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 ethnosuperlounge.com/t2t2/ 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
Email: mailto:director@bemac.org.au

Website: www.bemac.org.au

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?