Composer, producer and tabla player, Talvin Singh is renowned for creating the bridge between Indian and electronic music and is considered to be the father of modern Asian electronica.
Drawing inspiration from the classical Indian arts, he has managed to sculpt a unique sonic landscape and has become well known across the globe thanks to collaborations with artists as diverse as Yoko Ono, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Björk, Madonna and Massive Attack. Singh famously won the Mercury Music Prize in 1999 for his debut album OK, and in 2015 was awarded an OBE for Services to Music.
But which tracks and albums does a man whose musical interests and talents span so far find himself going back to again and again? Here Talvin Singh picks out six things that he simply cannot stop listening to.
This collection was recorded, conceived and conducted by by Jnan Prakash Ghosh ji, a scholar, musicologist, musician, teacher and composer. He was holding down the aesthetics and cultural forms in particular around the Tagorean renaissance in Calcutta. He was, and is, a huge inspiration to many musicians and artists; tabla players regard him as The Bible or, an Encyclopaedia of Tabla. The record features Anindo Chatterjee and Sanjoy Mukherjee.
This EP from Hidden Camera arrived at the peak time of Drum & Bass, and took the genre to the most interesting of landscapes. This has to be the most exciting and innovative percussion work of sampler style music.
Fernando Corona, aka Murcof, is one the most important contemporary electronic music composers and producers of our time. This sonic journey is always great to enjoy on airplanes as it has a utopic landscape in its musicality.
My passion for Indian classical music, started a very young age, when I would travel to East and West London to source records. But the first time I got to experience an Indian classical concert was at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. That was also the first time I travelled on a tube, the London Underground, as I went to experience Kishori Amonkar ji. The concert was curated and promoted by Jay Visvadeva for SAMA Arts.
I remember very clearly after the performance - because it was an intimate chamber concert - I got the opportunity to receive blessings, and talk about my passion for tabla with Pandit Ramakant Mhapsekar who was accompanying Kishori Ji that evening on tabla. I remember asking him if I could come to Bombay and take some lessons. He said ‘Yes you can, but I am actually a film industry musician’. It was a mystical and impressive statement coming from an Indian classical musician.
Pandit ji’s physical self elevated and left us very early. We thank him for leaving his amazing music behind us to listen to.
One of the most influential records, in terms of anything from India which has a contemporary outlook. This particular orchestration by Pandit Ravi Shankar ji, with the assistance of Ashit Desai ji was recorded in Moscow, inside the Kremlin.
Talvin Singh performed from his Mercury Music Prize-winning album OK at Royal Festival Hall on Monday 7 May as part of Southbank Centre’s Alchemy.
This was just one of a huge range of live contemporary music gigs and performances taking place at Southbank Centre this year.