Since spending six months teaching at the Mathieson Music School in Calcutta in 1998, James has had a love for Indian music. He took tabla lessons whilst in India and had further Indian music education from Ken Zuckerman at the Ali Akbar School of Indian Music in Basel, Switzerland between 2003 and 2006.
He has since given cello and tabla concerts with Sankar Prosad Chowdhury and Kousic Sen at many festivals and concert venues in the UK such as Newbury Spring Festival, Music in the Round, The Abbey in Sutton Courteney, Brighton Music Festival, St Georges Bristol and The Yorke Trust Norfolk. He has performed with renowned musicians such as Sanjay Guha and the London Sitar Ensemble at the Purcell Room, and sarod player Tarun Jasani with the Amina Indian Dance Co. With the Ignite Ensemble, he shared the Wigmore Hall stage with the highly celebrated sarod player, Ustad Ali Khan.
Particularly with Tarun Jasani, James is often looking for new ways to create an environment in which western and Indian music can co-exist in a way which enhances rather than detracts from the integrity and effectiveness of both. To this effect he is currently working on a film score with Tarun Jasani, and also experimenting with singers Dia Chakravarty and Tanusree Guha.
He has also given Indian workshops and courses, working alongside Sanju Sahai and Rajeeb Chakrabaty at Aldborough Young Musicians.
“Gifted duo put on fascinating recital… James Barralet is a superb cellist by any standards. The two artistes fascinated the audience and you could hear a pin drop. Much of the music was improvised, with amazing rhythms. Puish and James kept a close eye on one another, and their rapport was wonderful.” Dorset Echo, March 2010 (Cello and tabla concert with Puish Kumar)