DMU graduate shares his expertise on BBC show The Repair Shop

Graduated from De Montfort Leicester University (DMU) Kaviraj singhHis expertise in repairing classical Indian instruments has earned him an appearance on the BBC’s hit show The Repair Shop.

Old Music Technology appeared in the program, which follows specialist artisans restoring valuable heirlooms and antiques, to repair a badly damaged sitar.

Kaviraj, from Leeds, helped his brother and sister Kesar and Parveen revive an important piece of their legacy by repairing the instrument that once belonged to their late father.

He said: “It was a great opportunity. Someone contacted The Repair Shop last year through my website. They sent me pictures to analyze the instrument, then I went to film in September and October of last year.

Kaviraj, who has honed his skills in the care and maintenance of instruments like sitar and harmonium, expressed concern when he first saw the extent of damage as the instrument is made of ‘a gourd – which makes it difficult to find a material. match.

“A very big piece was missing. So a big worry was how I was going to fix this. Fortunately, I had material from a donor instrument that I couldn’t repair, and I managed to transplant it, ”he said.


Credit: The Repair Shop, BBC

Kaviraj said it was special to repair an instrument with so much history.

He said, “You can see how much music meant to them. The sitar had been damaged for a long time, so I think there was a lot of pent up emotion, not knowing if it could be fixed.

“In the end, it was like fixing one of their memories of their father and keeping it so that they could pass it on to their children as well.”


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Growing up in a musical household, Kaviraj said learning to repair instruments was “really just out of necessity”.

“My father was a sitar player himself, which prompted me to become a musician as well. With my dad and his students in need of repairs and adjustments, I just got started and kind of learned on the job, ”he said.

“I’m more of a practical person. There is a certain history of this in the family too, my great-grandfather was an engineer and a craftsman. He worked on the harmoniums, making the wooden cases. Maybe I have his repair gene!


Credit: The Repair Shop, BBC

As a musician, Kaviraj has performed in venues across the UK, Europe and India. In 2008, he became the youngest artist to perform at the Darbar Festival, which features classical Indian music and dance.

When it comes to deciding what to study at university, Kaviraj said that ‘music is always on the cards’ and that DMU’s music technology course allows him to combine that passion with his two other favorite subjects. – physics and engineering.

He said: “Music technology seemed like the best solution, connecting two different things that I liked. I really liked the hands-on experience, especially since there was a lot of electronics involved. Putting the circuits together, figuring out how all the equipment works, that was really great.

“The speakers had such a wealth of knowledge as well, and the studios and equipment we had access to were truly top of the line.

“If anyone wants to get into audio recording or live sound, this is a great course and it was very inspiring. I think that really sets you up for a good way out in the industry. “

Watch the full repair shop episode here.

Posted on Friday, May 14, 2021

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Lillie Berry

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