Tom Teasley | Dreams of India

Go To Artist Page

More Artists From
United States - Washington DC

Other Genres You Will Love
World: Drumming Jazz: Jazz Fusion Moods: Solo Instrumental
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

Dreams of India

by Tom Teasley

This is a unique Indo / American hybrid. This Dept of St.Cultural Ambassador performs on over twenty instruments including tabla, doumbek, and all manor of ancient to futuristic percussion. In addition he plays melodica, bamboo flutes keyboards and more
Genre: World: Drumming
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Continue Shopping
just a few left.
order now!
Buy 2 or more of this title's physical copies and get 20% off
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
1. Om Tat Sat
4:43 $0.99
2. Whispers in the Wind
5:34 $0.99
3. Breath of Smoke
3:39 $0.99
4. Fire Dance
3:40 $0.99
5. Indra and Arvasu
3:05 $0.99
6. Mask of Vritra
3:50 $0.99
7. Silver Rain
3:37 $0.99
8. Sacrifice
4:36 $0.99
9. Dance for Arvasu
4:42 $0.99
10. Sketches of India
3:29 $0.99
11. Namaste
3:21 $0.99
12. Fists of Karna
3:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

“Multi-Instrumental genius, Tom Teasley…hauntingly beautiful melodies”- Rebecca Ritzel – The Washington Post

Welcome to my latest sonic adventure! The music, culture and people of India have always intrigued and inspired me. This music will serve as the soundtrack for Constellation’s Theatre production, The Fire and the Rain by Girish Karnad, an Indian epic based on The Mahabharata. While this is not intended to be an authentic or scholarly representation of the depth of Indian music it is meant to be my humble adaptation of it through my eyes, ears and imagination combined with extensive collaborations with musicians throughout the world. I’m performing on more than twenty different instruments. The combination of ancient instruments including tabla, doumbek, tambourines, shakers and all manor of percussion with several bamboo flutes, are joined with modern electronic percussion, keyboards and melodicas to form the genre bending ancient / futuristic sonic pallet.
In keeping with the character of underscore I frequently will have instruments in dialog with one another; bass melodica conversing with Arabic whistle, snare drum with castanets, sitar with melodica and many other examples. While pondering the element of fire I became intrigued with the concept of breath as a musical element. It is also an important part of any yoga practice. I’m making use of rhythmic breathing in several selections for dramatic and textural effect. While doing so I’m fusing vocal percussion that draws on the Indian tradition of konnakkol with whispered American beat-box. There are time signatures of 7/4 and 11/4 in addition to the more common 4/4 patterns. Teachers I’ve been blessed to study with inspired much of this music. These master musicians include including drumset wizard, Joe Morello, Indian kanjira and mirdangam maestro Trichy Sankaran, and frame drum master Glen Velez. The complex rhythmic structures of India are certainly an inspiration but most of my rhythmic vocabulary draws more from the American jazz tradition of Max Roach, Ed Blackwell and others. Much of the melodic inspiration is drawn from American jazz and blues. It is my desire to create a timeless unique Indo-American fusion that pays tribute to both cultures. As always, my engineer, collaborator and friend Jim Robeson’s contributions are invaluable. I sincerely hope that the result is nearly as enjoyable a listen as it was to create.
Track Notes

1. Om Tat Sat is a mult-cultural hybrid that features Tom on doumbek, melodica, keyboards and konnakol (vocal percussion). It is in 11/4 and is inspired by the South Indian rhythmic concept of rhythms at different rates of speed. At one point all three speeds are present at the same time in the vocal percussion. There is interplay between the doumbek and melodica to create a rhythmic / melodic call and response.
2. Whispers in the Wind combines tunable frame drums, African Mbira, shakers and whispered vocal percussion. The goal is to invoke the meditative sound of wind through the trees.
3. Breath of Smoke features the Native American flute supported by clay drums, subtle electronic percussion, cajon (wooden box drum) and vocal percussion. This music is inspired by the ethereal beauty of the Indian bansuri flute and makes use of half-hole fingerings on the bamboo flute.
4. Fire Dance explores an explosive percussion showcase in 7/4 time. The Roland HandSonic supplies the foundation while the doumbek and cajon have an exuberant call and response dialog.
5. Indra and Arvasu is a dance like composition that makes use of an unusual dialog between the bass melodica and bamboo flute supported by a dynamic percussive combination of cajon, riq (Middle Eastern tambourine) and cymbal.
6. Mask of Vritra is an otherworldly mixture of finger style bodhran, riq, shakers and whispered vocal percussion.
7. Silver Rain – combines delicate metal percussion of glockenspiel, hang drum and cymbal. The stereo imaging of a single cymbal is a device frequently used to expand the tonal sound design by exploring the delicate nuance from a single instrument.
8. Sacrifice is Tom’s take on Mumbai via the South Side of Chicago with sparse blues lines combined with tunable frame drums, shakers, kalimba, crotales and keyboards. There is a constant 2 over 3 polyrhythm that continues throughout the piece.
9. Dance for Arvasu showcases alto melodica (a cousin to the Indian harmonium) in dialog with udu (clay drum), riq and shakers. The eastern scales intertwine with quartal lines inspired by jazz great Herbie Hancock.
10. Sketches of India is inspired by the great Miles Davis / Gil Evans collaboration, “Sketches of Spain”. Castanets conversing with orchestral snare drum complete the soundscape of keyboards, bamboo flute, delicate cymbal and cajon.
11. Namaste is the single major key composition on the recording. It is to serve as a counterbalance to the more exotic tonalities used elsewhere.
12. Fists of Karna features the South Indian kanjira (small tambourine with one jingle). Tom employs techniques from South Italy and jazz rhythms inspired by Max Roach.

* All music composed by and all instruments performed by Tom Teasley.
*For press inquiries and more information visit

Reviews from The show, "The Fire and The Rain"

Constellation Theatre Presents
The Fire and The Rain
With Original Music by Tom Teasley
My friends at Constellation Theatre have staged another beautiful epic by Girish Karnad. This beautiful piece is based on The Mahabharata. I’m playing live on stage with an assortment of about 20 instruments. These include all manor of ancient / futuristic percussion, bamboo flutes, keyboards and more. It’s such a pleasure to collaborate once again with director Allison Stockman, set and lighting wizard A.J. Gubin, master costumer Kendra Rai and all the wonderful actors at Constellation Theatre. The show is getting rave reviews from all over with the music receiving lots of special attention. Some quotes:
Skype students from California, New Jersey, West Virginia, Europe and beyond! I’m now offering new students who s
“Quite literally in the center of all this chaotic action is composer and one-man-orchestra Tom Teasley, who plays more than 20 traditional instruments from an orchestra pit built into the center of A.J. Guban’s stage. His relentless, energetic score propels the show out of its start right through its bloody climax. The drum-heavy composition is reminiscent of the anxiety-inducing soundtrack to González Iñárritu’s Birdman, particularly when it plays under tense arguments and negotiations. Teasley’s instruments also provide sound effects to Robb Hunter’s tightly choreographed fights, and guide the play’s multiple dance sequences. Teasley’s prominence on stage is no mistake: Karnad’s love story may hold the plot together, but Teasley’s ethereal score binds the play’s fights and dances and fables and vignettes into a cohesive, exciting production.” Washington City Paper - Riley Croghan

“And the masterful composer and performer Tom Teasley once again provides atmospheric music throughout the show from a position on A.J. Guban’s set.” The Washington Post– Celia Wren

“The play begins with a primal symphony of Tom Teasley’s drums, resonating with one another from the small depression he occupies in the middle of the stage. Teasley, a Constellation associate artist, three-time recipient of the Fulbright-Hayes grant and former Kennedy Center artist in residence, has traveled the world to collaborate with indigenous musicians, creating a unique fusion of cultural influences. For this production, his score blends 20 different ancient and modern instruments to seamlessly integrate the rhythmic structures of India with those of American jazz.
At first it seems strange that Teasley is so prominently featured at center stage, until it becomes clear that music is the soul of this production. This is not a play with background music, or even musical theater. It is storytelling in voice and motion to the persistent beat and notes of drums, flute and keyboard, driving and heightening the intensity of the narrative from the first moment to the last. The performers that surround Teasley are acting out a story, one that’s more poem than script, as he calls the tune.” Capitol Hill Rag - BARBARA WELLS

Teasley sets the mood for each scene, and draws the audience in like a snake charmer.” - Molly Cox Brightest Young Things

“The other element of the show that really provides bang for your buck is Tom Teasley’s music, which is not only the soundtrack of the play, but the transitional mortar that holds the plays scenes together. He plays and mixes this music live with a stunning array of instruments, including a Melodica, various drums, and a looper to replay the sounds he’s just created to create layered music. Teasley’s work keeps The Fire and the Rain in the source material with his melodic choices, but also keeps the audience present with his on-the-fly mixing, smoothing over rough transitions with an interlude of his own. He’s fun to watch, and even though he was on the stage the entire time, I kept wanting more of him.”- Alan Katz DCtheatrescene

“At the center of the action (literally) sits composer and musician Tom Teasley, whose eclectic instrumentation and talent for improvisation give us that wonderful, otherworldly feel. A recording of his work for the show is available for purchase here, but there is simply no substitute for seeing him interact with the cast live, adding his own narrative and emotional touches as the story unfolds.” – Andrew White Broadway World

I have recorded a soundtrack to the show that is only available through Constellation Theatre through the run. Dream of India is a solo recording featuring all of the instruments form the show with several additions.

I have also arranged for a 25% discount for my friends and subscribers with the codeword “drummer”

Please visit here to preview and purchase my previous CDs.
: Teasley website, itunes, and CD Baby

Here is a video of a performance of the multi percussion featuring me on doumbek. Please enjoy, Fire Dance!



to write a review