5,25,600 minutes of rhythm… Here’s what it sounded like… It all started, officially, on Wednesday, the 9th of February 2011 with the Taal Inc. launch event which saw debut performances by the Taal Inc. Students Ensemble and the Taal Inc. Rhythm Ensemble; the fruition of a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears. We had the blessings of over 6 years of rhythmic goodwill in the avatar of a regular community drum circle scene (drum circle pune – check), ensemble performances and happy students on our side which helped gather momentum from the first note.

We continued our mini-tour of the metropolitans of Maharashtra. The 10th of Feb saw the Taal Inc. Rhythm Ensemble perform at the Kalaghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai.

Our next milestone was our largest corporate drum circle (team drumming event) or corporate drumming event yet. We drummed with 1000 employees of ADP on the 1st of May 2011. No turning back now, I said to myself and with the blink of an eye we surpassed our goal of 40 drum circles in 2011 by 15.

At Taal Inc., content is our forté. We make sure that we understand what sustains our core and we honour that spirit. That is what makes us different. And to know exactly what I am talking about, I invite you all to view the Taal Inc.(sights) album made by our charming Brand Manager, Solonie Singh Pathania. And in her words, “Taal Inc. is not just a company or a band, its a community and what makes it so special are its people. It’s their energy and individuality that makes Taal Inc. so unique. This album is a small attempt to get you to know some of the most awesome people, I have had the pleasure of knowing, a little better.”

In keeping with the ripple effect, I soon collaborated with percussionist greats such as Sivamani and Amit Kilam (Indian Ocean) in my persuit of spreading rhythm to every corner of the country. My aim: A drum in every household.

Next stop: San Diego! 2011 and 2012 being years of the Djembe in the antient calendars of Rhythm, I made sure that I met my master Mamady Keita at every opportunity I got. This Workshop that was held in San Diego was a Grandmasters tour of the States where I got to learn  from the great Famoudou Konate as well. Many Countries, many heritages, one drum, one cause!

Back home, work seemed to continue without respite. Our corporate clientele increased with each week; as did our college list. Equilibrium being of utmost importance, we make sure that we reach out to every strata and kind of population possible. As a part of the independent research papers that I am undertaking, I, along with a team of researchers, completed my first project-focused report on ‘Exploring the potential of Group-Drumming as a Group-Therapy’, which should be ready for publication soon, Inshallah! This study was conducted with two groups of Women in Prostitution in Mumbai. Then, came the Largest Drum Circle in the World Campaign. We at Taal Inc. were proud flag-bearers of the India Chapter of this movement, gathering 250+ participants who drummed for peace, unity and community on the 17th of September 2011. We intend to keep this up as an annual pursuit.

We conducted a series of drum circles with corporate groups and colleges for the music festival NH7 Weekender held in Magarpatta City in November 2011. This was a great way to spread awareness of a music festival of the 21st century and also of Taal Inc. and its spirit of inclusion.

The Taal Inc. Rhythm Ensemble secured itself a spot on the live music scene  of the country post the NH7 Weekender by taking the  audience  by storm and leaving them with what we have come to call, ‘Dancy Shoe Syndrome’, a disease we like to spread… that along with ‘Percussionists.’

Corporate work kept pouring in. We work with large groups as a typical conference starter/finisher or even  smaller groups as an exponent of behavioral training where the therapeutic takeaway is more. Either way, once Taal Inc.’d, you’ll taste no other.

In addition to all of this, to  keep in touch with the music scene I make sure to be involved with those, who have influenced or moved me in terms of my musical upbringing. I played a series of gigs with my boys from Agnee (IIT Powai’s Mood Indigo & The LIFE OK Channel Webcert being the highlight of the gigs) and also Nikhil Dsouza (The Bandra Festival, Mumbai amongst others). What sets these musicians apart is a sense of passion and originality that is reflected  in their music. I am proud to be a part of these musical quests. There is no other way considering that the path of a warrior can otherwise, be a lonely one.

Rhythm and Dance go hand in hand. It takes one to appreciate the other and so The Rhythm Ensemble collaborated with Hrishikesh’s Centre for Contemporary Dance to put up a one of a kind show titled, ‘Rhythm and Movement with a Conscience’, a fund raiser concert for The Blue Cross Society of India; working in aid of stray animals.

I am very proud to announce the first-trimester module of West – African Drumming by Taal Inc. at the Symbiosis Centre for Liberal Arts (SCLA), Pune. This is our first step towards introducing the Djembe to an audience as insidiously as possible. Come February 2012, we will have our first batch of Djembefolas. Look out for these young guns…

We have a lot of exciting ideas planned for 2012. I am very excited to welcome each and every one of you into a day in the life of Taal Inc. To know more…

Come. Drum. Be One.

Varun Venkit

By |2021-02-23T11:41:27+05:30August 10th, 2013|Categories: Drum Away with me, FeaturedBlog|