Daniel Waples comes to town with his favourite instrument, handpan
Daniel Waples first performed in Bengaluru at The Humming Tree last winter, along with Montry Manuel aka Thaalavattam (from Kerala). It wasn’t a planned gig. “I met Montry at the Ozora Fest in Hungary in the summer of 2015, and exchanged contacts. On my visit to India last year, I joined him for a set in Goa and realised that our styles went together quite well. Later, we came to Bengaluru for a small gig. The show sold out a day in advance. That’s when we decided to dedicate more time to our music together,” says the Londoner, known for his work with the handpan. Invented in Switzerland 16 years ago, the handpan is a metallic percussive instrument that sounds like an electronic synthesiser, and looks like a tiny UFO.
Waples is back in India, this time, touring Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi. Over the next two months, he and Manuel will also perform across Europe, and Brazil. The 32-year-old tells us about Saturday’s gig in the city, “The set list will combine some of my strongest rhythms with Manuel’s sounds, which come entirely out of junk and recycled products like PET bottles.”
It appears that Waples has had his share of odd jobs – “there was a time when I wanted to become a milkman because I like to see that hour of the day.” At the age of 11, Waples started playing drums for a military marching band. By 14, he was strumming guitars, and later joined Leeds College of Music. He heard a handpan for the first time at a fest in England in 2005, and got one for himself the following year.
He is now working with artistes to create instruments similar to handpans. “Most of them are a vast improvement on the original models, and offer varied musical notes,” says Waples, who’s performed with the handpan in over 50 countries.
June 25. At Indiranagar. 9 pm.Tickets (Rs 500) on insider.in
— Barkha Kumari