Untrained man plays nine musical instruments together

Chandauli: Siyaram, a small farmer in Uttar Pradesh, has created a unique musical instrument - a combination of nine different instruments including a steel plate and a glass bottle. Though he is untrained in music, Siyaram is much sought after at gatherings for his electrifying performances.

Siyaram, a resident of Bhatpurwa village in Chandauli, some 300 km from state capital Lucknow, took 14 years to create his nine-in-one musical instrument.

"I can play all the nine musical instruments in the assemblage non-stop for at least five hours. I just get lost in music when I start playing the instrument," Siyaram, 30, told reporters.

"People appreciate my talent and the unique creation a lot. At the same time there are several people who say I have wasted 14 long years of my life in setting up the assemblage and mastering the art of playing the nine instruments together... I really don`t mind them... I know how passionate I am about music... I can`t even think of living without it," he said.

People who see Siyaram deftly playing the instrument at functions and social gatherings are surprised when they learn that he has not undergone any kind of training in music ever.

"Most of the people who don`t know me or see me for the first time just don`t believe that I have not received any kind of training... Frankly speaking, every time people get the false impression that I am a trained musician, it is like a compliment and a morale booster for me. I feel good when people compare me with a trained musician," he said.

Siyaram`s unique musical assemblage comprises nine folk instruments - `Nakkara`, `Tabla`, `Jhanjha`, `Dumdum`, `Thali`, `Botal`, `Taiya`, Drum and `Naal`.

"In the assemblage, `Nakkara` and `Taiya` produce sound like a kettle-drum, also called `Nagada`, while `Jhanjha` resembles the sound of a drum set. The sound of `Tabla` and `Naal` (an instrument made of wood) are quite similar and the `Dumdum` sound resembles bongo. A steel plate (Thali) and glass bottle (Botal) are also used for producing intermittent sweet beats."

"All the instruments in the assemblage are played with hands and sticks. The sticks used are made of dried wood pieces of a guava tree. They are cut in a special way so that they can produce the desired sound with repeated hits on the instruments," he added.

The music bug bit Siyaram at the age of 12 when he used to work part-time with a theatre company.

"During the stage shows I was asked to produce sound from simple musical instruments. It was then that I thought of assembling several musical instruments and playing them together," he recalled.

Siyaram has now become the most sought after musician during marriage parties and functions.

"He is great. His performance is electrifying. The best thing is that he charges a nominal fee for his non-stop five-hour performance," Shrihari Dwivedi, owner of a baraat ghar (wedding venue) in the Alinagar area of Chandauli, told IANS.

Saket Joshi, a college student in Chandauli, said, "Playing nine instruments single-handedly is not an easy task. We are asking bhaiya (Siyaram) to participate in a reality TV show. We are sure he would become quite popular across the country once he performs on a national television channel."


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