Hello, modern drummers! I’m a percussionist based in South West U.K. I’ve been playing for around twenty-five years, focusing mainly on world percussion, particularly North Indian tabla, but also Arabic & West African drumming.
I have been playing Indian tabla since 1994, and spent twelve years learning from three teachers in India and the U.K. I find the intricacies and complexities of the Indian rhythmic system fascinating.
I’ve performed with various fusion outfits—duos, bands, etc.—and also perform Indian classical music. I love listening to, playing, and performing with melodic instruments, particularly oud and sitar, and I also enjoy electronic music and playing with synths. But what really inspires me is multi-percussion—playing with other percussionists and drummers and getting a really good beat going and the energy kicking.
I teach tabla and deliver both rhythm and Indian music workshops to schools, colleges, and universities, and I’m a part-time associate lecturer at the University of Plymouth, where I work on the world music module.
While I have a deep respect and interest in the world music traditions that I’ve studied, I also have an interest in finding ways of combining elements from these traditions with each other, with Western rhythmic ideas, and with contemporary performance tools and technology, particularly combining traditional acoustic instruments with live electronics.
Over the past six years I’ve been developing my solo project, Drumscapes, which is a multi-percussion, multi-track, live sampling performance.
In a Drumscapes performance I play a range of percussion instruments including Indian tabla, frame drums, Egyptian tabla (darabuka), djembe, cajon, riq, as well as tambourine, shakers, woodblocks, and mouth harps and vocal percussion. All instruments are played, sampled, and processed live onstage, creating multi-layered rhythmic soundscapes.
I use a MIDI keyboard as a controller for my laptop, which enables me to control the recording studio with my toes while I’m playing the instruments with my hands. By mapping the MIDI controller to various controls in the software studio, it’s possible to perform full multi-track sampling pieces without touching the laptop itself. I also process the audio with digital effects, enabling me to create more electronic sounds, drones, etc. from the drum and vocal samples.
Here is a link to a Drumscapes TEDxWarwick performance, and one from the Contact Theatre, both from 2012. Hope you enjoy!
My websites are jonsterckx.co.uk and drumscapes.net. I’m also on Facebook.com. Do feel free to get in touch with any questions or comments, or just to say hi.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to Modern Drummer for providing a great platform for information, networking, and sharing. Happy drumming, all!