Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri at LACMA Part 1 from Distortion Productions on Vimeo.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art — An epic exhibition India’s Fabled City: The Art of Courtly Lucknow (December 12, 2010 – February 27, 2011) culminated in a special interactive tabla performance featuring Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri of the Lucknow Gharana. Held on February 24, 2011 and moderated by Fulbright Scholar Robin Sukhadia, this multimedia/instructional presentation showcased historical research, archival images and live tabla performance. They chronicle how Lucknow’s culture brought together the best living musicians, poets and arts patrons of the day to further evolve the tradition of the extraordinary percussive instrument of the north Indian classical music tradition.

In this special one hour program produced by Distortion Productions, Swapanji elaborates on his tabla lineage which is traced to the courts of Lucknow rulers, synthesizing a wide range of other drumming traditions to become what it is today. He also discusses the role of British colonial destruction of Lucknow, and its consequential impact on the spread of tabla and classical Indian music beyond Lucknow’s borders into north India and the world.