In 1996, I released my first album, Beauty Enthralled,
which featured works by Harry Somers
("Music for Solo Violin", 1972), Violeta Dinescu
("Satya I" for solo violin), Rick Bidlack (title track "Beauty Enthralled" for improvised viola and microtonal drones, 1992), a collaborative work with vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia based on a Sikh devotional poem ("Aarti") and Robert J. Rosen
's "La" for violin and tabla (recorded with Ravi Naimpally
, tabla). I have since performed Rosen's work countless times with six different tabla players. Rosen's music is uncompromising in its virtuousity, but so exciting to play--and always a thrill for audiences.
Over the next few years, I began working with dancers and creating my own music; and then, creating music for dance. My second disc, Sapphire Skies
, represents this creative phase in my life. I had the great privilege a recording and collaborating with some extraordinary Canadian musicians who helped bring the music on this album to life: Ed Hanley
, James Campbell
, Rob Piltch
, Gary Craig
, Lisa Lindo and the Penderecki String Quartet
. "The Piercing Embrace" is one of the works I created with - and for dance. The musical score is embedded in my physical movements (and while recording in the studio, I had to imagine what my body was doing in order to remember the notes!) Which comes first? The music or the dance? I don't know. But dance and movement inspire me immensely.
The mid-2000s found me back in university, pursuing the Ph.D. that I had contemplated undertaking before I got distracted by the business of playing music. During this time, I had to redirect my creative energies towards writing words rather than notes. I kept myself playing by doing a lot of improvisation--in bands like "The Human Remains" ( Bill Grove, Scott Good
, Andrew Staniland
, Rick Sacks
and Ambrose Pottie) and "The Starfires" (Michael Kaler, Braz King, Jamie Thompson), and weekly improv sessions with Christine Duncan's "The Element Choir
" and AIMToronto
musicians. During this time, I also met Shawn Mativetsky
and found in him the unique blend of hard-core traditional tabla player and Western classical contemporary percussionist. With performance opportunities for the Attar Project continuing to come my way, Shawn and I decided to commission some new works for violin and tabla. The fruits of our commissions can be found on The Road Ahead ...