Monday, December 17, 2007

Taro in Oz 2007 tour photos

The first part of bansuri player Taro Terahara's tour is now complete, and the electricity situation at home has been resolved, so I can now post some photos of all the fun we've been having:

Home Concert with Pinaki Bose

I was invited to accompany touring Indian classical singer Pinaki Bose at a home concert on the Gold Coast the day after Taro arrived. He is a very talented singer, reminiscent of the great Rashid Khan. I was very honoured to play with him and to receive his warm compliments on my accompaniment, especially for vilambit ektaal.

Pinaki Bose (vocal), accompanied by Shen (tabla) and Joseph Nand (harmonium)

We were joined in the second half by Taro Terahara on bansuri. It really was a wonderful concert.

From left to right: Joseph Nand (harmonium), Taro Terahara (bansuri), Pinaki Bose (vocal), Shen Flindell (tabla), Ambika Nand, Mahendra Singh (tamboura)

Bamboo Bliss @ Brisbane City Hall
This was the main event of the tour. Many thanks to Shikara Design for sponsorship, support and the most beautiful decorations for the stage and foyer.

Shen and Taro performing at Ithaca Auditorium, Brisbane City Hall

Temple of Melodious Sound in Ocean Shores
After the big Brisbane concert, and with our house without electricity for a few days, it was a welcome break to go and stay with flute player Paul Kimmel in Ocean Shores, near Byron Bay. On the way, we went for a swim at Tugun Beach and Taro forgot to remove his glasses before swimming! He is pretty short-sighted but luckily he has some magnifying swimming goggles. He had to wear these goggles for most of the week until we managed to get back to Brisbane and get some new glasses. He even played a few concerts with them! Pretty funny, pretty cool. :-)

Taro with his goggles in Ocean Shores

Taro jamming on tabla with guitar player Tarshito, who joined Paul Kimmel, Taro and myself for a home concert there.

Taro in Ocean Shores

Bansuri lessons for Indian kids
Today we went to give my weekly tabla lessons in Sunnybank, and one of the families also requested flute lessons from Taro for their kids. So cute!

Taro teaching flute to Navdha (my youngest tabla student)
(note the new spectacles!)

My tabla students

I've been back in Brisbane for 5 months now, and I've managed to accumulate a really nice bunch of tabla students, both kids and adults. Most of them come to my home but I also have a weekly kids class in Sunnybank (southern Brisbane).

Here are the kids, from smallest to biggest:

Navdha (5 years old)

Kanhaiya (7 - Navdha's brother)

Thejan (7)

Sanjay (11 - Thejan's cousin)

Krishanu (11)

Shane (11)

And here are the adults, beginning with the most recent additions to the family:




Rob (now learning more than 2 years)

Brent (now learning more than 3 years)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Life without electricity @ Rosecliffe

Rosecliffe St is without electricity for the foreseeable future, so this could be my last blog for a while... (or they'll be much less frequent anyway)

3am Saturday morning, after Taro & I had returned from a fantastic home concert on the Gold Coast with singer Pinaki Bose, a really strong storm passed through Brisbane. I was jerked awake by a shower of sparks above me, which went on for a few seconds before stopping abruptly. All our electricity was out, and has remained so since.

The electrical cable to our house passed through a tree which was blown about by the storm, pulling the cable-attachment on the house out. The landlord has been incredibly negligent with our house and there's now considerable repair to be done before Energex will re-connect us.

That same day was the day of Taro & my big concert at City Hall, so the after-party back home was a candle-lit affair, depending on ice in an esky to keep drinks cool. Any music was made by real people and a lot of the conversation revolved around the possibilities for life without mains electricity. Pedal-power generators for 12V batteries?

Many postulate that the current economic system will inevitably collapse and so we will have to return to a much lower energy usage lifestyle. We're leading the way, you see.

It's very peaceful without electricity, actually.

Bamboo Bliss - photos on

Sheri of has kindly posted her excellent photos of Taro Terahara & my "Bamboo Bliss" concert at Brisbane City Hall on Saturday night.

There are also loads of other photos of my recent concerts on the site. (Please note that you have to register on the left of the page to see the gallery images.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Taro Terahara in Australia

My good friend and one of my favourite musicians, Taro Terahara arrives in Australia on Thursday. We had a really fun tour last year and I'm really looking forward to this year's tour, which will take in Brisbane, Byron, Maleny, Noosa, Melbourne, a drive across Australia via Canberra and Sydney, Woodford Folk Festival, and finally a couple of home and temple concerts back in Brissie. Full schedule below... Concert info can be found via our tour info page.

Current schedule:
Thu 6: Taro arrives in Brisbane
Fri 7: Home concert on Gold Coast with Pinaki Bose
Sat 8: Main concert Brisbane City Hall
Sun 9: Go to Ocean Shores near Byron Bay (Paul's house)
Tue 11: Home concert @ Paul's "Temple of Melodious Sound" including jam with Paul and guitar player Tarshito
Wed 12: Jam session at The Forest in West End
Thu 13: Maleny UpFront Club (Daniel)
Sat 15: EthnoSuperLounge Xmas Party @ Core Yoga with many world music friends
Sun 16: Tibet2Timbuk2 @ The J in Noosa (Daniel)
Wed 19: Fly to Melbourne
Thu 20-Fri 21: meet some people in Melbourne including my guru Debu
Sat 22: Melbourne concert
Sun 23-Mon 24: Drive back to Brisbane 1800km, Yuriko arrives
Tue 25: Christmas
Wed 26: Go to Woodford
Thu 27-Tue 1: Woodford
Wed 2: Jam at The Forest (maybe)
Thu 3: Yuriko returns
Sat 5: Ty and Steve's Brisbane workshop and concert
Sun 6: Home concert for Indian community
Tue 8: Concert at Sai Baba Temple with Ty and Steve
Wed 9: Taro returns to Japan

Wow... すごいね。

Pinaki Bose

On Saturday night I went to see Indian classical vocalist Pinaki Bose performing at a Swara Mohini concert in Sunnybank. Pinaki Bose is quite young (24 years old), but he definitely impressed at this concert - a very capable singer, following in the footsteps of his Ustad, the great singer Rashid Khan.

Pinaki Bose, accompanied on tabla by Dheeraj Shrestha and harmonium by Joseph Nand

Pinaki-ji's hosts have invited me to accompany him at a home concert on the Gold Coast this Friday night. Taro will be around, so while I can't guarantee anything I hope he will also get a chance to play.

Monday, December 03, 2007

West End Moment

Walkin' down Boundary St in West End the other day I heard strange beautiful jazzy horn sounds, and found some happy folk sitting out front of the new cafe, Pedro's @ West End.

Regular Forest session participant, trumpet player Sam and friends

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tibet2Timbuk2 with Menaka (concert photos)

Wow, the other night's Global Soul Music (Vol 3) featured some really wonderful music. I am really happy with all the music I have been involved with recently. Ten years of playing music with various folks in Brisbane on and off is really starting to bear fruit now.

Tibet2Timbuk2 with special guest Menaka Visvanathan

Shen and Menaka

Tenzin and Marcello

Tenzin, Marcello and myself have been playing together on and off for many years now, and especially as the 3-piece Tibet2Timbuk2 in the last couple of years. Last week's concert at BEMAC allowed us to collaborate with Sudanese musician Asim Gorashi, and this week we invited beautiful Indian singer Menaka Visvanathan to join us. She really added a lot to the group and we will definitely work with her again. Not only did she sing some beautiful South Indian classical vocal and devotional bhajans, but she also added harmonies to Tenzin and Marcello's songs in a more Western style. Very versatile and talented with a bright future - I've known Menaka since she was 16 and I'm enjoying seeing her blossom now.

Unfortunately, unlike last month's Global Soul Music, audience numbers were back down to around 20 this month. It is very disappointing for me. I really believe in the music we are producing, but I do hope for more support from the community. Hopefully if I can continue this monthly event for a while yet, with the support of musicians (who likely won't get paid), this small devoted audience will grow into a bigger regular crowd.

SET 1:
  1. Beautiful Girl (Tenzin-Marcello song with solos by Menaka)
  2. Tenzin Solo + jam on Tenzin's song
  3. Tabla solo (lehera by Tenzin)
  4. Menaka solo vocal
  5. Bhajan: Hey Govinda (all)
  6. Bhajan: Hare Krishna
SET 2:
  1. Time Doesn't Wait/Murali (a blend of Marcello's new African song with an Indian song by Menaka)
  2. Murphy's Law (Marcello song, including Tenzin on flute)
  3. Bhajan: Jay Jay Govinda
  4. Bhajan: Rama Rama Jay Raja Ram
  5. Dawe Wola (Tibet2Timbuk2 song - joined by Peter Hunt and Sam on trumpets)
  6. White Crane (Tibet2Timbuk2 song - joined by Peter Hunt and Sam on trumpets)
  7. Music is Life (Marcello song joined by all)

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Just a quick post so that this lovely rehearsal photo doesn't get too waylaid...
The other week I had a nice rehearsal with a group developing a show called "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam"

Siroos Alavi (oud/vocal), Donald Hall (harp), Cieavash Arean (various vocal and instruments), Dania Cornelius (poetry recitation, opera singing)

Here's the blurb from their recent show:

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the eleventh century Persian masterpiece, will be presented by a quartet of performers from both Iran and Australia, these being Cieavash Arean and Siroos Alavi, both with extensive performance experience in both Iran and Australia, opera singer Dania Cornelius, recently returned from performing in Germany, and Donald Hall. The instruments included in this performance, which follows the traditional recitation of verse accompanied by a musical ensemble, are santour, (hammered dulcimer), tar (mandolin), oud (lute), Komanche, (violin), ney, (reed flute), daff, (large tambourine), tombek (finger drum) and chromatic harp.

This group is the only ensemble in the entire world where you will hear the original lineup of classical Persian instrumentation.

Hopefully I will be able to play with them again as they are looking to put the show on around the place and include myself on percussion.

Thanks guys!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tibet2Timbuk2 concert photos

On Friday night Tibet2Timbuk2 played a concert for BEMAC's Cultivart Program. BEMAC stands for Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre and their Cultivart program is for presenting new world music projects. It was a really nice concert, with diverse range of music from Tenzin Choegyal's Tibetan nomad songs, my own Indian classical tabla solo, Asim Gorashi's Sudanese songs, Marcello Milani's Afro/pop/reggae songs, and the combination of all.

The recent funding cut to BEMAC and a number of other cultural organisations in Queensland cast a shadow over the evening. It's possible this might have been the last ever BEMAC event. All the artists involved told stories about how BEMAC has been important for helping us become world music performers. It would be a real shame if BEMAC was forced to cease operations - please write an email to the Queensland Premier to express support for BEMAC.

Asim Gorashi and Marcello Milani

Tenzin, who just got back from 3 months in USA the day before the gig!

Shen performing tabla solo

Marcello singing one of his songs

Asim Gorashi in the mood on violin

Many thanks to Richard McLaren for the photos

First set:
  1. Beautiful Girl (Marcello/Tenzin collaborative song)
  2. Himalaya (Tenzin's song, solo then group accompaniment)
  3. Tabla Solo (Shen with lehera by Tenzin)
  4. Allah (beautiful song by Asim on guitar with Marcello and Shen)
  5. Music is Life (Marcello song, Asim on violin, Tenzin on flute, Shen on tabla)
  6. Radio (Asim's song, playing oud with Marcello and Shen)
Second set:
  1. Sudani (Asim's song, playing violin with Marcello and Shen)
  2. Murphy's Law (Marcello solo, then accompanied by Asim and Shen)
  3. Zim Jam (African-style song by Marcello with Asim and Shen)
  4. Dawe Wola (Tenzin's song accompanied by all)
  5. White Crane (Tenzin's song accompanied by all)
Please visit to hear studio versions of some of these songs.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

BEMAC loses funding!

The news that BEMAC and various other cultural organisations in Queensland have lost operational funding has been a big shock to many in the cultural sector here. Please read and act on the following announcement:



The Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre has had its operational funding application cut by the Arts Queensland.

“We are shocked to hear that the only multicultural arts servicing organisation in South East Queensland has been denied operational funding by Arts Queensland. BEMAC has been linking refugee and migrant communities with opportunities for professional development of artists, employment in all major festivals and events and engaging with grass roots artists to encourage cross cultural and cultural exchange thereby contributing to the Queensland cultural landscape for over twenty years” Director Bronte Morris said today.

The BEMAC Chairman Rossven Naidoo has invited all BEMAC members, supporters, audiences, stakeholders and friends to send a message to the Minister for the Arts, Hon Rod Welford to voice their concern at the funding cuts to BEMAC and the 20 other community arts organisations. He feels that the loss of grass roots community arts organisations such as BEMAC will dramatically change the Queensland cultural landscape through the lack of representation in the arts of diverse groups.

For twenty years BEMAC has been providing employment for thousands of multicultural and multicultural inspired artists.

This year the organisation has been successful in securing over $300,000 in project grants from the Australia Council and local government. The funding cut now puts in jeopardy the ability of the organisation to deliver these projects. It would seem there is confidence in the organisation on a Federal and local level, but none on a State level. Without these funds we are unable to employ staff, and pay our operational costs and therefore serious and responsible consideration must be given to closing the organisation and our duty under the Incorporations Act to avoid insolvency.

Other organisations who have been denied further funding are the Arts Law Centre, Queensland Community Arts Network, Kooemba Djarra Aboriginal Theatre, Vulcana Women’s Circus and Hands On Art Children’s Art Centre, to name a few.

Letters can be sent to:

The Premier of Queensland, Mrs Anna Bligh
General Office
Phone: 07 3224 4500,
Facsimile: 07 3221 3631
PO Box 15185
City East Queensland 4002

cc to:

Leigh Tabrett
Deputy Director-General
Arts Queensland
GPO Box 1436
Brisbane Q 4001

Chris Bowen
Director, Music & Dance
Arts Queensland
GPO Box 1436
Q 4001

Rod Welford
Minister for Education, Training and the Arts
Parliament House
Cnr of George and Alice Streets
Brisbane, QLD, 4000
Ph: 07 3237 1000


Brisbane Multicultural Arts Centre
Yungaba 120 Main St Kangaroo Point Qld 4169
PO Box 7299 East Brisbane Qld 4169
Tel: 07 3391 4433 Fax:07 3391 2802


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

ESL Shop: Please Discuss?!

I've been hard at work on an online EthnoSuperLounge Shop recently, and it's now partially ready. I would like your opinions on pricing of downloadable songs by local world music artists. Please don't comment here but rather join the discussion on the EthnoSuperLounge Forum here: Price for downloading songs/CDs.

Other recent topics on the forum:
Difficulties faced by non-Indians in learning Indian music
: Music: The Ultimate Yoga?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sitar and Bhajans

Last night's Global Soul Music Vol 2 was a big success! Thanks to all who came. First set was Saikat Bhattacharya on sitar performing Raga Desh: Alap, Jor, Jhala, Gats in Vilambit and Drut Teentaal. Second set was Bhakti featuring Yani, with some beautiful bhajans and vocal improvisations. Thanks also to the Bhaktas (Alicia, Steff and Pete), Menaka and Ravi for joining in the jam, and as always Alicia on the door, Sheri on sound and Core Yoga for the space.

Sheri of also has some photos of Global Soul Music Vol 1, as well as last night's Vol 2 including this one of Saikat:

Saikat Bhattacharya performing Raga Desh

Shen, Yani and Alicia

Yani and her Bhaktas - Alicia, Steff and Pete

Bhakti invited guest singer Menaka Visvanathan to join the chorus
Menaka will perform at next month's Global Soul Music with Tibet2Timbuk2

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Brisbane Bengali Durga Puja

Tonight I had the honour of taking part in the Bengali Society of Queensland (BSQ) Durga Puja Cultural Night. My Guru-ji of tabla is Bengali and so I have very warm feelings for that distinctive Bengali atmosphere. As well as musical and dance presentations, some children recited Bengali poetry. They were really cute, but unfortunately I couldn't get any good photos of them. Here are some photos that did come out:

The altar for Durga Puja
L to R: Ganesha's wife (a banana tree dressed in a sari), Ganesh-ji, Lakshmi, Durga, Saraswati, Karthik

These statues were imported from India especially for the event. Must have cost a fortune!

Bengali boy playing violin - what tune? "Tijuana Taxi"

Kawaii ne!

Two more Bharat Natyam students of Brisbane teacher Chitra Yogi.

Rajyashree Josyer Shrikanth (electric veena) accompanied by Shen on tabla

Bengali ballads

The final group performance

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kora session @ Forest

It was one of my best World Music Wednesday sessions at The Forest yesterday, with regulars Ravi (jazz guitar), Tony (vocals/bongos) and myself (tabla) joined by Aden on kora. Aden's beautiful kora made an excellent base for the rest of us to improvise with, and Ravi & Tony's soloing was wonderful. Thanks heaps Aden - always welcome!

Aden (kora), Ravi (jazz guitar), Shen (tabla)

Aden (kora)

Ravi (jazz guitar)

Guess who...

Tony channeling Magambo spirits

Thanks to Ruth for taking the photos!