Rimpa Siva, tablas
Swapan Siva, harmonium
Rimpa Siva – Tabla, the classical percussion instrument of the East was never considered a feminine forte in traditional societies of Indian sub-continent. But 16 year old Rimpa Siva changed the rule. Hailed as a prodigy by Indian maestros like Ustad Zakir Hossien, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Kishen Maharaj and Pandit Sivkumar Sharma, the young princes of Tabla has also performed many concertes in Europe and America during her sojourns in the world capitals since 1996.
When I first listened to her rendition, I could not believe that the artist was so young... said Zakir Hossein.
Her last performance was at the prestigious Festival de Saint-Florent-le-Vieili in Paris as well as in Berlin in June 2002. The mystical music of ‘Les Orientales’ reached a blissful height when Rimpa played her Tabla in perfect synergy with Egyptian instrumentalists. Organisers described her, ‘la petite joueuse de tabla’.
In June ‘ 97, she was invited to Netherlands to participate in World Child festival. Later she performed at different functions in USA. In 1998, a French Television documentary of Rimpa dubbed her first as ‘Princess of Tabla’. In 2000, her expositions in New York and St. Albans in UK, organised by Bharatiya Viday Bhavan and St. Albans Community Forum respectively, secured her a place in the hearts of overseas Indians as well as Euro-Americans.
Born to a family of music-lovers in Calcutta on 14th January 1986, toddler Rimpa showed keen interest in playing with Tabla and other Indian musical instruments. She received her first lessons from her father and Guru Prof. Swapan Siva, himself an acclaimed Tabla player and disciple of late Ustad Keramatullah Khan of Farukhabad Gharana ( Tradition ). At the age of nine, Rimpa earned scholarships from West Bengal State Music Academy and Salt Lake City music festival in 1995. Her first big public performance at sprawling Netaji Indoor Stadium in Calcutta on 23rd January 1996, was a huge success. Since, there is no looking back for her.
Far from being a mere companion to a veteran vocalist or instrumentalist, Rimpa electrified her audience singularly with her solo performance. The girl of different strokes begins her ‘tabla lahara’ or expositions in different traditions of Indian classical music, starting with a ‘Peskar’ or introduction. Thereafter, Gats and Tukra as well as Chakradars create the poetic mood and gradually prepare the audience to redeem their finer senses and be in tune to the cosmic rhythm. Finally comes a crescendo through her Kaidaa and Rela. Tumultuous Tals or rhythmic beats at her fingertips create surreal sounds of horsehoofs and lead the listeners to a roller-coaster journey to the seventh heaven. East meets West as her strokes turn humble Tabla into mighty drums.
She was invited to prestigious Sangeet Research Academy and participaited in 25th ITC Sangeet Sanmelan in Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai and Allahabad. Rimpa also travelled across the length and breadth of her land and performed at music bastons like Pune, Bhopal, Lucknow, Bangalore and Maihar of baba Alauddin fame. She also joined the new millennium celebration organised by the Viswa Banga Sammelan in Calcutta and Zee-TV celebration in Mumbai with Pandit Hariprasad Chourasia..