A video of the Game of Thrones theme song being played on traditional Indian percussion instruments, the tablas, has gone viral. It was released by musician Karan Chitra Deshmukh one day before the sixth season of Game of Thrones began airing across the world.
The Mumbai-based artist has been playing the tablas for about five years and has previously worked with some of India's biggest musicians, including AR Rahman and Karsh Kale. He said that while he isn't particularly a Game of Thrones fan himself, his cousin is and asked if he could cover the theme song on the tablas.
"As a child I always used to go to the kitchen and grab a couple of utensils and play along with the songs on reality TV shows," 22-year-old Deshmukh told IBTimes UK. He added with a laugh: "Coincidentally our neighbour was a tabla teacher, but I never wanted to join the classes with the fear of getting beaten up if I wouldn't play well."
The Game of Thrones tabla cover has been watching by thousands of people since it was uploaded, and has also gained widespread media attention within India. Deshmukh plays the iconic theme song using nine dayans (main drum) and a bayan (low-pitched drum), all of which are collectively known as a tabla tarang.
Aside from playing the tabla, Deshmukh also plays a number of other percussion instruments such as the cajon, dholki, dimdi, djembe and others. He is now learning how to play the piano and is also developing a musical technique that allows him to use his voice to sound like he is playing the flute.
Deshmukh said: "Most people learn all the cool Western instruments rather than Indian instruments, but at the end it's what you like and eventually you master it. I loved the sound of the tabla, I explored it. I like the sound of the djembe, I played djembe. It's all about the feelings you experience when you hear music. You like it, you just go for it."
Deshmukh is currently part of a group called Sounds of the Sufis, who have been referred to as being India's first interactive musical documentary. Through music, anecdotes and personal narratives, they aim to trace the journey of Sufism from the 8th century AD to its present day and will be performing at London's Nehru Centre in May 2016.