Ganesh Anandan was born and raised in Bangalore, South India, where he studied Carnatic flute under the tutorship of G. Venugopal for 5 years and later the mrdangam with K. K. Parthasarthy for 5 years. After completing university (B. com) in 1976, he moved to Canada where he studied western classical music theory, ethnomusicology (Gamelan music) and took part in a variety of percussion workshops including the bodhran and tar with Glen Velez (USA) and the tamurrelo and tammurriata with Carlo Rizzo (Italy). Ganesh was awarded several grants from The Canada Arts Council and Le Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec for artistic projects and studies. On one such grant, he had long term studies with T. N. Shashikumar at the renowned Karnataka College of Percussion in Bangalore studying the tavil, a ritual two-sided drum and the kanjira, a South-Indian tambourine.
As a composer, improviser and creator of original instruments, Ganesh Anandan is an extraordinary percussion explorer specializing in his own finger drumming language he likes to call Fingerworks. He freely combines his native South- Indian drumming techniques with those of personal and contemporary musical aesthetics. He transposed the carnatic drumming techniques to other hand drumming instruments, self made objects and frame drums. Concerning these transpositions, he wrote an educational book & dvd, titled Solkattu. In 1996, he collaborated with French sculptor Pascal Dufaux who conceived and built a 14 foot metal sculpture in the shape of a turtle which acted as a sonic resonator and housed Ganesh self made Shruti instruments for the performance. With the help of woodworker Nicholas Munroe, Ganesh built a series of melodic percussion instruments based on the Indian 22-shruti system (22 intervals ) and wrote music for a series of concerts called ESPACE SHRUTI at Theatre La Chapelle, Montreal. The double experience of Canada and India has styled and woven the ensemble of his work. Ganesh presently resides in Berlin and works internationally.
As an independent artist Ganesh Anandan’s artistic itinerary is eclectic and remarkable. Besides his contribution to film, dance and theatre creations, he has composed and performed with:
- Ensemble Modern (Germany)
- Liang He-Ping - erhu (China)
- Malcolm Goldstein - violin (USA)
- Paolo Angeli - (Sardinia)
- Hans Reichel (Germany)
- Franz Hautzinger (Austria)
- Jure Tori Trio (Slovania/Austria)
- Debashish Batacharya - north Indian slide guitar (India)
- Bob Brozman - slide guitar (USA)
- Omar Sosa - piano (Cuba)
- Glen Velez - frame drums (USA)
- Rainer Wiens - guitar (Canada)
- Ramasutra - dj Ram (Canada)
- Rainer Wiens - prepared guitar (Canada)
- Patrick Graham - bodhran and percussion (Canada)
- Carlo Rizzo - Italian tambourines
- Michel Cusson Ensemble (Canada)
- Colin Offord – great bowing company (Australia)
- The Karnataka College of Percussion ensemble - (India)
Ganesh has worked with dancers including: Roger Sinha, Mariko Tanabae, Hideo Arai (Japan), Peter Chin, Nadine Thouin, Natasha Bakht, Lin Snelling, Motaz Kabbani, The Beijing Modern Dance Ensemble (China) and multi-disciplinary artists Pascal Dufaux, Guy Laramée, Jerry Snell, Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. He has scored for film makers including: Martin Frigon (Canada), Pierre Mignault & Helene Magny (Canada), Tamas Wormser (Canada/Hungary), Carlos Ferrand (Canada/Peru), Maziar Bahari (Canada/Iran), Peter Svatek (Canada) among others.