Music is not a casual matter for 14 year old Manjot Matharu, who will perform at the IFLC’s upcoming Community Luncheon and Interfaith Drumming Presentation.
“Ever since I was a little kid,” he says, “I was very passionate about rhythm.”
He was first exposed to the Tabla, watching people play at the Sikh Temple. His father found him a teacher, but much of his music has been his own journey of discovery.
Manjot plays the tabla, which is played all across India and the Jori, a drum that is unique to Sikh tradition. He also plays the Taus, another traditional Sikh instrument dating back to the 1700s. The taus is similar to a sitar, but played with a bow.
“The word taus means peacock,” says Manjot. “It sounds like a peacock. It’s very beautiful.”
At the Interfaith Drumming Presentation, he will play the Jori, with a companion playing the tabla.
“The Jori is much bigger and louder,” explains Manjot. “It takes longer to get ready for playing. There’s two sides to the Jori – one side is a sharper noise and one side is a bass, a very deep voice. To make that voice, you need to put dough on the bass side to make it have that deep voice, that deep sound. It’s very odd, but the sound it makes is so unique.”
The Jori is used in kirtan, Sikh devotional music, to keep rhythm.
“Rhythm is very important to life,” explains Manjot. “Without rhythm, life would not be possible. Rhythm helps you make every decision in your life. If you ever go outside and you hear the birds humming, they have a rhythm to it. They don’t just sing random. They have a rhythm to it.”
The program will take place on Saturday, February 27 at Mata Tripta Ji Gurdwara Sahib, 40600 Schoolcraft Road, Plymouth. It will start with an introduction to Sikhism and the gurdwara followed by drumming from the Hindu, Sikh, and possibly other traditions. The drumming presentation will be followed by a casual lunch- langar meal where we will have the opportunity to visit informally and get to know one another. We hope you will join us!