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Sivamani to put drums on fire in US

Come September 23, the artiste will display his percussion skills at the Incredible India@60 gig in Manhattan.

art and culture Updated: Sep 15, 2007 14:20 IST
Remo Fernandes

Star percussionist Anandan Sivamani is known to create music out of strange objects like spoons, brass boards and suitcases. And come September 23 and the artiste, billed by many as modern India's cultural ambassador, will recreate some of his magic in the US.

Sivamani, along with Remo Fernandes, Colonial Cousins, Louis Banks and Niladri will showcase India's rich diversity on the musical front at Incredible India @60 - the September 23-26 festival in Manhattan organised to celebrate 60 years of the country's independence.

"I am looking forward to my performance in the US. It is a great platform to showcase India's music in the US," he says. Life has been on a fast lane for Sivamani, who began drumming at the age of seven.

"When I am not touring I am busy with my albums and compositions," Sivamani, whose new album Mahaleela will be released in December, told PTI. Mahaleela is basically an instrumental album but it has vocal elements in it too," he says. He is also working on his dream project - a gurukool.

"I want to name it as 'Siva of Rhythm' and it will include everything related to music, including yoga." Sivamani has played drums for music composers like A R Rahman and Ilayaraja and in films like Rang De Basanti, Taal, Roja, Dil Se, Guru and Kabul Express.

However, he says its too early for him to venture into a solo score for Bollywood.

"I will try my hand at a solo project for Bollywood but that will take some time. "Working for a Bollywood project needs lot of time - going through the script, fitting in songs and all that," he says.

Sivamani's stage performances are unique. He mostly walks into the stage from within the audience clanging cymbals or blowing the conch. "I love to start that way," he says. He can play for hours and in the process produce sounds from strange objects and also musical tunes. Sivamani's father is also a noted percussionist. He says he is inspired by Noel Grant and Billy Cobham.

"I also like Ustad Zakir Hussain and (fusion artiste) Trilok Gurtu," he says.

He also led a cheering team when India played the last Cricket World Cup.