Tabla Blah Blah – Sunday, August 12, 2007


What happens when a tabla guru, a radio 1 DJ and young upcoming tabla players come together?  Add to the equation visual projections, 360 degree sound and soundscapes you’ve got Tabla Blah Blah.  

Music Director & Composer– Pandit Sharda Sahai
Electronica & Sampling – Bobby Friction
Conceived & commissioned by London Mela Director Ajay Chhabra
Visual Animateur – Rob Rainbow
Performers  – Sangeet College Tabla Ensemble
Project Curation – Anjan Saha & Frances Shepherd
Tabla trainers – Pandit Sharda Sahai, Frances Shepherd,
Training assistants – Sumeet Mishra and Dheeraj Mishra
Tour Manager – Mahendra Shah
Design by Cabein

Tabla Blah Blah  brings together tabla legend Pandit Sharda Sahai, Bobby Friction of Radio 1 and visual animateur Rob Rainbow.  Ajay Chhabra, Festival Director presents an iconic image of the tabla and its representation traditionally and currently and forms part of the Mela Trilogy.


Tabla Blah Blah is a landmark commission bringing together two giants in their own fields, one hails from a traditional music heritage and the other from an urban music background.  Performed by young up and coming musicians with live visual projections.

Tabla Blah Blah presents an iconic image of the tabla.  The meeting of the DJ and Guru.  What does Tabla Blah Blah mean?  Is it a closing down of an information saturated world or is the rhythmic spoken language of the tabla?

WHEN: 3.30pm and 6.50pm on Sunday 12 August 2007

WHERE: London Mela, Gunnersbury Park, Pope’s Lane, Ealing W5 4NE

                   2 performances at Community Cabaret Stage

London Mela in partnership with Pandit Ram Sahai Foundation announces its new commission Tabla Blah Blah at City Hall, on Monday 8th May 2007, Ajay Chhabra, artistic director of the London Mela, announced to a packed house at City Hall, before London Mayor Ken Livingstone, the second installment of new commissions, Tabla Blah Blah.  This new piece features live performance, soundscapes with video visuals and is a collaboration between DJ and broadcaster Bobby Friction and leading tabla virtuoso Pandit Sharda Sahai. The developed piece will be performed by Sangeet College Tabla Ensemble in August 12th 2007 with live visual projections by Rob Rainbow.

The tabla players are comprised from the Sangeet College Ensemble, 5 -15 years of age and have performed three years consecutively at the London Mela.  The students are adept at playing from classical, folk to fusion compositions and rhythms on tabla and multi-percussion.

Ajay Chhabra said “These children represent what the Mela is about, they have grown up performing at the London Mela and their energy and passion forms the backbone of creativity which emerges each year from the event”.

Pandit Sharda Sahai who headlined the classical stage last year with Shree Balachander (Mridangam player) stated “The tabla tradition is very strong in today’s generation and the London Mela has always been a wonderful place to experience it. I am very excited at how we will be able to show the versatility of the tabla through working in new ways.”

The brief: Conceived by Ajay Chhabra –  DJ Bobby Friction will work alongside Pandit Sharda Sahai and the members of the ensemble to produce a sound track and visuals and a rhythmic piece drawing both from the traditional tabla repertoire and the eclectic musical experiences of the students.


Pandit Sharda Sahai

With an unmatched reputation as a tabla virtuoso and master of tradition and versatility, he has performed over a thousand concerts worldwide accompanying musical legends such as sitarist Ravi Shankar, composer John Cage, sarodist Amjad Ali Khan and violinist V. G. Jog.  Renowned as a classical musician of the first order he has also been a pioneer with cross over collaborations with Nexus, Manodharma and Andy Sheppard.  He is the teacher and Guru of the members of the Sangeet College Ensemble.

DJ Bobby Friction

 Bobby Friction is an award winning DJ and journalist with a background in performance art.  In 2007 he received his third Sony Gold Award for “The Friction Show” on BBC Asian Network, specialising in the British Asian Urban experience.  He has created well received documentaries such as Friction in Europe, an investigation into the theory that young people from the new European states are flocking into the UK, and Vote Friction, where he investigated the BNP in Burnley.  Recently he has signed a three album deal with Sony BMG India.

Ajay Chhabra

Ajay Chhabra directed The Six Figures of City Hall in Oslo, Norway. He conceived and directed “In the Dholdrums”, was a key devisor with Emergency

Exit Arts and created the UK’s first Asian stilt-walking performance. His two award winning productions Hamari Kahani and Inner City Lives were both pioneering projects, revealing the harsh realities of two very ordinary groups, one coming to terms with old age, the other of gang murder. He completed an Arts Council Directors Bursary with physical theatre specialist David Glass and has collaborated with designer Keith Khan, comedy director Cal McCrystal and live art wiz Tatsuo Miyajima.

Rob Rainbow

Acclaimed visual animator, Robert will take images and iconagraphy around the tabla, time and culture and visualise this in realtime.  Co-director of the short film “In Passing” which is featured on the experimental film section of the BBC film site.

Sangeet College Tabla Ensemble

Pandit Ram Sahai Foundation

Pandit Ram Sahai Foundation provides a wide scope of opportunity for all people interested in the learning, performance and teaching of South Asian music and dance. As a member of the National Federation of Music Societies, the Foundation has been heavily involved in the promotion of concerts of internationally acclaimed and up and coming artists both in theUK and abroad. The foundation has been keen to promote unity and a cross exchange of cultures amongst musicians, organising performances that bring together virtuosos as well as promoting young and up coming artists.  Creative directors on this project are Anjan Saha and Frances Shepherd

Watch Tabla Blah Blah on

For interviews and high resolution images contact:

Anjan Saha 07973 709 315

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>