I study ethnomusicology, which is essentially the study of music in and as culture. Because of this, I love sharing inspirational musicians and musical traditions outside of “Western classical” and the marching arts.
In this video, Sai Giridhar K performs his solo “MocktaiLayam” on the mridangam, a two-headed barrel drum common to South Indian (or “Carnatic”) musical forms and performances. While used here as a virtuosic solo instrument, it often is used to accompany vocalists and/or dancers in a number of Carnatic performance practices.
As you listen, pay attention to how Sai Giridhar expands the musical colors of the mridangam throughout the solo. Starting from simple taal (roughly, “rhythmic cycles”), he increasingly ornaments the underlying rhythmic framework up until the end.
Or, just geek out at how fast and clear his right hand is while playing something completely different with his left.
For more stuff like this, check out the MadRasana Official YouTube channel.