INDIA - Karnataka, Bangalore
Montry Manuel Thaalavattam, a percussionist was born and brought up at Cochin, had the love for music since his childhood. He was influenced by his father for all his creative ways of living and love for music. He was trained by his guru Jerry Peter who instilled in him the love of drums. He later learned about the finer nuances of different drumming styles from Jeoraj Stanley. He attributes his flexibility and comfort with different styles (reggae, samba, and Indian folk) to the grounding in basics his teachers gave him. Growing up to rock ‘n roll classics, he played in bands that covered everyone from Pink Floyd to Weather Report. He also worked with a renowned Indian band named “Swarathma” for Eight years. Montry started to ideate in creating music from recycled products. Thus Thaalavattam was formed in 2009. The word Thaalavattam is derived from Malayalam (Local language of Kerala, India). It translates to "A Circle of Rhythm". Soon after this Montry quit Swarathma and started focusing full time on Thaalavattam since 2012.
INDIA, KARNATAKA, BANGALORE
"I would advice people to be more considerate about their surroundings. There are very basic steps that need to be taken for an eco-friendly living. Keep the city clean, you have to take the call. You can’t blame everything on government. Be creative and spread love."
Thalavattam (Also known as Rhythm Rush), a Bangalore based outfit, have their own ethic working here; Manuel Montry’s initiative is to further the beaten-to-death concept of the three R’s (Namely, reuse, reduce and recycle) into the functioning of our everyday lives. It’s a noble agenda. The idea is simply this: ‘Thalavattam’ literally translates as ‘Circle of Rhythm’ in Malayalam, which is to say that the band, apart from its own performances on stage, requires the participation of their audience as well for the show to go on. The use of instruments such as the Djembe, much like Naadro, and the Didgeridoo (native to Australian Aborigines), is a strong suggestion at the universality of music, much like the undisputable fact of the existence of nature, intrinsic to all things living.
“As a creative person, one needs to be responsible too. One day, a while back, during my Swarathma days, I was walking down the street and I saw a pile of empty Pepsi bottles, picked one up and found it to be strong, sturdy, useful. Ever since, my fascination with odd objects has grown and I’ve made drums out of them. Usually, during our performances we distribute them among our audience. They range from PVC pipes to paint cans, each of which have very distinct sounds as various companies package their products differently. I don’t prefer to talk about it much. There are other ways in which Thaalavattam takes up the environment issue. For instance, I’ve been around town to random tailors, looking for waste cloth, collected that material, given it to working class women, gotten them involved and paid them for it. The idea is to get them involved; their handiwork, we used as merchandise for the band. People knew what it was, people knew what our drums are about, people know what we are about. I prefer not to surround it in a smokescreen of words.”