Cymbals and Silence

It’s quite amazing to see silence at work in the midst of prime time television production.

There we are, the “special” ancient instruments, on one side, and on the other, the big boys house band (ala David Letterman)… with the egos to match. Doesn’t leave much quiet for the ancient stuff to be heard.

One day I was playing the sagat (finger cymbals) and one of the keyboardists says to me: “You should play the tambourine. It’ll be much better than the finger cymbals”, he wanted it his way. He went to the music director and told him his idea. I pretended I didn’t hear. The

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music director replied, “They’re great, they’re visual… the cymbals are the right thing”. Score a point for the Goddess of wisdom and peace :-)….

Then there was the band “Shuti Hanevua” (Fools of Wisdom) who came with their song of Jerusalem with a very strong intent of minimalism and meditation. I play the finger cymbals as small cymbals or bells…. one ding every eight bars. It is the classic case of small being grand. As we were rehearsing and then recording, I fell into trance. At one point, I noticed the television camera recording the dance of my hands playing the “ding”. I hope it gets broadcast so that I can record it and put it up on the site… providing a visual experience of the audial meditation.

I am really enjoying this project.

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