Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Taro Tour Part 5 - Steve Oda and Ty Burhoe

Following the craziness of Woodford, Taro and I were happy to take it easy for the last week of his tour. We had just a couple of small concerts - a home concert hosted by the Indian community of Brisbane and a temple concert in collaboration with 2 other touring artists, Steve Oda (sarod) and Ty Burhoe (tabla) from America. But first we attended Steve and Ty's own concert, at which Taro also played tamboura.

Ty Burhoe (tabla) and Steve Oda (sarod), with Taro Terahara accompanying on tamboura

Taro and Steve, deep in music

On Taro's last night in Australia, we had one of the best concerts I've ever been involved in: a jugalbandi between Steve Oda and Taro, accompanied on tabla by Ty Burhoe and myself, in the holy surroundings of Sri Saileshwara Sai Baba Temple in north Brisbane. The alaap was beautiful, but too long - 1 hour!!! The audience were wonderful, thank you. Special thanks to Dan Prasad and his family for hosting us.

Steve and Taro exploring Raga Puriya Dhanashree in the Sai Baba temple.

Double Jugalbandi!!! Ty Burhoe, Steve Oda, Taro Terahara, Shen Flindell, tamboura by Alicia

Many thanks to Taro for coming all the way from Japan to play with me. It was a wonderful experience. It is rare for me to have such a fabulous partner to play music with here in Australia. 楽しかったですね!

From now I have a much more open schedule. I'll mainly be teaching tabla to my growing number of students, and organising my monthly Global Soul Music shows. I'll be in Japan from late August for a few months this year, but otherwise enjoying the Australian lifestyle and doing what I can do develop Indian and world music here...

Taro Tour Part 4 - Woodford

Last year Taro & I played at Woodford Folk Festival, including the amazing New Year's Dawn concert, and the organisers were so happy that they invited us back this year. (Thanks Pat & Sim!) This year's Woodford was the wettest I've ever seen. It rained for most of every day except the second day. The hilltop events (New Year's Eve and Dawn) were cancelled, and a lot of people including myself skipped the Closing Ceremony. But everyone was there to enjoy themselves and a great time was had by all.

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of Taro & my "proper" concerts, just a couple of jam sessions... In all we played 13 concerts - 5 classical sets in Folklorica (our paid gigs), 1 set accompanying singer Menaka Visvanathan, and 7 "chalkboard" shows in the Chai tent, including an improvised collaboration with Butoh dancer Yumiko Nii, an EthnoSuperLounge session (pictured below), and a very exciting tabla duet with Perth-based tabla player Vicky Ramakrishnan.

We also had the honour of performing in the Folklorica up to New Year's midnight. This included the "3 minutes silence" from 11.30pm, a pet project of Festival director Bill Hauritz. Taro was really looking forward to being part of this, and his performance was perfectly timed - according to the clock given to us by the stage manager! Unfortunately that clock was exactly 3 minutes slow, and Taro played right through the festival's 3 minutes' silence!!! Kind of embarrassing, quite disappointing at first, but it's a funny story. :-)

An impromptu jam session in the Gypsy Caravan - including Francis Gilfedder (morsing), Taro, and Aiba (violin)

EthnoSuperLounge in the Chai Tent - Asim Gorashi, his wife Manal, myself, Taro Terahara, Faros (darbuka), Peter Hunt (trumpet), Caleb Trott (sax), Tony (vocals)

How rainy was Woodford?

Very wet, but fun...

My favourite band of the festival - Mukti. Kind of like Shakti, but with more western classical influences, Mukti features guitar, cello, vibraphone/percussion and tabla. Tabla player Vicky Ramakrishnan and myself also gave a tabla duet performance in the chai tent.

Tashi Lhunpo Monks were featured performers in the festival

A spontaneous collaboration between Tenzin Choegyal and shakuhachi player Riley Lee on the final day

Taro Tour Part 3 - The Great Journey

One of the highlights of Taro & my tour was driving from Melbourne to Brisbane - straight through in 22 hours! We had our small concert in Melbourne on Saturday 22nd, and wanted to reach Brisbane in time to collect Taro's wife Yuriko from the airport on the morning of the 24th. We left Melbourne at 5.45am, took turns driving usually in 2 hour shifts, had a few rest stops along the way and all was fine. The scenery was breathtaking, and I'm really happy to have been able to share it with Taro - coming from Japan this was a major first for him.

This and the next 2 shots were in southern NSW - the flattest parts of the journey.

In Parkes we stopped off at "The Dish"

The Warrumbungles in northern-central NSW

Sunset was particularly beautiful. We were driving through northern NSW, between Moree and Goondiwindi. After a few hills in central NSW the landscape returned to flatness. The sun was setting on our left while there was a full moon rising on our right. Kya baat hai!!!

We made it back in time to have a Rosecliffe Christmas Party!!! :-)

Taro Tour Part 2 - Bris and Melb sessions

It's been ages since I've blogged, because I've been touring the country with my good friend, a great bansuri player, Taro Terahara. Now at last I can share some of the great moments we've had...

Brissie Sessions:
Taro joined in my weekly session at The Forest, along with ney player (and in fact all-round Persian multi-instrumentalist) Cieavash Arean. This was during Taro's "goggles phase" (see the last post for that story).

Pictured L to R: Marcello, Taro, Tenzin, myself
I have a monthly event called "Global Soul Music" at Core Yoga Studios in West End. For December I decided to make it an "EthnoSuperLounge Xmas Party" and invite all the musicians I've been playing with this year. It was a great night, including: Yani (vocals, harmonium), Marcello (vocals, guitar), Taro (bansuri), Tenzin (vocals, dranyen), myself (tabla), Asim Gorashi (vocals, oud, violin, whistling), Robert Wells (jazz piano), Ravi Wells (jazz guitar), Alicia (mbira) and Velvet (vocals)

My sister Jacki invited us to Melbourne, mainly to see my family just before Christmas, and also so that I could buy her car. She organised a small concert to help pay our way - unfortunately I don't have any photos of that gig... It turned out to be a rainy day and 3 days before Christmas is always going to be a difficult time to draw a crowd. Anyway, it was nice to show Taro Melbourne, introduce him to a few people there, and share a genuine Aussie family Christmas.

We visited tabla player Glen Kniebeiss and had a great session. Glen's wife Norina is Japanese and they will visit Kyoto in March-April 2008 - I recommend my friends in Japan to check Glen out.

After weeks with the mostly vegetarian folks of Rosecliffe St, Taro really enjoyed the meaty fare of a Flindell Christmas dinner!