Vick Ramakrishnan

Vick01A Masters degree holder in Performing Arts, Vick has had a colourful educational path, from pursuing a diploma and training in Hospitality Management, working as a audio technician, and even a Customer Relations Executive, before arriving at his chosen path, that as an established Tabla percussionist.

Beginning his tabla education in 1986 under the guidance of Shri Ratan Singh, and subsequently under Shri Didar Singh in Penang, Malaysia, Vick was quickly identified as having a rare inclination and intrinsic talent in his rhythmic understanding and drumming skills. Even while at secondary school, (St. Xavier’s Institution) he was an active member of the School Band and won the best percussionist award for 3 consecutive years. Within the span of a mere few years, he was being invited to accompany alongside performers, orchestras, bhajan groups other performances in Malaysia. He also mastered the tabla to a level at which he was able to teach the art form at the Temple of Fine Arts from an early age.

He participated in many major Indian orchestral productions of The Temple of Fine Arts (TFA). Among these were Tryam, Naad Brahma and Swaradhara, which put on stage a cast of 60 or more musicians to create a unique Indian orchestra and choir. These orchestras, which performed various pieces including elements of Chinese, Malay, and Western genres, enabled Vick to experiment with different percussion instruments, including the Dholak, Dholki, Pakhawaj, and Djembe. Through these experiences, Vick had the opportunity to work along side different composers and musical directors, such as Pandit Chandrakant Kapileshwari, Shri Suresh Ramachandran, Shrimati Kanagamani Vijendra and so on. His active involvement with The Temple of Fine Arts International also enabled him to participate in major dance drama productions, such as Taj Mahal, Lady White Snake, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and more, all of which traveled to several cities in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and India. Vick also worked briefly with Hansa Sight and Sound, a professional theatre sound and lighting company as an audio technician, which enhanced his technical knowledge pertaining to musical arrangement, orchestration and instrumentation.
vick1Recognizing his special talent, his parents, with the support of spiritual Guru Swami Shantanand Saraswathi, supported Vick in his decision to pursue tabla as his career path. Upon his completion of his academic education in Malaysia, and also a diploma in Hospitality Management, Vick went on to Pune, India, in 1998 and studied under Ustad Hanif Mohamed Mirajkar, a well established proponent of the Purab Gharana, or style, of the art of Tabla playing. Ustad Hanif was himself the son of the legendary tabla wizard, Ustad Mehboob Khan Mirajkar, a legendary name among the tabla performers of his generation. The Purab Gharana itself is a combination of 3 other prominent styles of tabla playing, being the Lucknow, Delhi and Farukkabad Gharanas, and this proved to be a blessing as Vick quickly expanded his knowledge and exposure to the intricacies and overall theory behind this Art.

While undergoing rigorously intensive personal training under the Ustad, Vick also pursued a formal Masters degree in the Performing Arts at the University of Pune, graduating in 2001. Even during this intensive training period, Vick frequently performed with members of Naad, a prestigious music school under the directorship of Ustad Usman Khan, a sitar virtuoso. In the year 2000, Vick won the first prize in a tabla competition in Mumbai, India while representing the University of Pune. This was a coveted prize, as the competition among tabla players in the region was stiff. In many of the Temple of Fine Arts’ ongoing performances, such as the ‘Dance India- Taste India’ festivals held yearly in Perth, Malaysia, Singapore and India, Vick started to emerge as a qualified tabla player in his own right, giving tabla demonstrations, workshops, and even solo performances.

Upon his graduation in 2001, Vick took up residence in Perth, Australia, where he is, until present, the resident Tabla tutor, and performer of The Temple of fine Arts, Perth. Ever pursuing newer horizons to work with, he has rapidly formed new associations and collaborations with artists of varied genres, and has proven his mantle as a highly adaptable percussionist. In 2006, Vick became part of Mukti, a Fusion Music group comprising the Tabla, Cello, Guitar and Vibraphone. Mukti has done several regional tours within Australia and just recently released it’s first album, entitled Inside In. He has also played with Indo Jazz Fusion Virtuoso, Arthur Gracias from Calcutta, which also included an Australia tour to Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Lismore, Hobart and Byron Bay.

Since 1999, Vicky has had the opportunity to perform with many world famous Indian Classical musicians from India, UK, Malaysia and Singapore such as Ustad Usman Khan (sitarist), Pandit Chandrakant Kapileshwari (Vocalist), Pandita Ruqiya Khan (sitarist), Pandit Baluji Shreevastav (sitarist), Shree Samuel J. Dass (sitarist) and Shree Kumar Khartigesu (sitarist). He has also gained experience playing for a range of semi classical music for the Temple of Fine Arts International and North Indian Classical and Ghazal vocalists from India such as O.S.Arun, Penaz Mesani, and Raka Mukherjee. He has also played for live dance dramas throughout cities in India such as Delhi, Chennai, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad in which events from the Mahabharata epic were depicted.

With an abundance of energy and enthusiasm, Vick always seeks out any opportunity he gets to broaden his experience of music in general and percussion in particular. With his firm roots of traditional Indian tabla, he now has no qualms about exploring and understanding different types of percussion instruments and using them in different types of music experiments, be it classical, folk, world or fusion.