Musician aims to bend Vancouver’s ears to classical South Indian sounds

Published: February 13, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Curtis Andrews

Percussionist Curtis Andrews acknowledges that south Indian music is not nearly as popular as north Indian, and would like to be part of changing that. Submitted photo

Local musician Curtis Andrews wants Vancouverites to come out and discover something new with his South Indian classical music concert Saturday night.

“[People should] come to hear instruments they’ve never heard and to hear new music, actually, that’s being written based on ancient forms,” said Andrews.

“[I’m trying] to bring [the music] outside of the [Indian] community and have it for people that might just want to come out and hear some new music in the evening.”

Saturday’s performance at the Western Front in Vancouver, titled Sangati, features Andrews playing the mridangam — an ancient Indian percussion instrument — alongside some well-established South Asian musicians, like Vidyasagar Vankayala on vocals, Seattle’s Prabha Sivaratnam on violin and Karthiga Parmeswaran on the veena.

The performance will be a fusion work, accompanied by Vancouver jazz players such as Jared Burrows on guitar and Colin Maskell on flute and saxophone.

“They can expect to hear some exotic music or music you don’t hear very much in Vancouver,” said Andrews.

According to Andrews, North Indian music is much more well known than the South Indian sounds he’ll be playing.

He said North Indian music rose to fame with The Beatles and particularly George Harrison.

“He did a lot to popularize the music of North India and the sitar,” said Andrews, referencing Beatles albums from the late 1960s. “Over the decades it’s just something that more and more people started to become conscious of.

“And with that a lot more people were migrating from the northern parts of India to North America, Europe, England, so they bring those traditions with them. South Indians, they’re not as populist [and] within Vancouver the population of South Indians is very small.”

So while many people have heard of the tabla and sitar, Andrews hopes to expose Vancouver to the lesser-known South Indian sounds with his mridangam.

“Just so it’s more in people’s conscience that something as beautiful as this exists,” he said.

And the music has got something for everyone.

“It’s not part of my heritage at all — this is something I was drawn to,” said Andrews.

He’s been playing the mridangam for about 13 years now and learned from Sri Trichy Sankaran in India and Canada.

“I heard him playing and it totally twisted my musical ear in a different way because I’d never heard this,” Andrews said of the first time he heard Sankaran — his “guru” — play the instrument.

“Rhythmically it opened up a whole new universe of possibility so I’ve just kind of followed it since then and continued it.”

The show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Western Front at 303 E. 8th Ave. Tickets are available at the door for $15 or can be purchased online at front.bc.ca.

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Abbotsford's Ravinder Singh Atwal has been identified online as the truck driver who died in a truck crash on Highway 99 near Delta on Wednesday. The Abbotsford father was killed when his dump truck hit the highway median and burst into flames. Submitted photo/Facebook.

Abbotsford trucker killed on Hwy 99 remembered as ‘one of the nicest guys’

GLENDA LUYMES VANCOUVER DESI An Abbotsford father killed in a fiery crash on Highway 99 is being remembered as hard-working and friendly by fellow truck…
Continue Reading »

A man reads the latest issue of French weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo bearing a cartoon of Prophet Mohammed at a French bookseller in Abidjan on January 19, 2015. SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images

Mumbai police arrest newspaper editor for reprinting Charlie Hebdo cartoon

VANCOUVER DESI Mumbai police have arrested and since bailed out the editor of an Urdu language newspaper for reprinting a Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the…
Continue Reading »

Indian spectators watch as a float carrying a sign that reads "Congratulations! It's a Baby Girl" passes by during the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2015. The float represented India's Ministry of Women and Child Development.  An estimated 26 million babies are born anually in India, a country considered to be one of the worst places to be born a girl because of a societal 'gender gap' that favours boys and preferences for male children. ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Father in India arrested for attempted murder after trying to bury his daughter alive

VANCOUVER DESI A father in India has been arrested for attempted murder after he tried to bury his 10-year-old daughter alive, according to Britain’s Daily…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Abbotsford's Ravinder Singh Atwal has been identified online as the truck driver who died in a truck crash on Highway 99 near Delta on Wednesday. The Abbotsford father was killed when his dump truck hit the highway median and burst into flames. Submitted photo/Facebook.

Abbotsford trucker killed on Hwy 99 remembered as ‘one of the nicest guys’

GLENDA LUYMES VANCOUVER DESI An Abbotsford father killed in a fiery crash on Highway 99 is being remembered as hard-working and friendly by fellow truck…
Continue Reading »

Opposition Muted to Harper’s New Anti Terror Bill

BY Ujjal Dosanjh Special to Vancouver Province I smell an election coming. Not in October 2015; much sooner than that. Harper has just unveiled the…
Continue Reading »

Opposition parties treading carefully on new anti-terror legislation

By Stephanie Levitz THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — Anti-terrorism legislation introduced by the Conservative government Friday received a cautious reception by the opposition parties who…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-BC

Raise your hand, send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Curry chicken on rice. Sam Leung/PNG

Spicy treats on menu as 8 chef teams battle for Vancouver’s second-annual Curry Cup

VANCOUVER DESI A group of Lower Mainland chefs are set to go head-to-head with their South Asian cooking skills as they gear up for Vancouver’s…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Sonu Sood and Boman Irani in a still from the Bollywood film Happy New Year.

Indian expat avoids stalking conviction by blaming Bollywood for his behaviour

IANS Sydney  – An Indian man’s excuse that Bollywood love stories encouraged him to excessively approach and stalk women helped him avoid conviction in the…
Continue Reading »

File photo: Commuters hang by doors of a crowded local train in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Three men were killed on Monday after they attempted to take a selfie by a moving train near Agra. AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade

College students killed while attempting train selfie in India

VANCOUVER DESI Three college friends on their way to India’s Republic Day celebrations were killed by a speeding train after they tried posing for a…
Continue Reading »

Screen shot of Shah Rukh Khan's first video tweet. Submitted.

Shah Rukh Khan sends out India’s first tweet using Twitter’s new mobile video camera

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the first-ever Indian to use Twitter’s freshly launched mobile video camera. Twitter announced the new feature on…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Akshay Kumar

Askhay Kumar offers martial arts training to visually impaired girls

PRASHANT SINGH HINDUSTAN TIMES Last year, Akshay Kumar — who was a professional martial arts trainer before he started acting — launched an initiative to…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan (L) and Kajol (R) are rumoured to be appearing in the next Rohit Shetty film. Getty Images.

Rohit Shetty tightlipped on SRK, Kajol casting rumours

IANS Mumbai — Bollywood’s blockbuster director Rohit Shetty is remaining tightlipped on rumours he’s managed to rope in a casting coup of Shah Rukh Khan…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex

Sonam Kapoor never planned to use her father’s fame to jumpstart her Bollywood career

IANS Mumbai  – It’s always thought that Bollywood’s star children have it easy, but actress Sonam Kapoor says that at the start of her film…
Continue Reading »