No….Sound Check….No…Please! 1


Many years back I was traveling through a few cities for concerts with a very good female vocalist and a harmonium player.

First concert…the singer and I, had a good time, though disturbed by the loud harmonium playing.

At night after dinner, the two of us sat eagerly and played the recording…Oh, My God! Where is the voice, I exclaimed! And where is the Tabla , she asked?

All that we could hear was the loud harmonium blaring away. It seemed the she was singing somewhere in Andaman and  I on the other side of India, Lakshadweep.

We were stunned into silence!

This sequence repeated itself for the next few shows, till we could not take it anymore.

Next concert I decided to take matters into my own hands…I went to the audio  engineer at the controls before sound check and explained to him how the harmonium player shoule not be given any sound for the actual show. But during the check he should not get to know this plan. The sound engineer, offcourse, nodded his head in  acknowledgement of understanding my plan.

I came back smiling onto the stage and took my position on the Tabla. Hardly before I could even take the next breath, walks in this clown of an assistant ,who very authoritatively sets about putting microphones in front of us.

And before we could even dream about what was coming next. He asked, pointing at the harmonium player, Is this the guy whom we don’t give any sound?

I didn’t even know what had struck me and as I was stuttering and stammering to look for an answer I could see my favorite singer almost dying to stop herself from fainting with laughter!


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