trichy sankaran

1999-present

What to say? He is indeed one of the best musicians I have ever been in contact with. I am thankful everyday for my relationship with him. Greatness such as his does not come along often.
Quite truthfully, he is one of the greatest living drummers of our time. There is no need to say here what has been said elsewhere.

It was at York where I first heard his him play...in a concert with flautist T. Vishawanathan. It was my first year of school and I had never heard South Indian music before. I had thought there was only sitar, tabla and Ravi Shankar. My mind was blown open...my ears peaked, my thirst had begun. What was I hearing? It had a physical effect on me and I found myself laughing out loud at some of the things I was experiencing. Not because they were funny, but because that is all I knew to do. What were the sounds he was making and how did he play that simple instrument and make it explode, purr, roar, going into the macro and micro expanses of time itself and easily put a smile on my face.

I didn't know what to do.

I had to wait until the next year to actual begin studying with him and from that point on my life has not been the same. As I was from Newfoundland, he was happy to know that I was one of Don's students. He had been to the Sound Symposium and spoke highly of Don and the festival itself. My studies with him in Toronto, St. John's and of course in different parts of India are etched in me. Sometimes I would keep tala (cyclic rhythm structure) for him at home while he "practised".....what he would play confounded me, it had a very real physcial/psychological effect and made me sweat...all I was doing was clapping my hands in a steady pattern! Assisting him at his concerts in India and sitting next to him during 3-4 hour concerts have been some of the best moments of my musical career...eventhough I was just listening, handing him water and attending to his needs as he played. It is as close to the source as one will ever get. Despite his greatness, he graciously gives me the chance to learn so much from him in many ways, directly and indirectly, about music, aesthetics, time and life itself.

My experiences through him have had a major impact on many of the decisons I have made in my life.

I can only hope that this journey continues.

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