FRIDAY (OCTOBER 13) AT EASTMINISTER UNITED CHURCH
ADITYA VERMA Rating: NNNNN
Though he's probably too modest to admit it, Aditya Verma is something of a jet-set superstar. When he's not giving concerts like the one slated for Eastminster United Church Friday (October 13), the Montreal-reared sarod maestro splits his time between India and, er, Pickering, composing and further polishing his impressive skills on the fretless 25-stringed Indian classical instrument. The affable Verma took time out from his hectic schedule to reveal secrets about his former teacher, Ravi Shankar, and what it's like to head up a family trio.
Pop acts from the Rolling Stones to the Tea Party have dabbled in Indian music. Cool idea or cultural tourism? Done well, it's definitely cool.
You've studied with the great Ravi Shankar. Tell us something about him we don't already know. Guru-ji has a great sense of humour. Even when we were kids he would often sit with us late into the night reading Mad magazine.
Your tabla-playing father and brother are joining you for this gig. Are egos an issue, since you're the big kahuna of the trio? Onstage I call the shots, and I have my dad's permission to say so!
You split your time between Canada and India. With all those airline reward points, what's your next holiday destination? Last I heard, NASA has yet to redeem frequent flyer points, so I guess I'd have to say Hawaii.
Speaking of, how do you adjust to life in sleepy Pickering after returning from extended stays in vibrant, teeming Delhi? There's something strangely energizing about taking a leisurely stroll around a nuclear power plant....
Has Bollywood come calling for soundtrack work? Caller ID can be a wonderful thing. Just kidding. Given the opportunity, I would love to do more composing for film.
Finish the following sentence. The best thing about playing the sarod is... ...going deep into the music and experiencing complete and total joy.