Acclaimed Indian flutist in Nairobi

Flutist Himanshu Nanda in Nairobi photographed by Susan Wong 2011

Nairobi music lovers were treated to a special concert by visiting master Indian flutist Himanshu Nanda on Saturday.

The Navrang Fine Arts Foundation presented “Whisper of the Bamboo Flute” at Oshwal Academy. Concert goers were transported to India by the tranquil classical tunes from Nanda’s bamboo flute and Pandit Mishra’s tabla.

Flutist Nanda is one of five distinguished students handpicked by India’s foremost classical flutist. Seen as one of the most dynamic Indian classical flutists, Nanda is a promising and up and coming artist with performances in Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and Kenya under his belt.

Accompanied by Pandit Mishra, a master tabla (drum) player , Nanda’s interpretations of Indian classical music was truly inspiring and soothing.

The sounds and sights of what Nanda and Mishra played on their instruments were simply unbelievable as the audience watched in awe, whilst the musicians performed with such precision and emotion that it literally seemed humanely impossible.


What is a Tabla?

A tabla is an Indian percussion instrument that consists of a pair of hand drums. The playing technique usually requires extensive use of every part of the hand to create a wide variety of different sounds, sometimes even creating different tones and pitches.

It was incredibly impressive to watch Mishra use the heel of his hand to slide on the larger drum in order to change the pitch of his drum, whilst maintaining the incredible speed of his fingers.


What’s different with the Indian bamboo flute?

An Indian bamboo flute is similar to a Western flute however it is constructed out of bamboo and is keyless.  The quality of the flute’s sound really depends on the specific bamboo the instrument has been constructed from.

Here’s a video of Flutist Nanda’s performance from another concert: