Monday, August 27, 2007

Photos from Pulse + other weekend news

Tenzin @ Pulse

Shen @ Pulse at the Transcontinental Hotel, Brisbane.

Notice the wrought-iron Queenslander-style verandah-fencing in front of the stage. I sat on a couple of high beer tables! It was a really nice set with Tenzin, who I've been playing with almost since he came to Australia 10 years ago. We have developed a nice rapport and can improvise freely together. I'm really happy to have Tenzin as my friend. This time we played a piece for flute, a few of Tenzin's songs with dranyen (Tibetan lute), and some tabla solo with dranyen nagma.

Spankinhide @ Pulse
(L to R: Tony, Aden, Piers, Charles, Elliott)

Long long ago (for a few years back around 1996) I used to play with Elliott in a percussion band called Bubada Dubada, which had a monthly gig called The Big Bang. Bubada Dubada, which used to play a blend of African, Indian, Latin and hippy-tribal percussion, has now evolved under Elliott's guidance into Spankinhide, who play traditional West African drumming pieces. They were so tight - I was really impressed. Pretty much all the members are capable of leading the group, and they have developed a whole bunch of really cool musical "moves" which they can use as a group. Great stuff!

Other Weekend News
Also this weekend, I had a recording session with Alec Burns, who is submitting a song to Australian radio station Triple J's Unearthed competition. (I'd like to add links but we're on dialup at Rosecliffe St right now.... broadband coming soon, we hope!)

I then sped over to the other side of town for a rehearsal with Vijaya Visvanathan's students for her coming student concert on Sep 1. Playing tabla with lots of cute South Indian kids!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Swara Mohini Strings of India photos

On Saturday I took part in two separate concerts for the Indian community in Brisbane. First up I played in Toowong with sitar player Sudha Manian for an Indian Senior Citizens Day event. I know Sudha is a subscriber to this blog, so my apologies for not remembering to organise a photo, Sudha! But here's a photo of some girls doing a Bharat Natyam performance there:

After the concert in Toowong, my companion Tenzin and I zipped over to Sunnybank for a concert for Swara Mohini, an Indian classical music cultural association. We had a bit of trouble finding the Sunnybank Community Hall and stumbled onto another Indian Senior Citizens Day event in the nearby school hall. Wrong event, but we had a delicious free meal and I met a parent who may be able to organise weekly kids tabla lessons for me in Sunnybank. The Swara Mohini concert was called "Strings of India":

Rajyashree Josyer Shrikanth (Veena) with Arthavan Selvanathan on Mridangam
Arthavan is about 15 years old and an excellent mridingam player!

Shrabani Choudhury (Sitar) with Shen

Shrabani Choudhury and Rajyashree Josyer Shrikanth

Friday, August 17, 2007

Melbourne: Jazz fusion with Jonathan Dimond

A couple more snaps from Melbourne...

During a performance/lecture with Jonathan Dimond at Box Hill TAFE
Jonathan Dimond not only plays amazing jazz bass but also trombone and tabla, and his jazz compositions feature many influences from Indian music. Last Wednesday afternoon we gave a performance/lecture at Box Hill TAFE where he teaches. Most of the 2 hour session was spent with he and I in discussion and answering students' questions about Indian music, tabla, learning music, improvising... We also played Raga Bhairavi (on fretless bass) in rupak taal, a tabla solo in teentaal, and one of Jonathan's compositions, Jog Blues. Thanks for inviting me Jonathan!

The obligatory Melbourne tram photo
Melbourne has a distinct atmosphere, very multicultural (many Indians and Chinese), lots of shops and restaurants, colder weather than Brisbane, and there are trams. I spent a day visiting St Kilda where I used to live back in 1994, the year I started tabla...

Monday, August 13, 2007

St Andrews Market, Glen Kniebeiss' Temple of Tabla

Some photos from last Saturday, when I went with my sister Jacki and her fiance Darren to St Andrews Market about 50km from Melbourne.

Me in the chai tent at St Andrews Market

Shen, Jacki and Darren at St Andrews Market

Shen & Glen Kniebeiss practising at Glen's place in Eltham.

Glen's house has pictures of all the gurus of tabla all around, and is a veritable temple of tabla. Glen plays tabla very nicely and is a lovely fellow - I hope to play with him much more. His wife is Japanese, and her mother came to one of my concerts in Osaka and bought my CD! When they visit Japan next year, I hope they can meet my musician friends there.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sydney/Melbourne snaps

Practising with Sarangan Sriranganathan in his home in Sydney. Very enjoyable. :-) Sarangan is from Sri Lanka and can apparently play South Indian percussion, sing both Carnatic and Hindustani classical vocal, and as you can see play sitar! He's also a busy dentist.

Glen Kniebeiss and Sarita McHarg performing in a church in Melbourne

I've been having a luvverly time in Melbourne with my sister Jacki and her fiance Darren, and meeting various folks around town almost every day, notably tabla players Sam Evans and Glen Kniebeiss, sitar players Sarita McHarg and Dennis (sorry I've forgotten your surname!), a bunch of drummers at St Andrews Markets, bass player and former Brisbanite Jonathan Dimond (we have a show/lecture/interview at Box Hill TAFE on Wednesday), and most importantly of all my first tabla teacher, Debu Bhattacharya. A few more people to meet yet...

Coming up: Shen returns to Brisbane and settles down for a while from August 11...