A long time in the making...
And it seems a long time since now, writing this on a wintry day in January, -3 on the thermometer in the car this morning, and it seems the perfect time to return to the heat of Jodhpur when I first met Nawab Khan.
It wasn't quite as cold as today when Nawab Khan and Naved Khan visited in November 2018, his younger brother of course as Nawab would joke with the audience on introducing his son, already an accomplished Tabla player at 15 years old. On collecting them in London, en route to Cornwall to visit Derek at The Healing Tree Centre, I'd packed scarves, hats and gloves, even hot water bottles for extra comfort and over the next two weeks they were an essential part of the team.
During that time we had practice sessions at Eileen's in Tolpuddle, a day programme and evening concert at Derek's in West Curry, an impromptu concert at Sebastian in Hartlebury, The Sacred Sound of Raga in Lindale and Morecambe, East meets West hosted by Tony Wilkinson at The Harmony Hub in Chorley and a grand finale at my place, a very extra special concert.
For those who attended will know how Nawab and Naved shared their musical heritage, explaining how the musical arrangements play a part in an extensive collection of reverential ragas, giving more meaning to the performances. So by the end of the tour Nawab had expressed a desire to play a full Raga, from start to finish, no breaks, no explanation to experience the full effect of this healing music. And so it was on dark evening in mid November we gathered one final time and a full performance was achieved and what an utter treat it was to hear, see and feel how this sacred music brings harmony to mind, body and soul. The vibrations of which still resonate when I listen back to audio or look back on the collection of photographs.
Who was i to know that holding space for a musical tour would not just involve arranging places to play, audiences to engage with, minutes before show time it meant sewing on buttons and driving over 1200 miles from North West to South West and back. What a journey we shared and I hope for those who had the chance to be part of such a magical musical tour, that you still relish the memories we shared and what we can achieve when we come together in community.
Here are some photos of our time together...