From the mystical sounds of the Djembe, a percussion instrument common in South Africa, the mesmerising middle-eastern beats of Dara Bukka, to the absorbing strains of the Spanish Cajon, finding a treasure trove of world music keeps percussionist Murali Krishnan on his toes. The founder of Jus Drums School of Percussion, who is always on a quest to discover unique sound elements to weave into his genre of music, trains students in the power of drumming, and spells out captivating notes on day-today objects.
Creating out-of-the box music
Murali was 11 years old when he discovered his passion for music. The alumnus of Boston school, Nandanam kicked off his dream to become a professional drummer by experimenting with random items like tooth brushes, plastic cans, coconut shells and car wheels.
“I couldn’t afford to buy a percussion set back then, so I used to make do with whatever material I had. I even used to play on pans and clay pots. All I had to do was visualise them as a drum kit,” grins the innovator, who gave his debut performance for his school band.
While Jus Drums comprising 35 students has won many accolades, including playing for the IPL with world-renowned drummer Sivamani, displaying their talent in stage shows recently in Madurai and a host of corporate gigs, Murali’s newly formed band Jus Fusion, is creating waves with its signature style performances.
Murali has played for several film musicians, including Harris Jeyaraj, G V Prakash and James Vasanthan.
He has performed at composer A R Rahman’s home-coming celebrations after the Oscar win for Slumdog Millionaire, and collaborated with ‘Mandolin’ Rajesh to showcase the classical nuances of drumming.
“Whenever I play for senior artists, I am zapped. I wonder how much practice went into fine-tuning their compositions,” says the down-to earth musician.
Online music classes
To make music classes accessible for his students across different parts of the world, Murali has taken his classes online. “I want to provide them with the flexibility to learn music any time, anywhere,” explains Murali, who goes all the way to ensure his pupils find it easy to juggle their timings to make room for his classes.
Do you dread mathematical formulas and numbercrunching? Murali has an on-the spot-solution to cure your fear: of learning drumming techniques.
“Every stroke can be used to simplify math concepts. It is easy to explain arithmetic progression and geometric progression using rhythmic beats,” he explains. In fact, the concept of weaving in music to make learning maths fun witnesses him associate with Everonn, an educational services company, to deliver online lectures for schools.
Murali Krishnan believes that it’s necessary to create awareness on how music can be a perfect stress buster. He plans to set up a community drumming project in the coming months to inspire music enthusiasts.
“Every musician makes a difference to the people around him. The project will focus on providing a platform for nurturing inherent talent,” he says explaining the core theme of encouraging people from different walks of life to assemble to join the Jus Drums troupe in impromptu music sessions.
And what is his advice for aspiring musicians? “There is no substitute for hard work. If you keep practising hard, success will follow.”