Ustad Jamaluddin Bhartiya, and later became his accompanist on tabla.
Besides Ustad Jamaluddin Bhartiya, I have accompanied other great artists such as Uday Bhawalker, Lakshmi Shankar, Prince Rama Varma and Roshan Jamal, in many European lands and also in New York, the Middle East and India.
I got my bachelor of music degree for tabla and secondary subject sitar at the Rotterdam Conservatorium in 1995.
As one of the five co-founders of ISTAR Nederland, including Professors Joep Bor and Wim van der Meer, we were responsible for the start of the Indian Music course at the World Music Department of the Rotterdam Conservatorium. I have in all these years acquired a lot of experience giving workshops and lessons in Indian music, and about the Indian instruments themselves. I gave a lecture at the India Institute and demonstrations at the Tropical Museum, both in Amsterdam.
I have also been involved with the repair and restoration of Indian instruments for almost 42 years and have had several trips to India for this purpose. Having sat with some great builders and musicians to learn the trade, I feel I have accomplished a true understanding of the requirements for the special Indian sound quality production and its possibilities. I can repair most Indian instruments and can make many changes and improvements to your instrument if required.
In 1996 I submitted a report to the Sangeet Research Academy on the situation concerning Indian musical instruments in the West. I was also involved in a research project from the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai. This project was about the possibilities of applying Western technical building processes to the Indian music instrument industry.