Hard to believe that we're two decades into the second millennium. And twenty-five years since I landed in Toronto, intending only to kill the length of time necessary to renew my visa to the UK ... and perhaps make a…Read more
Parmela Attariwala – violinist/violist, composer and ethnomusicologist – has been described as “one of Canada’s most original and compelling artists”. She traverses genres from Mozart to the avant-garde, from fiddle to rock, from free improvisation to non-Western crossovers with virtuousic fluidity, and is equally comfortable performing acoustically in a concert hall or plugged-in in a club.
The creative process inspires all that Parmela does, whether it is performing composed music, creating or improvising her own music, mentoring young musicians, or undertaking academic researching on the arts in Canada. She has been deeply influenced by dance—working extensively with choreographers as a composer, musician and movement artist—and by small-scale works for instruments and voices. In 1995, Parmela created the Attar Project as a vehicle to perform and create with musicians and artists from non-Western and non-classical forms.
Parmela has released three critically acclaimed recordings that defy the boundaries of genre: Beauty Enthralled (1997), featuring tabla player Ravi Naimpally and ghazal singer Kiran Ahluwalia; Sapphire Skies (2003), which features her own compositions; and The Road Ahead … (2010), a collection of commissioned works for violin and tabla, performed with Montreal-based tabla player, Shawn Mativetsky.
As an academic, Parmela has undertaken research on: multiculturalism, democracy and arts funding; improvisation in classical Western music pedagogy; and devotional poetry and music in medieval India. In October 2018,. Parmela and equity consultant Soraya Peerbaye released, "Re-sounding the Orchestra: Relationships between Canadian orchestras, Indigenous peoples, and people of colour", a research paper on equity and diversity commissioned by Orchestras Canada and funded by the Canada Council's "Leadership for Change" program.
Following 25 years in Toronto, Parmela is now based in Vancouver, B.C.