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Zakir, Bela, Edger / Steve Oda / Summer Tabla Retreat

Ty Burhoe

 

Greetings my friends,
This entry finds us in Aspen Colorado with the maestros, 
Zakir HussianBela Fleck and Edger Meyer. I love this trio and if you have not checked out their new CD "The Melody of Rhythm", then you must grab it ASAP.
So, we had the gig up in Aspen (photo above) and then the following day drove down to Denver Colorado for the concert at the Botanical Gardens. That was a pretty wild gig since it was not only a sold out, outdoor concert, but it was also totally pouring rain by the end of the event. Umbrellas and rain gear were all that could be seen. But wow, they played so intensely and beautifully, that the audience stayed till the very end. It was wild and crazy and beautiful !!!

 

Sound check in a light rain...


Sold out, amazing concert - but you can see
the storm clouds closing in.




STEVE ODA IN TUCSON

Then, the next day, I flew out to Tucson AZ for a concert with Steve Oda (sarode maestro).

Meeting up at the Tucson airport - Cactus country !!

 

It had been a while since we had played, but as it is with this music, the relationship enhances the music and our long term friendship and many tours together shines through the music no matter how long between gigs.

Steve & Ty diving into the music...
 


My dear friends Camillo & Cynthia Scherer produced the event. Actually Camillo is also a tabla student of mine as well. As are Manish & Yash Shah who also help out and support the music and productions in so many ways. I am lucky to have such students and friends. They have always helped me at the tabla retreats and in producing concerts, both in Colorado and Tucson.

Camillo & Cynthia Scherer


Yash & Manish Shah

 

Then, the following day after the concert, we had "The Musical Universe" workshop with a great group of folks from the Tucson area. We worked out our minds and our perception of matter and our brains ability to process poly rhythm. A lot to cover in 2 hours!

"The Musical Universe" group in Tucson


Working hard on feeling poly rhythms

 

Then we had a separate workshop which focused on Tabla while Steve Oda was in the next room teaching another group Indian Raga. We turned the school of medicine into a music school for that afternoon. It is a great feeling, being surrounded by music and people who are switched on by music. In spiritual circles it is called Satsang, which means "in the company of truth". Well for us musicians, that also applies to musical circles and concert settings.

Tabla workshop group in Tucson

 

It was the beginning of a nice yearly tradition of returning to Tucson for both concerts and workshops. Looking forward to next year already.

Lots of love and joy to you in your lives,
Lets go catch a flight...
Ciao,
Ty

Zakir Hussain Tabla Retreat

Ty Burhoe


 

Greetings from California, The retreat with Ustad Zakir Hussain was totally amazing this year. The usual schedule for his classes is meet for 5 days in a row around 5pm and class continues up til around 10pm followed by some student recitals. Then everyone heads home or to their various hotels.
Well, this year the retreat was held in a beautiful retreat center outside Santa Rosa. It was a very beautiful setting in the golden rolling hills that Northern California is known for. And we lived together, ate together, and breathed tabla, 24 hours a day for the full 5 days. A dream come true for us tabla players.

The beautiful hills surrounding the retreat center

 

Each day we would wake up (at least some of us would wake up...) to do a yoga class with Zakir's wonderful daughter Bela. Then off to breakfast. Our first class was an intensive practice session which focused on digging deeper into simple repetition and endurance. As Zakir made very clear, we should break a sweat when we practice and dig down into our tone, clarity and the physical act of playing the tabla. Simply put, if we were to sit in a chilled room with frost on the floor, our practice should create enough heat to warm the floor and create steam from our bodies.

Classes with Zakir ~ such an amazing teacher.

 

 

Then the whole class would go to a nice lunch together. It is was such a different experience for us all to spend time getting to know each other outside of class. It helped us to feel each others deep love of tabla and the lives we lead from day to day. We got to experience what kind of people each of us are rather than simply a familiar face at tabla class. Each day deepened the bonding of us as a musical family and with our Guru and inspiration, Zakir Hussain. 

Then in the afternoons, we had a listening class for a couple of hours where we watched videos and listened to tabla solos of the great maestros of the past and had discussions with Zakir about the various styles and genius of each of them. Zakirji is a deep deep well of knowledge in many topics and hearing the stories and insights he has regarding the great musicians of the past is supremely enlightening. 

Then a shorter, material oriented class would start to focus on the material we were working on during the retreat. And finally, following dinner we had the big evening class which as always blows every ones minds. It was basically a total immersion into the tabla state of mind. And as we continued day by day, the groove and the spirit of the tabla emerged and began working on our minds and spirits.

 

My good friend U-zhaan (center) from Japan
prepping for evening class


Zakir & Toni (Zakir's amazing wife)

 

During the retreat, for an hour before each evening class and for an hour or two late in the evening, Zakir asked me to teach everyone proper maintenance and repair of their drums. So I walked everyone through the process of pulling a drum, adjusting peg and straps and cleaning of the heads and the art of using a string to bring out the resonance of a head etc... it is actually a very big and useful topic for all tabla players. Much of what I know has come from Zakir over the years of touring with him. And I am actually in the process of putting together those lessons for YouTube lessons on line. Should be a useful resource for folks. (It should be up in another month or so).

At the end of the retreat, we put together a gift for Guruji
which I had the honor of presenting to him as a small
gesture of our love and appreciation for all
the treasures he continues to give us.  


When Zakir smiles, the Universe smiles!
 

 

During the retreat the students left their tabla in place
around Zakir's tabla, I loved how it ended up looking
like a huge heart ~ now that is a heart with a strong BEAT !

 

I think each and everyone of us felt deeply blessed to be able to attend this retreat and to be able to be close to such a true living legend. Zakir is so gracious with his time and genius. He cares and keeps track of what each person has going on and has an amazing way of making each one of us feel valued and acknowledged. Truly a maestro in every sense of the word. In my book, a true musician finds power, kindness, sensitivity and refinement equally, in their instrument and in their humanity. Zakir Hussain is indeed that ultimate musician, and we are blessed as music lovers to be on the planet at the same time as he.

Amazing Zakir Hussain retreat 2010
 


Warm wishes and lots of inspiration to you.
Ty

Japan in a time of need 3/11

Ty Burhoe

I have just spent an amazing and moving several weeks in Japan. 10 days after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in north eastern Japan, I was on a plane headed for Osaka.  Many friends and fans emailed me when they found out I was headed for Japan, and asked me not to go...

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Adventures in the US

Ty Burhoe


Hello from Boulder Colorado,
We held our bi-yearly tabla retreat at the end of February. This year we focused much more on the art of accompaniment and using what we know to play with others. Which is really what it is all about for most of us. To make the tabla sing out its amazing tone and for us to become comfortable with any of the countless rhythms available, is a worthy task. As I have said many times, to me, the tabla is a melodic instrument which happens to be amazingly rhythmic. I feel that my Guru Zakir Hussain shows us all the truth of this perspective.
So now we are limiting our workshops to 20 people so we can each dig deeper into what each of our needs are during the workshop. It was a beautiful hard working group, as usual, and our new space helped make us all feel at home.

 


Our special guest this year for the concert was the maestro of the sarode Steve Oda. He is such a pleasure to play with. Certainly, our tours all over the world have helped us find a very special kinship and that shows up in the music in subtle as well as obvious ways. I feel very blessed each and every time I have a chance to accompany him.


 

We spent part of one day focused on performing in front of others. There is only one way to become comfortable with this aspect of being a musician, and that is "do it". Many time we find that what we do everyday in the practice room simply isn't available once we are on stage in front of people. I remember once at Carnegie Hall, I had the greatest solo performance after sound check,,, haaaaa,,, and no one was in the beautiful hall but me. And during the performance all I could do was wonder, who was that playing tabla earlier??? But the simple effort of trying to sit in the seat of a performer is a brave act and I take my hat off to all the students.


 

It also seems to happen, that my birthday sometimes falls on the winter tabla retreat dates, so to my surprise, the students arranged a beautiful (huge) chocolate cake for me a one of our dinners out. They are soooo sweeeeeeet !!! I look forward to our upcoming summer retreat where we'll be having world renowned violin maestro Kala Ramnath joining us for the Friday night concert...


 

A day or two following the tabla retreat (and a new recording for Tala Records that Steve Oda and I finished), my dear friend Abbos Kosimov flew out from California. For those of you new to Abbos, he is the world's greatest frame drum player. I suppose you could say he is the Zakir Hussain of the Doyra (Uzbekistanian frame drum).  http://www.abboskosimov.com/ The main reason he flew in was for us to record on another Tala Records release soon to come out which features bass virtuoso Kai Eckhardt. But the other reason was for us to eat SUSHI... which we both love!!!


 

Abbos also was kind enough to allow me to film him recording on the new CD. This is my home studio up in the mountains and him "kickin the pants off his doyra".
The more I get to know the language of the Doyra, the more I see it is much like tabla. It has many syllables with corresponding strokes and has a long deep tradition of compositions and rhythmic communication. To have his playing on my label is a great honor and we look forward to more live touring this coming June - come check it out: 
http://tyburhoe.com/tabla_concerts_events/tabla_concerts_workshops/



 


Within a few days of Abbos' visit I was on the road with Sandra Wong and Dominick Leslie in our still un-named trio. They are so refreshing to play with because we are playing music from many different traditions. I get to play tabla for Bach and Swedish Polskas and killer old Bluegrass tunes. You wouldn't think it right off, but the tabla goes well with mandolin and nyckelharpa.

 


We toured down through a beautiful and remote town called Crestone Colorado and then up through La Veta Colorado where we were hosted by my old buddy David Inkie whose company is world famous now for making custom made pickups for any instrument.  http://www.pick-uptheworld.com/ We had a fantastic time with them and the music lovers down there. Great little town, you should check it out if ever your road tripping by there.


 

And we ended up back in Boulder for a midday concert at my old stomping ground, The Boulder Public Library. I use to present many of my world music shows there in the 1990's. We ended the tour with some fun radio shows and a house concert in Fort Collins. The music is not the only thing refreshing about this trio. Each of us comes from a completely different tradition in which we can draw and share from, so in many ways, we are always learning learning learning. A very important element for all of us - keeping the brain discovering and reaching.
I send you all much love and joy as I head off for Japan. The earthquake there happened only 10 days ago and my tour there has become a benefit tour to share hearts and music.
More soon,
Ty

Ty's First Visit to India

Ty Burhoe


Traffic in India - Oh My God!!!


 

Welcome back my friends,
I am now in India and I can already tell that I had better start writing my journey down, or else I'll have a novel to share at the end of this trip. Those of you have been to India will know many of the experiences I am having here and then again, some of my journey will be unusual because of my particular connections to the amazing Indian musicians here.
My journey began with the nice and cozy 20 hour journey from Colorado to snow laden Newark airport and just barely made it out of there - surrounded by people who had been stuck for a couple of days - I think a small miracle to bypass all that. For me, actually, the plane rides are refreshing because when I'm on the earth, I tend to run around and am all but too busy. Once I get on a plane and the battery of my computer wears out, then "what to do", I can just chill and sleep and watch movies and...
So upon arriving in India, I was met by my good buddies Mujeeb and Benny who are sound engineers who have come on the Zakir Hussian's Masters of Percussion tours. I have worked side by side with Mujeeb Dadarkar since 2000 and almost every year since when we do the Zakir Hussain tours. We have lived through life and death together with Zakir. So, those two guys were a sight for sore eyes and we immediately went out in search of a nice cold beer!!! (not hard to find).
It was about 3am by the time I settled into the hotel Zakir had arranged which is the West End Hotel Mumbai across the street from the Mumbai Hospital. An old 1930s hotel which is surprisingly spacious and comfortable. It was actually Ustad Ali Akbar Khans hotel of choice when he use to come to Mumbai for visits.


View from my hotel room
 


The next day I went to the famous "Simla House" which is the home of Zakir Hussian's family. Alla Rakha and his wife bought that place back in the early 1960s. So many beautiful memories for close students and famous musicians stem from this beautiful sea side home. It was a real treat for me to see the place where Alla Rahka and family set down roots and needless to say, where my Guruji grew up.


View from Simla House out to the ocean
 


From Simla House, we all caravanned over to the big private party and wedding reception for Zakir's daughter Anisa and her husband Taylor (who also happens to be a native Colorado mountain man - now a well known assistant director in Hollywood). Zakir and his wife Antonia put together an amazing and very beautiful party which was attended by so many wonderful musicians including; Shivkumar Sharma, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Mandolin Shrinivas, Selva Ganesh, Shankar Mahadeva, Sitara Devi (kathak dance legend), Nayan & Drubha Ghosh, Sivamani, Bhavani Shankar, Navin Sharma, Yogesh Samsai, Karsh Kale and a host of other wonderful musicians and famous Bollywood stars. It was like having all the Masters of Percussion tours x 100 converge in one spot. It was actually quite surreal since I was totally upside down time wise, and quite sleep deprived, with the astounding poverty lining the streets pushed up against a paradise of flowers, delicious food and India's stars - but the icing on the cake was having one of Rajastans greatest wedding bands playing the whole night. Wow, they were amazing!
The following day I spent with Zakir's family & wedding party friends at Simla House to celebrate New Years. We had a yummy dinner prepared by their lovely cook and care taker and spent the evening enjoying each others company. Of course it would not be a complete evening without Zakir asking me to gather and tune up all his tabla. (probably 10 high drums and 4 low drums) Then I finally took off to get to my hotel around 2am.

 

 

Now, those of you who have run around the cities of India know this, but I have to say, that experience of riding in a taxi (just the sheer phenomenon of traffic) is as close to being in a hugh bumper car, carnival ride, as could possibly exist on the planet. New York crazy traffic does not hold a candle to the chaotically organized frenzy that is Mumbai traffic. I'll try to put a video in here so you can get a feel. But after asking the very first taxi driver, why we didn't even slow down for red lights in the least, he said that the traffic lights are only for thick rush hour traffic control, other wise they are just pretty looking... and after being in my second taxi, which got run into (side swiped) by another taxi, and then our driver simply looked into his side mirror (a little annoyed) and then sped off to the hotel... he said everyone has to have car insurance, but no one really ever claims on it unless someone really gets hurt. Wow, now try applying that mentality in the USA.
More soon ~ I'm off to Ahmedabad for the big Saptak music festival. I'll meet Zakir and Shivkumar Sharma there soon.
Much joy to you,
Ty

 

___________________________________________________


Ganesh is everywhere!

 

Back in Mumbai after quite the time in Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad is a very special city within Gujarat India, boasting the legendary SAPTAK music festival. I was taken good care of by the SAPTAK directors Parvezji and Habib Khan who I had known from tours in the US - we all know him not only as Sultan Khan's brother, but as "The Man Who Makes Killer Chicken Curry".
 

Parvezji and Ty at SAPTAK

 

I was met at the airport by a young man named Saurabh Shah who ended up showing me around the city and getting me to and from the festival. One of the things we did together was spend an afternoon at the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram. This was Gandhi's main home and center of operations. When we stepped onto the beautifully kept grounds, the vibration of peace and calm that radiated from all the years of meditation, music and humanitarian work were immediately apparent.


Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad India


Gandhi's morning prayers


Sauabh and Ty having coffee in Ahmedabad


 

I was very impressed by how much care was invested in making this ashram a place where everyone was welcome. They have a beautiful display which documents Gandhi's life and works which includes many of his original writings. In his main quarters they even have his personal spinning wheel, his glasses and walking stick. It is over whelming to begin to allow into ones heart the work, strength and compassion of such a man. He was and will continue to be a great light - a living example, that the truth, once found deep within the Soul, can be a sounding board for all of ones life and relations.
Another area of Ahmedabad which is beautiful in a very different way is an area known to some as "Hollywood". It happens to be the poorest area in the city yet is also the place from which most of India's Ganesh statues are made. As we traveled through this area, everywhere we went had lines of freshly sculpted Ganesh murtis ranging from tiny hand held sizes, to 7 foot tall beautifully painted statues. I made a short film to share with you this harsh yet magical place.

 

 

On one of the days I was taken around shopping by my dear friend Birwa Qureshi who is married to Zakir's brother Fazal Qureshi. It was a "Fab India" day. (Fab India is a high quality Indian clothing store across India). Then we met up with Fazal and toured a cool museum which has the largest collection of antique items like pots, locks, nut crackers etc... in the world. It was great spending time with them and their two lovely children.


Fazal & Birwa Qureshi in Amdebad

 

The festival itself was wonderful. Some days the concerts begin at 10am and other than an afternoon dinner break, the concerts go on back to back until close to 1am. I got a chance to see many great artists ranging from Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ajoy Chakraborty, Shujat Khan, Kumar Bose, Yogesh Samsi as well as Alam Khan (Ali Akbar Khan's son) who I thought was one of the finest performances I listened to. There were many amazing musicians who I had not heard before as well, but the peak event of the festival every year is of course when Zakir Hussain makes his appearance and this year he accompanied the legendary Shivkumar Sharma. The attendance at the festival basically tripled for their performance and we had to be escorted by security through the thick crowd of people into the back stage area. It was the first time I had seen Zakir perform in India and the stories of the crowds going crazy were accurate. It was a mad house... I got to sit on the stage next to Shivkumar Sharma and across from Zakir for the performance which was a wonderful seat since I could both see the artists up close as well as watch the great musicians in the audience listening intently to the music. It was funny, because at one point Shivkumar Sharma leaned back as said with a smile that he didn't know where in the world we were since he was use to seeing me sitting with him on the stage everywhere in the world except India. Also, there was another unexpected treat at this event, because Ustad Sultan Khan (my sarangi teacher) showed up. It had been over 4 years since I last saw him during the 2006 Masters of Percussion tour.


Shivkumar Sharma & Zakir Hussain



Shivkumar Sharma from the stage at SAPTAK


 

Following the performance we all went to the famous old musicians hotel "Poonam Palace" which had art work over all the walls of Zakir Hussain and is run by one of the SAPTAK directors Parvezji. This was quite the after party for many reasons, but one was that Habib Khan (Chicken Curry King) cooked his traditional "whole goat" curry. So placed in front of us was an entire goat covered in a think spicy gravy. That was an interesting meal indeed.
 

Sultan Khan, Zakir Hussain & Birwa Qureshi at dinner.

 

Following the meal there was a musician who played a great nagara solo. I will soon put a little video clip of that below so you can get an idea of what the Rajastan nagara drum sounds like.
 

 

Now, back in Mumbai, I'll be helping with some of Zakir's local concerts which should be amazing since all the top players and students of the area will certainly be present. I'll be back with you shortly with the next installment.
Hope your doing great,
Cheers and Chai !!!!
Ty

 

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Haridas Tabla shop in Mumbai

 

Hello there :) Here is the latest from India... Above is the photo of the cute little shop that Haridas, the great tabla maker of Mumbai makes all his tabla including many of the tabla Zakir, myself and my students have. They are busy at work all day long unless Zakir calls him to his home to specifically work on refining his tabla.
He is very sweet and a very sharp man who is indeed an expert in his profession. He was kind enough to let me film many of his techniques and discuss many of the more refined aspects of tabla making.

 

Haridas, U-zhaan and Ty in the tabla shop, Mumbai India.
On another day, while at Zakir's home, the son of the great tabla maker Sadanand came over to work on Zakir's bayans (bass tabla) which is his specialty, and I got to learn more fine tips from him. These guys are simple and under spoken men who, for their entire life have crafted and refined the art of tabla making. It is interesting that even though it is a detailed technical craft, still, there is the element of "genus" and "gift" involved in the final aspect of refining a tabla so it has the ultimate sweetness and depth of tone that every tabla player wants. That skill they say is only present through the grace of ones birth, and only very few humans have such an opportunity.

 

Sadanand's son and Ty at Zakir's home in Mumbai

That same evening Zakir, Faizan (Zakir's nephew) and I went off to a sold out concert with Trilok Gurtu and Selva Ganesh at the NCPA hall in south Mumbai. Zakir drove in the wild and crazy Mumbai traffic and kept quizzing me on how he was doing... Really, I would say that anyone willing to drive anywhere in India deserves a medal for bravery, but comfortably weaving through Mumbai rush hour is like stringing a needle with a rope, I am blown away every time that there is not just a hugh pile of rubble and twisted metal on every road across Mumbai - Zakir of course seamlessly wove his way to the concert without mishap.
 

Zakir Driving in rush hour traffic in Mumbai

 

The concert itself was amazing, I had never met Trilok before in person, we both have heard of each other for many years through Zakir and Kai Eckhardt etc... but had never hing out before. So it was like an old meeting that actually never had happened. He is a great guy!
The concert started with a killer solo by Trilok and then transitioned into a solo by kanjira maestro and dear friend of mine, Selva Ganesh. He is at he top of south India's drumming tradition and totally rocks every audience with his one handed drumming. You have to check him out if you don't already know about him.
Then Zakir brought down the house with his mind blowing solo which included the amazing sarangi playing of Ustad Sabir Khan. This was followed by duets and trios from Selva and Trilok. It was actually one of the finest fusion concerts I have seen in a long time and in the audience was one of India's all time great singers who I was honored to meet, Kishori Amonkar.

 

Zakir with Trilok during sound check.

Selva Ganesh during the concert - amazing solo...
 

The next day I was invited by my brother Taufiq Qureshi to the studio to check out the final tracking and mixing of his new album. It is going to be a great recording and I'll let you know how to get it once it is out. But he asked me to do some speaking vocals on a track and also it turns out that I am keeping Tal for a drum duet on one of the tracks that came from a Masters of Percussion concert in the US. So I am honored to be present on his next release.
 

In the studio with Taufiq Qureshi

 

Now, I have never talked about Taufiq before in my diary in detail, but I must say that Taufiq is a mind blowing musician. He has invented an entirely new drumming style which integrates aspects of tabla and conga and West African Djembe playing.
I have included a clip from a concert Taufiq gave the next night at the Karnatik Sangit Concert Hall in central Mumbai - he was presenting tabla solo material on the "Tabal Dejembe" which is one of his creative inventions. 




It was on the 13th of January when I had the honor of going to my dear friend and guru Shivkumar Sharma's home for dinner. It is actually his birthday and one main point of visiting India over this period was specifically aimed at being with him on his birthday. His home is very lovely and peaceful, just like him and his wife Manoramaji. Shivkji is one of my main, deep influences when it comes to music as a spiritual path. He is one of India's great musical saints and carries his spiritual awareness into his music and visa versa. It is he, Zakir and Sultan Khan who have molded every cell in my body over the years creating a deep and life changing momentum that will continue for the eons to come.
His devoted student Takahiro-san accompanied me for our visit who is a in fact a very talented santoor player himself. We'll have some opportunities to play some concerts together in the future. He is, like his teacher, a very sweet and open souled musician.

 

At the home of Shivkumar Sharma
with his wonderful wife Manorama and student Takahiro-san

 

Tomorrow I take off for Jodpur, Rajestan which is where my sarangi Guru Ustad Sultan Khan lives with his family. It should be a wonderful reunion since I have been with him since 1992 and yet have never been to his home in India. I am filled with anticipation.
Much love to you all,
More soon,
Ty

__________________________________________
 

 

The makings of a musician!

 


"WOW", I think the word WOW is all that can come out of my mouth after that week in Jodpur. I flew in on Air India and was picked up by Imran Khan who is a nephew of Sultan Khan. We went straight away off to Sultan Khan's home.
Jodpur is not that large of a city and has a much calmer village feel to it than massive Mumbai. I personally like the fresh air and more relaxed pace myself, but then again there are trade offs... like limited access to the flow of arts and business etc... but the basic core vibration of Jodpur was relaxing and uplifting.
Upon entering their beautiful home, I met my sarangi teacher Ustad Sultan Khan - it was a beautiful reunion. Then, almost immediately, I was escorted to the dinning table. The focus of food is a common phenomenon in India.
Now, for those of you who do not know, a famous royal dish in Jodpur is ~ cooked goat brains (served piping hot, still in the skull ~ Yummy???) And the meal would not be complete with our a creamy yellow dal made from goat lungs with a side dish made from goat liver. Goat are big in Jodpur...
So the whole family lives together in this, almost palace like home made from stone, boasting high ceilings and cement floors and beautiful earthy colors.


This was my room

 

The family basically consists of Three lovely daughters, two sons (Sabir Khan & Dilshad Khan) a couple of brothers of Sultan Khan who also have their children and then some sisters of Sultan Khan who then have their relations etc... And then other relatives and children have a number of other houses next door and near by. I think in many ways they are the core population of the town of Jodpur.
Sultan Khan has a bedroom at the entrance down stairs, all the women share another large bedroom downstairs, all the boys share one big bedroom upstairs and then there was "little old me" in the big prince suite overlooking the town from the second floor. I felt like a bit of a space hog all by myself up there, but they insisted that I have the room to myself.


Here are a few photos of some of the family members:






 

I spent 4 or 5 days living there with them and really met so many great souls and had a wonderful time. The entire family is on "Sultan Khan Time". Which means wake up at 11am or so, and then ramp into the day with chapati and chai for breakfast, then a late lunch and things get rolling by early evening and hit full swing by about 10pm. Then it moves towards dinner time (the goats start getting nervous) and by around midnight the music starts. I think most every night we played music until at least 3am. It was wonderful playing music with everyone since literally every person in that family plays either sitar, sarangi or tabla. It is simply in the blood.
The movie below is what I woke up to one fine morning. The two young brothers had decided it was time for me to wake up, so they selected a subtle and beloved song to gently wake me from my dreams: PS - they didn't kep the $ - it was all for show :)




My time with Sultan Khan was invaluable. It was very important for me to spend some quality time with him since it has been over 4 years since we last met. Sadly he has not been in good health and has not been able to travel out of the country. It was in 1992 when Zakirji first brought him to Boulder and I began studying sarangi with him. His late night habits were in full swing back then, and on the tours that followed, each night on the road, when I finished my duties, Sultan Khan would call and ask me to come to his room where he would teach me sarangi and talk about God and music from around 1am until 3 or 4am. Almost every year from 1992 until 2006 we spent time like this together, either on the road or in the studio and I even have had the honor of accompanying him on the stage a couple of times. God is great!
He is truly a musicians musician and one of the greatest sarangi players the world has known. If you don't know his music, try to find some of his recordings. One such recording is on Zakir's record label Moment Records, check it out.


Ustad Sultan Khan and Ty
 


The main event surrounding my visit to Khansab (Sultan Khan) was a live concert at the famous Jodpur Fort. It is an amazing land mark in Jodpur perched upon one of two large hills. Upon the other hill is the legandary Jodpur Palace which is the largest private residence in the world.


Check out this back yard

 

This also happens to be the royal court in which Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was appointed court musician back in the 40s and 50s. Truely the end of an era and if you visit there today, you can see the Ali Akbar Khan concert hall in which private classical concerts are still held.
Now a days a small portion of the Palace is used as a high end hotel and of course when the one and only Zakir Hussain is in town, he is their special guest.
The concert was in the main open arena of the beautifu old Fort and featured Sultan Khan, Zakir Hussain and Sultan Khans son Sabir Khan. They were given awards by the King of Jodpur before emmersing into the music. Zakir played a wonderful tabla solo featuring Sabir Khan's sarangi playing and then some Rajastani folks songs sung by Sultan Khan. What a night!

It took a couple of days to get back to Mumbai, but the adventures just continued to flow and the next couple of nights in Jodpur were no exception - I will miss my musical family there... 
Now off to Kolapur for another solo with Zakir and Sabir. Kolapur is a hotbed for musicians and tabla players seeing as it is near to Pune. Should be a good one. More soon,
Best to you,
Ty

 

_______________________________________________


Trucks and bright colors ~~~~

 

Welcome back, I am slowly putting up some of the videos as I get them done. They are fun to do since i get to work with not only the images, but music too. They make a good team.
So the movie below is a composite of many different occasions where I happen to film what was going on in traffic. Of course the most wild and crazy things happen when you don't have your camera rolling, but this gives you some idea of the craze and glory that is "Traffic in India".


Best to watch this movie "full screen"
 


Sitting between my two teachers Zakir Hussain & Sultan Khan is a very wonderful experience. Back some years, it was always on stage during the tours, but this time it was a beautiful reunion at Sultan Khan's home.


Teasing Ty


 

One of the highlights for me was all the tabla solos I got to witness. I went with Zakir to Jodpur, Mumbai, Kolapur, Pune, Kolkata and Delhi for his solos which were all mind boggling. It is true that in India, he turns up the heat of his solos and what was already beyond belief, becomes even more amazing. For many of these solos he was accompanied by the son of Ustad Sultan Khan, Sabir Khan who is a truly fantastic musician.


Zakir Hussian with Sabir Khan


 

Another amazing trait of Sabir Khan is his driving. He is somehow able to navigate through all types of traffic at amazing speeds - missing the cars, trucks, bikes and cows by mere centimeters. I also think we set a new worlds record driving from Kolapur to Mumbai. U-Zhaan, my Japanese tabla brother was in the car with us as a witness. We not only cut off two or three hours from the typical driving time, but hit speeds of over 200 kph which is beyond belief when you realize these are Indian highways...


Check out this movie which ramps up to the finale at 200 kph
 


Another amazing meeting was with the great tabla maestro Yogesh Samsi. He basically grew up in Ustad Alla Rakha's lap learning tabla. After Zakir Hussain, he is revered as Alla Rakha's finest disciple. He is also a wonderful person and our connection was a very special one. We spent lots of time together looking at music but also just sharing stories and experiences.


Yogesh Samsi & Ty in Mumbai


 

And the day before the Barsi (Memorial concert of Ustad Alla Rakha) I went to the other side of Mumbai to meet my dear friend Kala Ramnath (world's premier North Indian violinist). It was funny, because going to her house for dinner, I left early, maybe 3:45pm and traveled by taxi to her house maybe 20 kilometers away. I arrived at 7:30pm totally stunned that it took almost 4 hours to travel across part of the same city. Crazy!!! And I finally got to meet her lovely family and indeed it is true, her mother does make the best dosas in the Universe!


Kala Ramnath & Family in Mumbai


 

So more coming soon - the adventure continues and I have decided to extend my trip another week and a half so I can go with Zakir to Delhi and Kolkata. Should be quite the time.
Much love,
Ty

________________________________________________________
 

 

Shivkumar Sharma w/ Yogesh Samsi in Mumbai (Takahiro on tambura)


 

Welcome back,
The adventure continued with many many concerts including a number of morning concerts which is a real treat because outside of India, we rarely have opportunities to hear morning Ragas. It is a very special time of the day for music. Melodies and feelings which only are available during those times of the day.
My first concert in India was on Jan. 30th at the music festival held by Druba Ghosh, sarangi maestro. It was a full circle experience for me since the musician I played with was David Trasoff who was the first musician to instruct me in the art of accompaniment and was also the person responsible for introducing me to my Guruji, Zakir Hussain. So in this way it was appropriate to play my first concert in India with him. I was of course quite nervious since some of India's finest were in the audience including Yogesh Samsi and Prafulla Athalye (senior disciples of Ustad Alla Rakha).
Playing classical music in India (in any capacity) is an event I never thought would actually happen since I started in this art form so late in life (27 years old) and didn't see the path and blessings before me until recently. So in many ways, during this trip to India, I entered an arena beyond my expectations...

 

Dhruba Ghosh, David Trasoff, Takahiro & Ty at concert in Mumbai

 

My dear friends Fazal and Birwa Qureshi decided to take me out on a site seeing evening the next night. After a wonderful meal and drive through the central Mumbai sites, they took me down to catch a traditional horse & carriage ride around the late night Mumbai streets.


Fazal & Birwa Qureshi & children on carriage ride in Mumbai

 


One of my main interests in staying in India extra time was to attend the memorial concert festival of Ustad Alla Rakha known as Barsi. This was the 10th annual Barsi and was, as always, quite amazing. Beginning in the morning with a traditional peshkar performance with the main students of the Punjab Gharana (school).


Zakir Hussain with senior students at Alla Rakha Barsi 2011


 

There were many amazing performers during the day including one of my favorite ensambles, Selva Ganesh and his quintet of new and amazing Carnatic music. Really a unique and inspired horizon for South Indian music today.


Selva Ganesh ensamble at Alla Rakha Barsi 2011
 


Zakir as always is the Sun at the center of the galaxy. He is the force which draws together many of the musicians of India as well as leads the field of tabla with expression and inspiration. I was lucky enough to be back stage with him as he rehearsed a surprise performance for the audience with an amazing Ghazal singer - they were fantastic together!


Back stage
 


I was also blessed with the opportunity to to be present at the yearly ceremonies honoring Ustad Alla Rakha and his wife and extended musical family. A very moving and beautiful ceremony which continued for a couple of days. I am very blessed to have been able to attend these events. I feel that my understanding of the tradition I have been involved with for the past 20 year has been revealed to me in very important ways during this trip and I thank my Guruji Zakir Hussain for all these blessings.


Alla Rakha School of Tabla in Mumbai
 


Now, one of Alla Rakha's private students, Navin Sharma who happens to be India's current maestro of the Dholak, has become a dear friend of mine. He is mainly known for his unmatched Dholak solos, but in reality is one of India's finest tabla players. We have spent much time together on the road touring with Zakir's Maters of Percussion around the world and he has become a Gurubhai teacher of sort for me - which means a student of the same teachers, but more advanced and sharing some of the wisdom he has gained.
I traveled to his home for a period of time and met his lovely family. We had a great time together and as always, I learned a great deal about tabla and the deep tradition it hails from.


Navin Sharma & family in Mumbai

 

So now, on to the final leg of the India trip. So see you soon,
Inspiration and joy to you,
Ty

___________________________________________
 

 

Yogesh Samsi & family in Mumbai
 


Hello & Namaste !!!
Above is the photo of my dear friend Yogesh Samsi (tabla maestro) and his lovely family. We spent some fun time together and I now feel like I have another home in Mumbai. The main home is of course Simla House, which is as you remember the home of Zakir Hussain and his late father, Ustad Alla Rakha. There were always a flow of people coming and going from the house including students, interviewers, friends and family.

 

Fazal Qureshi (Zakir's nephew) & Ty



Ghazal Aulia (Zakir's niece) & Ty



Nirmala Bachani (Zakir's amazing assistant in India)
 

Shokutapa (the family caretaker) & Ty. She came to the family 40 years ago and learned cooking, cleaning and house keeping from Zakir's mother over the years. She is truly amazing - I have ultimate respect for her.
 


 

Soon after the Barsi, it was time to fly to Delhi to see my dear old friend Shubhendra Rao and his family. I have played with Shubhendra since 1995 in various setting and he has become one of India's top sitarists in the last number of years. And after all this time, I had never met his wife Saskia de Haas (the top Indian cellist in the world) and their adorable 6 year old son, Ishaan.


Shubhendra & Saskia & Ishaan Rao in New Delhi

 

After a couple of days with Shubhendra and a wonderful concert with Shivkumar and Zakir Hussain, Zakir and I flew to Kolkata for a performance with the illustrious katak dancer Birju Maharaj. That was truly an amazing event which started with a solo by Zakir and moved into a 3 hour dance & tabla duet.


Birju Maharaj w/ Zakir in Kolkata 2011

 

Upon my final 12 hours in Mumbai, I packed, said my goodbyes and on my way to the airport had to meet my friends Mujeeb and Benny at the center of the Universe, THE GHETTO BAR.


The Ghetto bar in Mumbai !!!

 

I had to begin the India trip the same way it began, with the two sound men of the century. A couple of beers later (with the taxi waiting outside) I jumped back in and off to the lovely Mumbai International Airport.


The brothers!!!!!

 

So at last, I boarded the plane to begin my 30 hour trip home. As I settled back and the plane took off, I began to reflect on the wild adventure I had just been on. It was only 7 weeks but felt like several years of experience. I owe my deepest thanks to my Guruji Zakir Hussain who orchestrated and took me along as his assistant all over India. He is the reason I began playing tabla, he is the reason I gained inspiration to become a professional musician, and he has allowed me to work with him all around the world for all these years blessing me with experiences such as these. All praise to the Guru and to the spirit of that which inspired the soul.


Guruji & Ty

 


So back to the States and into the next chapter of, the crazy life of Ty :)
Much love and talk soon,
Ty

Kontaiji Temple Retreat

Ty Burhoe

 

Welcome back my friends, This year's Kontaiji Temple Retreat was fantastic. It was perfect weather and we had an amazing group of people come up to join us. Here is an over view of our time together.
タイのブログにおかえりなさ~い。今年の金胎寺でのリトリートは成功におさまりました。天候にも恵まれ、素晴らしい方々が参加してくれました。それではそのまとめを書いていきたいと思います。
There are certain places in the world where the land itself aids in the unlocking of your awareness and the fresh air of hope in our lives. I feel that Kontaiji Temple and the mountain area on which it sits is such a place for me. So to be able to host retreats there every year is an honor and a dream come true.
この世界にはその土地自体が、私たちの感性を研ぎ澄まし、新鮮な風と希望を感じさせてくれるところがあります。 金胎寺はその一つだと思います。なのでそのような場所でリトリートを開催させて頂くことは、本当に光栄であり夢のようなことです。
When you first arrive in the country around Kontaiji, you find your self in the beautiful tea farming areas from which the Kyoto green teas are grown. The tea fields are so lush and beautifully kept, it totally renews ones craving for green tea. And as you might know, the partner I have in doing these retreats is Obubu Tea run by Matsumoto and Kaori Yasuharu. You must order some of their amazing teas! My favorite is the ceremony tea called Macha, which is the green powdered tea. WOW!
金胎寺を囲む山々に着くと、京都の緑茶が栽培されている美しい茶畑が目に入ってきます。茶畑は青々とみずみずしく茂っており、緑茶好きにはなられずにおられません。そしてもうご存知の方も多いかと思いますが、このリトリートを一緒に開催しているパートナーの松本さんと奥さんのかおりさんは、おぶぶ茶苑を経営されています。彼らの美味しいお茶を是非試飲してみてくださいね!私の一番のお気に入りは抹茶です。

Green tea fields on the way to Kontaiji Temple
金胎寺の周りの茶畑

 

Then as you reach higher into the mountain, the road narrows and begins to look like a 12th century horse trail. Of course the tiny cars in Japan (which are awesome) are about the right size for these roads. And as you no longer see power lines and your cell phones stop working and the road ways look hand made, you begin to realize that you are basically going back in time.
山の上の方へ上がるにつれ、道路は狭くなり、まるで12世紀の馬が通っていたような道に見えてきます。勿論、日本の小さな(とても効率の良い)車はこのような道でも運転することが出来ます。電柱柱が見えなくなり、携帯電話が圏外と表示されるようになり、道が手作りのように見えてくると、まるで時代を遡っているような気さえしてきます。

The road to Kontaiji Temple
金胎寺への道のり

 

Kontaiji was a temple built nearly 1800 years ago and was most likely used as a sacred gathering place before that. It went through many transformations over the centuries, but was considered the protector of Kyoto city and the royalty there. The mountain itself was used as a training ground for the mountain monks and for the samurai warriors from all over Japan. There are sacred waterfalls which have pure and cold waters coming right out of the side of the mountain. These waterfalls and steep cliffs and wild forests were perfect training grounds for the warrior of the battle field and the warrior of the heart. And these monks still live out there, using these sites for their training to this day. There is even a shrine on the property where some of the Buddha's bones are kept - this is one of a very few sites where this was allowed world wide.
金胎寺は1800年ほど前に建てられ、建てられる前のその土地は、神聖な集まりに使われていたようです。世紀を通し様々な変化を遂げましたが、京都の町や貴族の守り寺として大切にされてきたと聞きます。金胎寺を囲む山々は僧侶たちの修行に使われ、また侍たちもその山中で訓練したと聞きます。滝や険しい崖、そして人手の入っていない森は武士たちにとって格好の特訓場所だったのでしょう。今現在も僧侶たちはこの辺りを修行の場として使っています。そして周辺には舎利(仏陀の遺骨の一部)が納められていた寺もあったそうで、それは世界中でも稀なことです。

Entrance to Kontaiji Temple
金胎寺への入り口


As you walk up to the temple through the beautiful gardens
美しい庭園を通っていくと・・・


The view from the temple brings a deep peace to ones heart
この眺めは心に平安をもたらしてくれます

 

This year I was blessed to be joined by Noriko Takei, a Shivananda Yoga instructor in the Kyoto area. She lead the group in some wonderful yoga classes several times during the retreat. She is graceful and deeply devoted to the path of yoga. It was inspiring to be able to accompany her classes with my tabla and get some bending in myself (which I really needed!!!). She was sensitive to the quality of our surroundings and the sacred nature of Kontaiji, and she worked very well with the topic of sound and music, which made it easy to toss the ball back and forth between our classes.
今年のリトリートでは、シバンダヨガインストラクターの武井典子さんに講師として参加して頂きました。リトリート開催中、素晴らしいクラスを指導して頂きました。優雅でヨガの道へ深く一身を捧げている方です。彼女のクラスにタブラと共に同伴させて頂き、私も少しヨガをする時間が取れました。(私の体にとって、必要でした!)彼女は私たちの周りの環境や金胎寺の神聖さに敏感で、音と音楽に通じるものがあったため、彼女と私のクラスのに参加されている方々がクラスからクラスへスムーズに移行できたようで、それは有難いことでした。

Ty and Noriko-sensei in the courtyard of Kontaiji Temple
タイと典子先生

 

Our orientation for all the participants took place under the great ceremonial tree growing above the temple grounds. We did some yoga and tuning in with the land and surrounding nature. A very special way to begin the retreat.
リトリートの初めのオリエンテーションは、ある祭礼のために使われる大きな木の下で行われました。その木は優しく金胎寺を囲んでいるように立っていました。そこで少しのヨガをし、土地と周りの自然に「聴き入り」ました。リトリートを始めるにはこの上ない環境でした。

The group in meditation under the sacred tree
その木の下で瞑想をしている参加者の方々


Matsumoto Yasuharu (manager of Obubu Tea) 
in sitting meditation
おぶぶ茶苑のマネージャーである松本靖治

 

Then, following our orientation, we came down to find our dinner ready. Oishi-so (Yummy). The food prepared at the temple is considered temple style food. Very simple and healthy, yet very delicious. Preparation and presentation are both very important since it is their belief that how one perceives and honors food is as important as what is in it.
そしてオリエンテーションの後は、私たちの夕食が用意されていました。とても美味しそうでしょ?このリトリートで用意された食べ物は、シンプルでとても健康に良いもので、そして美味しいものでした。 用意する過程とそれをお皿に盛る過程は大切にされています。実際に口に運ぶものの内容(質)と同様に、それまでのプロセスは同じくらい大事なことだからです。

The temple style meal at Kontaiji Temple
お寺スタイルの食事


We ate traditional style the first night in the entry room of the temple
on the tatami mats (soft bamboo tiles which create the floor)
畳の上で皆で座って食べました

 

The next morning we took a long hike down the mountain lead by the head Priest of the temple, Kanji Okada. He took us down through the upper tea fields and around the river springs to the sacred training water falls that these mountains are famed for.
翌朝はお寺の住職である岡田さんに先導してもらい、山中をしばらくの間歩いて行きました。茶畑の中を通り、 川の湧水地を回りこみ、神聖な滝水の修行場所へたどりつきました。

Hiking down the mountain side, tea fields in the distance
茶畑が遠くに見えます


Kanji-san giving us lessons on the spiritual significance
of certain sites along the way
岡田さんがそれぞれの神聖な意味合いのある場所にて、説明をしてくださいました

 

When we arrived at the waterfall, it was obvious that this was an ancient and very sacred place. There were old carvings and statues in the waterfall rocks and prayer ropes and flags amongst the trees. But more stunning, was the vibration of the place. It had a feeling of purity and freedom while also demanding a certain serious presence of mind - I could see why it was used for training all these centuries.
滝に着いたとき、それは古くとても神聖な場所であることは一目瞭然でした。古い彫りや彫像が置かれ、祈りの紐や旗が木々の中をはためいていました。その中でも特に顕著だったのは、その場所が発するバイブレーションでした。清廉さと解放感がひしひしと感じられる中、真剣な心の持ちようが必要とされていることを感じました。何世紀にも渡り、この場所が鍛錬の場として使われてきたのかがよく分かりました。
The head Priest Kanji-san went first and chanted some very intense mantra for a couple of minutes under the cold falls. It was so inspiring to see the lineage of training in action. He is an amazing and powerful being, truly in tune with the mountain spirits and the lineage which he carries.
岡田さんがまず初めに入り、冷たい滝水の下、数分の間神妙なマントラを唱えました。伝統的修行行のその一角を目の前にすることは、とても鼓舞されるものでした。彼は気高い、パワフルな人物です。山のスピリットと一つであり、彼の代に伝わる累々たる系譜と一つであります。

Head Priest Kanji-san chanting in the waterfall
滝水の中でマントラを唱える岡田さん

 

Then he had us do the training ourselves using a special chant which he gave us. The water was chilly and to do hour long chants while maintaining complete focus would indeed be a challenge, but to do this on January 1st when there is snow and ice covering the rocks and trees would be a different matter. That is when this training begins to get serious.
そしてこの時のために用意されたマントラを私たちに教えてくださいました。水は冷たく(8月だというのに)、完璧な集中力を伴いながら何時間もの間、水に打たれながら真言を唱えることが、どれほど難しいことかは容易に予測がつきます。これを1月1日の新年の日に、雪と氷で覆われた岩と木に囲まれてすることを想像できますか?それこそ真剣な修行の始まりだと言えるのでしょう。

Three of us doing the practice - I'm the big one :)
三人のリトリート参加者が滝水に打たれているところ (私は一番大きい人です)


Ty
タイ

 

We made the long hike back to the temple and had an amazing lunch and a bit of a rest. Then had a great yoga class with Noriko-sensei where we worked out any tightness from the hike and then transitioned into my class on sound and meditation.
そしてお寺へ長いこと歩いて戻り、極上の昼食を頂き、少しの休憩時間がありました。そして典子先生によるヨガのクラスがあり、ハイキングで疲れた筋肉をほぐしました。そして私の音と瞑想のクラスへと移っていきました。

Having a great time in Yoga class
ヨガクラスを楽しむ参加者の方々

 

In my class, we focused on looking at our perception of the world and what it is made of. We looked at the particles of sound that weave together the physical matter of which we are made as are the beings surrounding us. We looked at the process of letting go and trusting when in meditation and even did some falling exercises to clarify that feeling. The topic of Nada Yoga and sound are so vast, that we really need a several years course to bring the whole topic to light. But a few days at Kontaiji Temple is a good start!!

私のクラスでは、この世が何で出来上がっているかということに焦点を当てました。「音」を形成している分子について、そしてそれらが共に共鳴し合い、私たちという存在を作り上げ、私たちの周りに存在する物たちを作り上げていることについて話しました。瞑想の中で(恐れなどを)解き放し、ただただ信じるプロセスについて話し、そのプロセスの感情を実際に経験するために、「落ちる」練習もしました。ナダヨガ(音のヨガ)と音そのものについてのトピックはまさに広大で、それらを本当に理解するまでは何年もかかるような気がします。金胎寺での何日間か、このトピックについて考えてみることは良いスタートですね!

Catching a trusting participant
信頼して「落ちる」友人たちを支えているところ

 

And of course, I could not connect to the group and communicate the deeper meanings of what I wish to share without a good translator. I have come to realize, that just because I have a translator, does not mean my message is getting across. If the translator does not have a real understanding of what I am talking about, then they cannot process the real meaning and then translate it into Japanese in a way in which people will get it. It is extra critical when discussing more poetic, spiritual topics. Thus, my heart felt thanks goes off to Kaori Mizuno who was my translator for this years retreat and also happens to be my assistant for Tala Records up in Tokyo. She was nice enough to come down and help me. Thank you Kaori-san!!

そしてもちろん、参加してくださった皆さんと繋がり、私が伝えたいと思っていることを、英語を話さない参加者の方々に分かって頂くことは、有能な通訳者無しでは不可能です。通訳者がいるからと言って、私の言わんとしていることが伝わっているとは限らないということに最近気がつきました。もし通訳をしてくださる方が、私の言わんとしていることを本当に理解していない場合、参加して頂いた方々に、深い部分で理解して頂くことは出来ません。どちらかと言うと詩的でスピリチュアルなトピックについて話しているときは尚更です。なので私の心からの感謝を、今回通訳として参加してくださった水野香織さんに送りたいと思います。彼女はタラレコード(タイのレコード会社)の日本のアシスタントでもあります。わざわざ東京から京都まで来てくれました。香織さん、ありがとう!
 

Kaori Mizuno
水野香織

 

Later that night we had a bit of a tabla class and I got those talented minds practicing some basic tabla strokes. As I have said before, I have never seen minds as focused and ready to learn as the Japanese; young, old, middle, male, female - everyone has been raised with such courtesy, manners, respect and honor and focus, that it appears in all aspects of their lives.
その日の晩には、ミニタブラレッスンが開かれ、タブラの基本のストロークを練習しました。以前にも書いたように、日本人ほど集中力があり、学ぶことに積極的な人たちはいません。若いにしろ、年を召されているにしろ、男性であれ女性であり、皆さん礼儀正しさと、尊敬と信義を重んじる姿勢に囲まれて育ってきているからだと思います。それは彼らの生活の様々な面で垣間見られます。

Teaching tabla to a few participants
何人かの方にタブラの基本のストロークを教えているところ

 

Then we prepared for the evening musical event in one of the beautiful back rooms of the temple. We decided to hold a kirtan chanting evening and invited a singer up from Kyoto named Miyuki-san who had a lovely voice and very devoted spirit.
そしてその晩のコンサートの準備を、お寺のある美しいお部屋にてしました。 今年のリトリートではキルタンをすることにし、京都在住のみゆきさんをお招きしました。美しい声を持ち、キルタンを心から愛している方でした。

Miyuki-san and Ty
みゆきさんとタイ

 

The evening went wonderfully and many of the participants had never sung at a kirtan before. So it was a new and fun experience for all. We sang by candle light and talked about sound and spiritual practice throughout the evening. It was a wonderful end to our second night at Kontaiji.
その晩のキルタンはスムーズに行われ、参加者の中には一度もキルタンに参加したことがない方も多くいらっしゃいましたので、その方たちにとっては新しい経験となりました。ろうそくの灯りに囲まれ、音とスピリチュアルな生き方について話しあいました。金胎寺での第二夜を心地よく締めくくってくれました。

Preparing some material for the nights kirtan chant
キラタンが始まる前に準備をしているところ
 


The following day was packed with special events. A couple of my favorite foods on the planet are umeboshi plums and macha tea. I am one of those weird non-Japanese guys who like those type of things :) So we made some special sweets from scratch in the morning which involved crushing raisans with nuts and butter etc... and then creating little balls and rolling them in Macha tea powder or coconut. WOW, those were quite the power house punch for those of us who have a sweet tooth.

その翌日は特別なイベントで詰まった日となりました。私の、この惑星に存在する食べ物の中でも(大げさですが)大好きなのが、梅干しと抹茶です。私、ちょっと変わった「外人」ですね。 (英語では書かれていませんが、タイは納豆も好きです。)特別なお菓子を最初から手作りしましたよ。レーズンやナッツをまずは砕きまして・・・。そして団子にして。ワーオ!甘いものが好きな人にはかなりパンチの効くお菓子です(とても満足する甘さです)。
 

Beautiful Obubu Matcha Tea Powder
おぶぶ茶苑の抹茶


They gave me the hard job of crushing stuff -
See that big smile she is giving once I started sweating!!
 色々なものを砕く作業は私に任されました。
汗をかき始めた私を見て笑っている方


Ready for eating !!!!
さぁ、食べましょう!

 

Our final lunch together was out doors and we prepared it together and served it together. We were like a bunch of kids on summer camp by this point and as you know, food made with love and joy simply tastes better.
最後の昼食は野外で食べました。皆で作り、皆で用意しました。まるで夏のキャンプです飯盒炊飯をしている子供たちみたいでした。みんなでわいわいと楽しみながら、愛を込めてつくる料理は自動的に美味なものとなりますね。

Serving lunch with some of the crew
さぁ、食べましょう。


Eating lunch in the court yard
中庭で食べているところ

 

Now, I want to give a special thank you to Kaori Matsumoto (Obubu Tea Manager) who was the main force behind making this retreat run smoothly. Last year it was Matsumoto-san running the show and this year it was Kaori-san. Those of you who have produced events before, know how difficult it is to hold together a tight event when many people and schedules are involved. Well, she did an amazing job and everything flowed so smoothly. It is the sign of a successful management when you don't notice all the work holding together an event or business (which we all know is a lot). So thank you to Kaori-san, we appreciate you very much !!!!!
そして松本かおりさん(松本靖治さんの奥さん)に感謝の気持ちを表したいと思います。このリトリートがスムーズに運営されるよう、舞台裏から支えていてくれたのが彼女です。昨年は靖治さんが主に仕切っておりましたが、今年はかおりさんがしっかりとその役目を果たしておりました。イベントを企画・運営されたことがある人はよく分かると思いますが、沢山の人が参加し、色々なスケジュールが詰まっている場合、イベント自体をしっかりと抜け目無く運営するのがどれだけ難しいことか。かおりさんが素晴らしい仕事ぶりを発揮してくださったおかげで、リトリートは何の滞りもなく進むことが出来ました。影から支えるイベントの柱にあまり気がつかないというのは、そのイベントの成功を物語っています。かおりさん、本当にありがとうございました。

Kaori-san enjoying some lunch, finally - 
It is often the hardest workers who eat last
やっと座って昼食を食べているかおりさん
最後に食べている人は一番よく働いている人です

 

Following lunch, we had a closing ceremony which had many of us in tears of joy to have spent such time together.  In three short days we had become such a loving family and connected in ways that seem much deeper than the amount of time might allow. So much gratitude to Kontaiji Temple and Obubu Tea for welcoming us all and providing such a rich and intimate time together.
その昼食の後、リトリートを締めくくるセレモニーがありました。とても中身の濃い数日間を一緒に過ごした仲間とともに涙する方々もいらっしゃいました。短い間でしたが、参加して頂いた皆さんと「家族」になり、時間を越えて深く繋がれたように感じます。このような素晴らしい機会を与えてくださった金胎寺とおぶぶ茶苑に心から感謝申し上げます。

Giving thanks for our time together and
the gift of being alive
一緒に過ごした時間に感謝と生きているということに感謝

 

Our lives go on and on during these busy times where finances are tight and time seems short. When do we get a break to just take time for our "ease of heart" and for our minds to wonder into greater horizons? It is simply not built into the jobs we have and the lives we lead. So these types of retreats mean a great deal in a deeper sense. The teachings and the place are important to consider, but even more important, is the gift to oneself to take a moment, put down the heavy load, and stand up straight to view our lives, our hearts and realize that we are being loved into existence every moment.

金銭的に厳しい状況であろうと、時間が足りないように思えようと、時は流れ続けます。いつ私たちの内に平安の時と、目に見えるもの以上の存在に想いを馳せますか?そういった時間は残念ながら私たちの普段の生活に自動的には用意されていません。なのでこのようなリトリートに意図的に参加出来ることは貴重なことと思います。 受ける教えや場所は大切ですが、それよりも大切なのは、胸につかえているものを一旦下ろし、私たちの人生と心を改めて見つめ直し、いついかなるときも私たちは愛されているのだということを感じる時間を、自分自身にプレゼントすることではないでしょうか。
 


 

Now I'm off to meet up with Shubhendra in Kyoto to begin our Japan tour.  Can't wait!!!

Much love and new horizons to you,
Ty


これから京都でシュベンドラと落ち合い、彼と日本ツアーを始めます。待ち遠しいです!
沢山の愛と新しい地平線があなたに訪れますように
タイ

Shubhendra Rao - Japan Tour

Ty Burhoe

We had an amazing tour in across Japan.

Then, on the way to Nagoya, it happened - I got down the mountain and regained cell phone reception and began getting messages that some amazing tragedy was happening back home. Everyone had been desperately trying to get a hold of me. Apparently, there was a huge forest fire in the mountains near my home, and it was literally the worst fire in the history of the territory, burning close to 200 homes. I sat in the car, quietly as my son told me he was evacuated by the fire department and was only able to save one very special item as he was forced into his car to get out before the fire took the house. He was safe and that was, of course, my first concern. But then, slowly, it dawned upon me, that possibly, the only things that were left of my possessions were here in Japan with me, in my tour cases.

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Summer Tabla Retreat

Ty Burhoe


 

Dear friends,
Thanks for joining me. So off we go to tabla study land now. I started out teaching the bi-annual Boulder Tabla Retreat and then jumped on a plane to attend the Zakir Hussain Tabla Retreat... a great time helping others learn and then an amazing time learning from the Tabla God, Zakir Hussain... wow!

This year we had a sold out retreat and really got into some good material. Not only technique and composition, but some deeper practice and spiritual journey topics. I really feel strongly that if a practice is going to really progress and evolve, it needs to include all of what we are. This is a very personal journey and includes our dreams, our will power, our spiritual beings and simply the ability to let go and have fun. The process of molding and evolving our artistic voice can really be an ecstatic experience. 

 

The group hard at work...

 

We even had a special event occur during the Saturday night concert. Roshan Bhartiya (sitar maestro) held his students Ganda Bandan Ceremony. This ancient Hindu ceremony is the welcoming of the serious student into the musical family of the Guru (teacher). I usually includes offerings back and forth from student to teacher and the tying of a thread on both the wrist of the student and the teacher and finally the performing of the student in front of the Guru and those present. A Beautiful ceremony which indicates the beginning of a long and wonderful musical journey.

Roshan Bhartiya welcoming students
Aaron and David into his family.


Tabla student Joe Culley accompanying Aaron for his
Ganda Bandan performance.


Roshan even played tabla for his student David's
Ganda Bandan performance...


Ty having a great time accompanying Roshan Bhartiya.


Maestro Roshan Bhartiya

 

The after concert party with many of the students is always a special event. It seems to be becoming a tradition for all the Boulder Tabla Retreats. These students work so hard to learn such a difficult  instrument and musical form. I am always deeply impressed by each and every one of them. As many of us have become around the world, we truly are like a musical family.
The bonds formed in a Universe of sound and intention create connections which travel upon unseen dimensions. These bonds are felt in our cells and hold together the very bones in our bodies.

Cheers, to following your heart towards your dreams!!!

 

Now onto a plane and off to the Ustad Zakir Hussain Retreat !!!
Lots of love,
Ty

Singulars & Zakir Hussain & Steve Oda & Kala Ramnath

Ty Burhoe


 

I had a chance to get my feet back on the ground after the amazing grizzly bear adventure. Somehow, that experience brought me full circle back into the wildlife biologist (bear researcher) of my past which  included everything from Native American ceremonies, to my years living in the wild raising Shaun, doing Aikido and into Psychology and finally back into music again. Just five days with the bears gave my whole life a bit of an over haul. Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Grizzly.

Then in mid July, I went out to the East Coast to do a wonderful concert with
Sondra Wong (violinist & nyckelharpa) and Dominick Leslie (mandolinist). We had a total blast playing at the Caramoore music festival

グリズリーベアーとの夢に見るような冒険を終え、普段の生活にしっかりと戻ってくることができました。その冒険のおかげで、生物学者(熊の生態系を調べる)として働いていた昔の日々から、ネイティブアメリカンの伝統を学んでいた日々、息子シャーンを(シングルファザーとして)育てていた日々、合気道と心理学を学んでいた頃の日々改めて想い、そうして最後はいつも音楽に出会ったこと、今も音楽を選んで生きていることへ必然とかえってくるのでした。5日間という短い時間でしたが、グリズリーベアーたちと過ごしたその間に得られた、今の自分の人生を改めて振り返る時間と機会は大変貴重なものでした。くまさんたち、ありがとう。

7月の半ばには、バイオリンとニケルハーパ奏者であるサンドラ・ウォンとマンダリン奏者のドミニク・レスリーとアメリカ東海岸(ニューヨーク)で行われたキャラモアー ミュージック フェスティバルにて演奏してきました。
 

Sound check at the main hall ~ Caramoore Festival
(キャラモアー フェスティバルのメインホールでのサウンドチェック)


 

After the super fun gig, which was really a look at music from around the world, we took off to actor Richard Gears restaurant called the Bedford Post. Wow, that was quite an amazing dinning experience. I would say that every single dish we were served that night was unique and over the top yummy! Richard has also put a beautiful yoga studio on the property where classes and workshops are offered on a regular basis. I suggest checking it out if your ever in the area. 

違った文化の楽器(タブラ、マンダリン、ニケルハーパ)を組み合わせての演奏はとても楽しく、その後は俳優のリチャード・ギアの経営するレストラン、ベッドフォード・ポストに向かいました。ワーオ!とても素晴らしいディナーを頂いてきました。全てユニークで格別なおいしさでした。リチャードはレストランの敷地内にヨガスタジオも構えており、定期的にヨガのクラスやワークショップが開かれているようです。近くに立ち寄られる際は、是非足を運んでみてください。
But secretly, I think our favorite part of that trip was, late at night after we returned from Richard's restaurant. We stealth fully made our way through the dark, wild gardens of the beautiful Caramoore property, and sat in the Italian acoustic pavilion (which has crazy long re verb delay) and played music until about 4am. Then we walked into the haunted central garden and told ghost stories until the sun began to rise. That was what I call fun !!!

このニューヨーク遠征の中での一番のお気に入りは、リチャードのレストランから帰ってきてからのことです。ミュージックフェスティバルの開かれたキャラモアーの敷地の中には、イタリア建築の建物があり、そこへ暗い庭園の中を歩いて行きました。その建物は音をよく反響するよう出来ており、私たちは朝の4時ごろまで演奏を楽しんでおりました。そして幽霊の出ることで有名な中央に位置する庭へ赴き、そこで朝日が昇り始めるまで、それぞれに知っている幽霊の話をしていました。それが楽しかった!

Of course the down side is, is that we didn't get any sleep at all since our flight was in NYC that same morning. So we stumbled to the airport and onto our flight. But, as you well know, these types of experiences and variations in our usual life patterns, is what keeps oxygen flowing through the tight spaces inside us, RIGHT !?!?!?

帰りの飛行機がその日の朝だったので、一睡もせずに空港へ向いました。よたよたと飛行機に乗り込みました。でもこんな経験が私たちの日常に、丁度良い刺激を与えてくれますよね!
 

The acoustic masterpiece - the Italian pavilion
音響が素晴らしい建物 イタリア建築の(パビリオン)野外休憩所

 

OK ~
Then I came home and jumped in the car and drove all night to Telluride Colorado where I met my Guruji Zakir Hussain who was playing with my buddies Bela Fleck and Edger Meyer. We always have a great time together - all three of them are so funny together and work musically like three peas in a pod. No matter where in the world I meet up with Zakir, I immediately become his techie and assistant and all purpose dude. Fix his drums up, grab the lattes and food, assist in sound checks and massage any aching muscles. I love it!!! Serving a musical saint, ain't a bad gig...


帰ってきてすぐに車に飛び乗り、コロラド州のテルライドに赴き、エドガー・メイヤーとベラ・フレックと演奏をしていた私の恩師であるザキア・フセインに会ってきました。彼らと過ごす時間はいつも特別なものです。この三人組は一緒にいるとなかなか面白く、まるでえんどう豆のさやに入っている三つの豆たちみたいに仲が良いです。世界中のどこであれ、ザキア先生に会う度に、私はとたんに彼のアシスタントに早変わりです。彼のタブラを修理したり、はしごを探してきたり、食べ物を見つけたり、サウンドチェックをしたり、こっているところをマッサージしたりと・・・。光栄なことです。音楽界の大御所の世話をさせて頂くのは悪くないですな。


From the stage during sound check
サウンドチェックの間、ステージから見た景色



From the side of stage during the performance
パフォーマンスが始まってから、ステージの袖から見た様子


 

No matter how difficult the material, Zakir is exploring and inventing new ways to express himself and the tabla. Without going into to much detail, I would dare to say that Zakir (as with a handful of others throughout history) is as close as this world can come to joyous enlightenment through music.
どんなに難しい状況に置かれようとも、ザキア先生は常に自身とタブラ表現の新しい道を探求し、見出しています。彼ほど喜びに溢れた啓蒙的な場所に音楽を通して辿り着く人はいるのでしょうか。
 

Zakir finding some joy inside the intricate patterns...
複雑なパターンの中に喜びを見出しているザキア氏

 

The following day, I flew out to Austin Texas to meet up with Steve Oda for a concert. I seem to constantly go back and forth from being a tabla player, to serving a tabla player, to being a tabla player. The more it happens, the deeper I see its benefit.

その翌日はテキサス州のオースティンへ、スティーブ・オダとコンサートのために飛びました。 タブラ奏者から、タブラ奏者を援助する人、そしてタブラ奏者へと行ったり来たりしていますね。繰り返すうちに、それが自分のためになっていることを感じます。
 

Steve and Ty in Austin (where the sushi is, "ok")
スティーブとタイ オースティンにて (お寿司が「まぁまぁ」なところ)
 

At the concert, I was surprised to see my old buddy Mark O'Shea (who has always reminded me of James Taylor). He was with me when I was 22 years old doing my first sweat lodge up in the mountains of Boulder Colorado. We had seen each other through those rough 20's and seem to both be doing well into our 40's now. He currently lives in Austin, so I'll see him next time I play there... nice to re-connect.
コンサートの後に、古くからの友人、マーク・オシェア(ジェイムス・テイラー似の)に会ったことは驚きでした。私が22歳のときにコロラドの山の中でスウェットロッジをしていたときからの仲です。お互いに若かりし頃の20代から、40代へとスムーズに移行していっているようです。彼は今オースティンに在住しており、またオースティンで演奏する際には彼に会えます。

Ty & Mark - after the concert in Austin
タイとマーク オースティンでのコンサートにて

 

Then, the following day, I held my first "Musical Universe" workshop ever in Austin. Well, I didn't get 50 participants, or 20. I didn't get 15 or 10 adventurous souls. I didn't get 7 or even 4 interested musicians. I got two lovely and brave spirits who spent those 2 hours with me looking into what makes the world go round. 

コンサートの翌日には、オースティンでは初めての「ミュージカル・ユニバース」のワークショップを開きました。50人や20人ほどの人には来てもらえず、15人や10人ほどの冒険好きな人たちも来ませんでしたし、7人や4人ほどの興味深いミュージシャンたちも来ませんでしたが、二人の素敵な勇敢な方々が来てくれました。その二人と世界を満たしているものについて話しました。

The Three Musketeers
3人の勇敢な「騎士」たち

 

And a day later my next adventure began. Wow... I am getting dizzy just writing about all this stuff. I guess it is easier to simply do, than to think about doing...

So the violin maestro Kala Ramnath flew into town so we could record my next CD for Tala Records. It is a tremendous honor for me to record an album with Kala. She is the greatest violinist North India has ever known and regularly plays with the greatest tabla players on the planet. Somehow, I have been blessed with the opportunity to tour and now record with her. I am deeply thankful to her and my Guruji Zakir Hussain for the opportunity. 


そしてその日の翌日には、新たな冒険が始まろうとしていました。何だか7月にしたことを書いているだけで目まいがしてきそうです。 考えるよりも実際にする方が簡単なような気がします。

ヴァイオリンのマエストロであるカラ・ラムナスが、タラレコードから次回リリースされるCDを私のタブラ演奏と共に録音するためにコロラド州入りしました。北インド出身のヴァイオリン奏者の中では一番と言われている彼女は、現在世界中の素晴らしい演奏家たちと演奏しています。何故かそのような方と一緒にツアーをし、録音する機会に恵まれている私は本当に幸せ者です。彼女と彼女を紹介してくれたザキア先生に心から感謝しています。
 

In concert with Kala Ramnath
カラ・ラムナスとのコンサート

 

Then my good friend Abbos Kosimov flew into town (same afternoon as the show) and we performed together for the first time. It was a total BLAST. He is a ridiculously cool musician. I would say he is the Sting of frame drumming. He is vastly famous in his own country, Uzbekistan and has moved to the US to expand his musical horizons. We are very lucky in the US to have him stationed here. He is creating new horizons for his instrument much the same as Zakir did in the 1970's and 80's. Check him out...
そして友人であるアボス・コシモブもコロラド入りしました。カラとアボス、そして私のトリオでコンサートを開きました。それはそれは素晴らしいコンサートとなりました。アボスはこれまた比べ物にならないほど卓越したミュージシャンであり、 フレームドラムの世界では彼が一番と言っても過言ではないと思います。彼は彼の出身国であるウズベキスタンではとても有名であり、音楽の地平線を拡げるためにアメリカに移住しました。アメリカは彼を得て、とてもラッキーです。彼はザキア・フセインが70年代と80年代にしたように、フレームドラムを新たなレベルへと引き上げていっています。

So we had a great evening in concert as a trio. We started the evening with a duet of Kala and myself doing classical Indian raga. Then Abbos did a mind boggling solo followed by an intermission. Then Abbos and I did a drum duet which was so fun, I can't even tell you... then we ended with a trio improve based upon a North Indian folk song which we molded into different time cycles starting in 14 beats and then dropping to 12 beats and further reducing to 10 beats and ending up in 8 beats which somehow ended in a harmonious final crescendo. Great night of music!!!

ということで、私たち3人は素晴らしい時間を過ごしましたよ。コンサートはカラと私のデュエットで始まり、インドの伝統的なラガを演奏しました。そして休憩時間の後、アボスがぎょっとするような素晴らしいソロ演奏をしました。そしてアボスと私でのドラムデュエットをし、言葉に表せないほど十分に楽しませてもらいました。そして北インドのフォークソングをもとにカラ、アボス、私のトリオで即興演奏でコンサートを締めくくりました。14ビートで始まったそのフォークソングは、12ビートへと変化し、そして10ビートへなり、やがて8ビートとなり、息の合ったクレッシェンドで終わりました。あぁ、何て素晴らしい音楽の夕べだったことでしょう!
 

Ty, Kala & Abbos in Boulder Colorado
タイ、カラ、アボス コロラド州ボルダーにて
 

 

Abbos Kosimov
アボス・コシモブ

 

So now we are off to the Boulder Summer Tabla Retreat followed by the amazing Zakir Hussain master class retreat. Those stories soon to come.
Thanks for tuning in, I appreciate the company. 

Lots of love and joy in your lives,
More soon,
Ciao,
Ty


これからボルダーで行われたタブラリトリートについて書きますね。そしてその後はザキア・フセインの毎年恒例のワークショップについて。
このブログを読んでくださってありがとう。皆さんの存在に感謝しています。

皆さんの人生に沢山の愛と喜びがありますように。
また今度。
チャオ
タイ

Back with the Grizzly Bears

Ty Burhoe

I am very excited to be writing this entry. Some of you may know about my distant past, as a wildlife biologist & grizzly bear researcher up in Montana, but I have never written about it in any detail. So for now, I'll write about that time in brief...

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