Shen & Anwar
Since being initiated in 1994 into the Benares Gharana of tabla by Late Pt Kaviraj Ashutosh Bhattacharya, one of the great old masters of the style, Shen Flindell has grown to become one of Australia’s leading tabla players. He is renowned for his beautiful, rich sound, which derives from a combination of his guru-ji’s attention to beautiful technique, his knowledge of tuning and maintaining tabla, and his high quality instruments and replacement skins.
Along the way Shen has developed a strong relationship with leading Banarsi tabla maker, Mohammad Anwar, son of renowned tabla maker Shamshuddin. Alongside his classical tabla training, Anwar taught Shen many useful skills in repairing and tuning tabla.
Bringing tabla and other supplies into Australia has always been an issue due to our strict quarantine regulations. At one stage Shen gave up in disgust and went to play music in Japan for a few years, but eventually confronted the issue head-on and worked closely with Anwar over several years to produce tabla and documentation which would reliably clear Australian quarantine. There were many experiments and failures along the way, including some trials with synthetic substitutes, but we are now successfully importing high quality, traditional full rawhide drums and parts with Quarantine approval.