Laurence has been playing music all his life, learning pianoforte and viola as a child. Since 2002 Laurence has focused on learning North Indian Classical music, taking taleem (training) from Shri Mehboob Nadeem initially in Hindustani vocal and subsequently on sitar. Mehboob ji comes from an illustrious family of musicians. He is the grandson of the legendary Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan (Pranpiya) and Gayan Samrat Ustad Asmat Hussain Khan (Dilrang). He is a student of the world-renowned sitar maestro Pandit Arvindh Parikh. Laurence has also studied with Ustad Rafat Khan Nayazi in Mumbai.
Laurence said “My interest in Indian music starts with its unique and extraordinary sound – the pure melody against a single unchanging drone – but what is most important to me is the work of riyaz (practice) – the intense, disciplined and committed practice that this music calls for and that enables us to refine our sound, expression, pitch and rhythm. After all it is this inner training that really matters.”
Laurence started theSitarProject in 2005 in Edinburgh as part of the suite of activities undertaken by the Indian Music and Dance Collective (now sadly no longer operating). Over the last decade the project has gradually grown. In 2014 through a collaboration with the University of Edinburgh the project started offering sitar classes at the University. We are delighted to extend our collaboration now to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Laurence is very experienced in teaching sitar to people from the widest possible range of backgrounds, and welcomes anyone who wants to learn, whatever their background, age, race, aspirations or musical experience.
Laurence said “My teaching follows the approach taken by my guru Shri Mehboob Nadeem, who is exceptionally good at staying true to the traditions followed by Hindustani musicians for centuries whilst adapting it to the needs, aspirations and circumstances of today. I try to pass on what I have learned myself, taking care that everyone has a great experience whilst they develop their skills and knowledge of Hindustani classical music step-by-step.”