On the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, tabla-player and percussionist Taufiq Qureshi has composed a special number. Instead of using basic instruments, he has recreated the sound of Nasik and Pune dhols using trash bins, beer barrels and wheel caps. “Initially, we had decided to perform on drums, but then we thought, why not experiment with non-instruments,” says Taufiq, who along with his group Mumbai Stamp, put together the percussive track ‘Taal pranam’ that also features chants. The video of the song is currently on air on the music channel 9XM.
A typical Ganpati performance by street percussionists features Nasik and Pune dhols, besides a host of other instruments. Taufiq reveals that his biggest challenge was matching these sounds with those that can be created using junk.
“For the lows and bass sounds, we used beer barrels, while the trash cans were able to give the mids (medium frequency sound). For the tinkling and high pitched effects, we used metal wheel covers,” reveals the musician, adding that the ensemble’s endeavour is also their own way of propagating eco-consciousness.
“Since we’re reusing trash, we’re also spreading awareness about it,” says Taufiq, who regularly seems to be hunting for interesting trash items to make music out of, as a ritual of sorts, prior to their concerts.
“One of my students picked up a discarded metal bin from Bhayandar. We repaired and tweaked it a bit to suit our requirements. You can also find us collecting empty plastic bottles from dustbins before our shows!” he says.