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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Rising Percussionist

Tarit Pal, a 23-year old upcoming percussionist and primarily a tabla player is amongst the few stellar names in Kalkaji. He is different from the rest who are engaged in this field for he loves to fuse Indian classical music with Electronica.

Tarit was born in Kolkata and belongs to a highly cultured as well as an erudite Bengali family. They moved to Delhi when he was just two-year old. “My father, Asit Kumar Pal, is a well known percussionist of Delhi/Kolkata. Being raised in a musical environment and having being whole-heartedly committed to become like my father, I decided to start learning tabla at a tender age of eight, under my uncle, Pt. Ashish Sengupta who is also a teacher at Banaras Gharana,” says Tarit while mentioning about what or who actually ignited in him the passion to become a percussionist.

He is currently learning under world renowned "Chaumukha” Tabla Vadak, the leading Tabla Maestro of Delhi Gharana, Pt. Subhash Nirwan. “I devote at least 4-5 hours a day practicing tabla and spend my leisure hours working on other percussive instruments,” tells the very dedicated artist when asked about his practice schedule.

Having brought up in the neighbourhoods of Kalkaji, Tarit attended Raisina Bengali School, later did his degree from Motilal Nehru College, Delhi University and has recently completed his 6th year i.e. Sangeet Prabhakar from Prayag University.

During the star days of his college life, he bagged many prizes and top positions in various competitions. “I won many accolades in tabla and music competitions at various renowned universities and colleges in my college days. IIT Delhi, BITS Pilani, Sri Venkateshwara College, IIT Kanpur, Lady Erwin college just to name a few,” says Tarit while citing his hitherto achievements and experiences that he has obtained so far. Besides, he regularly performs with DJs and does tabla-turntable jugal-bandi with them. He has also accompanied a lot of renowned Indian classical artists to various music concerts and baithaks. Above all, he is also associated with the one and only multi genre choir of Delhi called the House of Symphony.

 “Apart from freelancing and despite delivering solo performances, I founded a Delhi based folk-fusion band called Rishi Inc. The band comprises of six members including myself. We sing and play various instruments altogether. We have performed at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Udaipur, Manali, Gulmarg, Kochi, Singapore, Malaysia etc. We have also played at festivals like Delhi International Arts festival, Gulmarg winter festival, Times Raasrang festival, International Sufi festival, Escape festival,” says the very multi-talented Tarit.

Tarit has gained inspiration from everyone and everything that has come before him in life. Also, he left no stone unturned seeing that he has always tried to acquire as much knowledge and experience as he could. While telling about his inspirations, he says, “Since, I am primarily into tabla, all my gurus have always been great inspirers for me. I follow Ust. Zakir Hussain, Ranjit Barot, Trilok Gurtu, John McLaughlin, AR Rahman, Talvin Singh, Karsh Kale, Jo Jo Mayer, bands like Shakti, Pink Floyd, Maha Vishnu Orchestra, Tool, Motherjane, Avial and many more.”

Tarit loves to play multiple percussion instruments and wishes to play each and every instrument that has been invented so far. “Currently, I own and play mainstream instruments like tabla, dholak, thumba, darabouka, djembe, cajon, didgeridoo, Morsing and Handsonic HPD15. Apart from these instruments, I have a lot of African shakers, Nepalese instrument, ocean drum and folk instruments like khomok and Ektara. I want to buy more and more percussive instruments,” tells Tarit when questioned about the number of musical instruments that he could play.

He aspires to travel around the world and learn to play their traditional instruments. Also, he wants to spread India’s rich classical music worldwide. The very zealous, Tarit firmly believes in learning, practicing and preaching.