Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Night/Morning double header with Gauri Pathare

I had the honour and pleasure of accompanying Mumbai singer Gauri Pathare in two concerts last weekend - "Night Ragas" on Saturday night and then "Morning Ragas" the next morning. Just like my guru-ji used to tell me, I met the artist for the first time on the stage. In the opening piece, Raga Yaman, I had the chance to play vilambit jhoomra taal (a very slow 14 beat taal), which I think I last played in Japan two years ago, with Tim Hoffman. As usual I'm terrible at keeping track of which ragas were performed - they included Jogkauns and Bhairavi in the night concert and Ahir Bhairav in the morning - but of course I kept track of all the taals - vilambit jhoomra, a wide range of speeds of teentaal, vilambit and drut rupak, drut ektaal and various kehervas. Harmonium accompaniment was given by Joseph Abhay Nand. Thanks to Swara Mohini for organising the concerts.

Night Ragas

Morning Ragas

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Taro & Sangeet tour - set lists

Here's what Taro, Sangeet and I performed on our recently completed tour, courtesy of Taro's Mixi blog...

1st leg - QLD stage

・4/16(Thu) home concert on the Gold Coast.
 Raga Vachaspati : alap, gat in vilambit & drut tintal
 Thumri Kirwani in Ektal (request from Mahendraji)
 Dhun Khamaj in dadra & Kaharwa
 Raga Darbari Kanara(short...request from Mahendraji)

・4/17(Fri) Temple of Melodious Sound, Ocean Shore
 Raga Rageshri : alap, gat in vilambit & drut tintal (Taro)
 Raga Kirwani : alap, gat in vilambit, maddhya & drut tintal (Sangeet)
 Dhun Khamaj ~ Ragamala
 special thanks to Matthew Weekes on tanpura

・4/18(Sat) Sri Saileshwara Sai Baba Temple, Brisbane
 Raga Puriya Kaliyan : alap, gat in drut tintal (Taro)
 Raga Latangi : alap, gat in drut tintal (Sangeet)
 Raga Jog : alap, gat in VIlambit & drut tintal (Jugalbandi)

・4/19(Sun) Home concert in St Lucia, Brisbane.
 Raga Charukeshi : alap, gat in v&d tintal
 Dhun Khamaj
 Raga Marwa (request)
 Dhun Mishra Shivranjani (request)

NB Recordings of Charukeshi and Mishra Shivranjani are available for download here!

<2nd leg - VIC stage>

4/23(Thu) Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery
 Raga Hansadhwani : alap (Taro)
 Tabla solo in tintal (Shen, Taro)
 Raga Puriya Dhanashri : short alap, gat in drut tintal (Sangeet, Shen)
 Raga Kirwani : alap, gat in v&d tintal (all)
 special thanks to Jacki on tanpura

4/24(Fri) Theatre Royal, Castlemaine
 Raga Megh : alap, gat in jhaptal, drut tintal
 Dhun Pahadi in deepchandi
 Dadra Khamaj
 Dhun Bhairavi with Philip Cheek(t.sax)

4/25(Sat) Prana House, Melbourne
 Raga Puriya Kalyan : alap, gat in v&d tintal
 Dhun Mand
 W tabla : Shen & Glen Kniebeiss

4/26(Sun) W bansuri×W tabla @Magpie House, Melbourne
 Raga Purvi : alap, maddhya tintal (Taro+Shen)
 Raga Yaman : alap, maddhya & drut tintal (Vinod+Glen)
 Raga Kirwani : alap~jod~jhala, gat in rupaktal, drut tintal

4/29(Wed) lecture/demonstration @Box Hill TAFE Music School, Melbourne
 Raga Charukeshi : alap, gat in drut tintal
 Dhun Bhairavi with Jonathan Dimond(fretless bass)

3rd leg - ACT,NSW stage

・4/30(Thu) Australian National University's School of Music, Canberra
 Raga Hemavati : alap, gat in drut tintal

・5/1(Fri) Belconnen Theatre, Canberra
 Raga Yaman : alap, gat in v&d tintal
 Afghani dhun
 Khamaj dhun
 Varanasi Thumri
 Pilu dhun
 Bhairavi dhun

・5/2(Sat) home concert in Sydney
 Raga Khamaj (Sunanda Sharma, Surinder Jeet Singh)
 Raga Puriya Dhanashri : alap, gat in v&d tintal
 Khamaj Dhun
 Bhairavi Thumri

・5/3(Sun) Yogaways, Terrigal
 Raga Bihag : alap, gat in vilambit ektal(!), m&d tintal
 Dhun Pahadi
 Dhun Bhairavi

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Taro + Sangeet 2009 part 1 - BrisByron (with video)

I've just completed my first "national" tour (in Australia, national usually means "at least a few states"), with sarangi player Sangeet Mishra and bansuri player Taro Terahara. We drove 4500km and did 13 gigs in 18 days, starting in Brisbane and Byron and then after a big drive through central NSW to Wangaratta, Castlemaine and Melbourne, then through Canberra and Sydney back home to Brisbane again. What an experience! I'm going to let the pictures do the talking, starting in this post with the BrisByron sector, the First Test...

Practice on first day - Taro and Sangeet had never met before. The good chemistry was evident from the start though.

An impromptu home concert on the Gold Coast. Thanks to Gerry Rosanove for hosting us.

Our first chance for a group publicity shot.

Home concert at the "Temple of Melodious Sound" in Ocean Shores, near Byron Bay. This was the biggest concert of the tour - I love home concerts! The tamboura player here is Matthew Weekes, with whom I have a sitar-tabla CD recorded several years ago.

The view from Ocean Shores. We also had a beautiful ocean swim that day - Sangeet's first!

Concert at Sri Saileshwara Sai Baba Temple in Brisbane

Sangeet at Sai Baba Temple

Home concert in St Lucia, Brisbane. This was an excellent concert, and the recording is available for download on my website. Coincidentally, this house was right next door to the place I lived in 1992 while studying at university.

Some video of the St Lucia home concert taken by concert attendee Craig.

Sangeet's first close-up meeting with a possum

Next tale in the Taro and Sangeet tour story, The Big Drive.

T + S 2009 pt2 - The Big Drive

After our first 4 concerts in the Brisbane/Byron area, we undertook the 1600km drive from Brisbane to Wangaratta in north-east Victoria where my sister is living. Taro and I shared the driving, and Sangeet was designated passenger, waking up for petrol stops, meals and a spot of scenery including some emus and a kangaroo in the Warrumbungle National Park. We drove from 4am til 10.30pm, time-appropriate ragas playing for most of the day. Nikhil Banerjee's Marwa at sunset in southern NSW was perfect...

Sunrise between Toowoomba and Goondiwindi

The road was often straight...

... and the scenery often flat. Taro took loads of photos and videos all through the day. When I pointed out that they were all pretty much the same, he replied "Exactly!"

We intended to visit Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran, but unfortunately the road was closed. There is a scale model of the solar system for a couple of hundred kilometres around the observatory.

We couldn't visit Siding Spring but we were already on the scenic drive through Warrumbungle National Park. Lovely spot.

Sunset in southern NSW. Only 5 hours til Wangaratta now...

T + S 2009 pt3 - Beechworth/Wangaratta

Following our big drive we stayed a few days with my sister in Wangaratta, which included a lovely day-trip to historic Beechworth, an old gold-mining town in north-eastern Victoria.

Taro meditating in the forest

The gorge near Beechworth - thanks for taking us there Jacki and Darren!

Sangeet getting back to nature

Sangeet's first ever pie, from the famous Beechworth Bakery

We taught Taro how to play cricket. His batting resembled a golf swing though...

And he has a bit of the old Jeff Thomson bowling action

Our concert at Wangaratta Exhibitions Gallery was hosted by Wangaratta Arts Council. It was a really nice acoustic space. My sister Jacki is on tamboura here.

The audience were really nice - we were warmly invited to return. Many thanks to Margaret Brickhill of the Wangaratta Arts Council.

The next tale from the Taro & Sangeet tour, a love story...?

T + S 2009 pt4 - A Love Story?

As Taro and Sangeet had never met before the tour, I was interested to see how they would get along both personally and musically. They were a really fun combination to go on tour with, always joking and having fun. But do these three photos hint at something more...? :-)

Two koalas in Warrumbungle National Park

At Beechworth Gorge

Oh dear, that was a bit fast!
But seriously... Sangeet is a great cook. I think Taro put on 5kg during this 18 day tour!

Next up on the Taro & Sangeet tour programme, the Theatre Royal in historic Castlemaine.

T + S 2009 pt5 - Castlemaine Theatre Royal

Next stop for the Taro and Sangeet show after Wangaratta, we were lucky enough to be hosted by the Theatre Royal in Castlemaine, another historic gold-mining town in country Victoria. The backstage bed and breakfast was particularly note-worthy!

What a classic old place!

Poster for Lola Montes in 1856, attended by 400 diggers according to Wikipedia.
"To conclude with the extraordinary Terpsichorean Achievement
Mrs Gill will preside at the Pianoforte."

Shen, Sangeet and Taro at the Theatre Royal, Castlemaine

We were joined for the final piece for a jam with Philip Cheek. Philip and I played a lot together in the early days of EthnoSuperLounge - you can hear him on this page (tracks 3 and 4).

A ghost in the backstage bed and breakfast.

The backstage bathroom

The Harry Potter room under the stairs. Taro ended up in here, something to do with feeling at home in a Tokyo-sized apartment...

Next stop on the Taro and Sangeet express, Melbourne...

T + S 2009 pt 6 - Melbourne

After the Theatre Royal in Castlemaine, Taro, Sangeet and I stayed 5 days in Melbourne, starting with a concert at Prana House in Thornbury with tabla player Glen Kniebeiss. While in Melbourne we stayed at our friend Vinod Prasanna's place - thanks Vinod and Lisa! Vinod is a bansuri player from Varanasi who was in Munna House at the same time as me a couple of years ago.
Glen and I took turns accompanying on tabla at the concert.

Shen, Taro, Sangeet and Glen Kniebeiss at Prana House, Thornbury
Glen is playing really nicely and I'm always very happy to play with him. It's quite rare for tabla players to get along musically.

Glen, Taro, Vinod and Shen in a double bansuri, double tabla extravaganza on the coldest night of the tour.

Two Aussie tabla devotees - Glen Kniebeiss and Shen Flindell

Sangeet and Taro with Melbourne tabla player Sam Evans.
Sam had Sangeet accompany his tabla lessons for a couple of days. Taro and I had a couple of rest days so we went about town meeting a few Indian music folks.

Shen, Taro and Denis Phelan. Denis is currently learning sitar from Sugato Nag of Kolkata.

A beautiful sunset view of Melbourne from Vinod's place.

Vinod, Shen and Sangeet jamming at Vinod's place.

On our last day in Melbourne we gave a lecture/demonstration at Box Hill TAFE Music School - many thanks to Jonathan Dimond for having us!

We discussed the differences between Ragas Todi, Multani and Madhuwanti, then presented a few taals and a tabla solo in teentaal, then presented a 20 minute raga.

Finally we invited Jonathan to join us for Raga Bhairavi

... and then drove back to Wangaratta

Next stop on the Taro & Sangeet tour, Canberra...