Friday, December 21, 2012

Tibet2Timbuk2 "Music is Life" tour with Taro Terahara

Taking advantage of bansuri whiz Taro Terahara's presence, Tibet2Timbuk2 embarked on a 3 weekend tour entitled "Music is Life" (after our award-winning debut CD).  First up we headed up the Sunshine Coast to play a home concert in Doonan (near Noosa) and were blessed to be able to play in the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhism Institute's Gompa. The following weekend we made a long drive down to Blue Mountains via Bellingen and Wauchope, and on the final weekend played 3 shows in Gold Coast, Nimbin and Ocean Shores. Each of the shows kept getting better and better as we tuned in with each other and our songs, especially inspired by the magical element of Taro's bansuri. What an awesome band!

Thanks to all the organisers - Pratika and Maia at Doonan Bhavan, Maureen at Chenrezig, Ben from Roots Records in Bellingen, Krissa and Wauchope Arts Council, Meg in Blue Mountains, Nicole in Gold Coast, Dana of Spirited Events in Nimbin and Paul of the Temple of Melodious Sound in Ocean Shores!!!

Tibet2Timbuk2's next show will be at the Festival of Tibet at Brisbane Powerhouse on Feb 1, 2013.

Tibet2Timbuk2 in Bellingen Memorial Hall, Fri 30 Nov 2012

Tibet2Timbuk2 in Wauchope Community Arts Hall, Sat 1 Dec 2012

Tibet2Timbuk2 in Leura Palace (Blue Mountains), Sun 2 Dec 2012
Tibet2Timbuk2 in Leura Palace with organiser and hostess with the mostess, Meg Benson (and Taro's wife and chief CD salesperson Yuriko)

Tibet2Timbuk2 in Nimbin School of Arts Hall, Sat 8 Dec 2012

Yuki joined our tour for the last weekend and opened concerts with mantra and bhajan.
Tibet2Timbuk2 in Temple of Melodious Sound, Ocean Shores, Sun 9 Dec 2012

Classical concerts and cricket with Taro Terahara

This summer we are lucky to have bansuri master and good friend, Taro Terahara staying in Brisbane for 3 months. He'll be staying up to the Festival of Tibet in early February. Soon after his arrival in early November, we did a short round of Indian classical home concerts in Woombye (Sunshine Coast), Oxley (Brisbane) and Myocum (Byron). The Woombye and Oxley concerts were quite well attended, but in Myocum we had our first ever zero-attendance concert. Bit of a promotional shortfall there, plus bad timing coinciding with the big Eclipse Festival up in Cairns, which a lot of Byron folks went to.  Thanks very much to Sim Symons in Woombye for hosting a wonderful concert to open our tour.  Thanks also to everyone who came along and enjoyed the music.

Shen and Taro in Woombye

Shen and Taro at The Light House in Oxley, Brisbane

After the weekend of concerts we went to our first ever live cricket match - Australia vs South Africa test, day 4, at the Gabba Cricket Ground.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Steve Oda and Ty Burhoe at The Light House

Last weekend we were blessed to host a concert by sarod player Steve Oda with Ty Burhoe on tabla. Steve and Ty come from very respected lineages of Indian classical music, having learnt from the great Ustads Ali Akbar Khan and Zakir Hussain. We've encountered Steve and Ty a few times over the past years, in both Japan and Australia, and when I heard that they didn't have a venue for their Brisbane concert I encouraged them to come and play at our house, now known as The Light House.

It was a lovely afternoon concert starting the Raga Gaur Sarang in teentaal (vilambit to drut), followed by Raga Mishra Pilu (rupak taal and teentaal) and Bhairavi (keherva). Thanks to those who came including sitarist Huib Schippers, sarod and keyboard player Parth Raval, and our friends all the way from Coffs Harbour, the Neal family.

This week we have another concert at The Light House: Bamboo Bliss - Taro Terahara (bansuri) and Shen Flindell (tabla), from 7pm on Saturday 10th November.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tamil Saraswati Puja concert in Navratri

My tabla school recently had a special event, participating in a home concert for Saraswati Puja. In my Guru-ji's Bengali tradition, we celebrate Saraswati Puja on Basant Panchami in January or February, but the Tamil community celebrate it as part of Sharad Navratri (9 nights of the goddess, in October). All tabla accompaniment was provided by my students or myself. After the concert we enjoyed some delicious Sri Lankan food. Thanks to the Sivaananthan family for inviting us!

 Sivamsan opened with tabla solo

 Brother and sister Jesinthan (tabla) and Anju (sitar) Ketheeswaran

 Sanjey accompanying Gayatri (veena)

Yuki performed Dhrupad - alap, jor, jhala, gats in chautaal and shultaal - and two bhajans.

"For Tibet with Love" concerts in Central NSW

On the weekend of October 12-14, Tenzin Choegyal invited me along to join some of his "For Tibet with Love" concerts, which raise funds for the Tibetan Children's Village schools in India.  In Kempsey we were hosted by the Macleay Valley Arts Council and performed in the lovely little Oddfellows Hall. The next night we were in Stroud performing for the Saturday night of a weekend yoga retreat in Stroud Monastery, and finally on the Sunday we were in a yoga studio in Newcastle. Altogether we raised over $2000 for TCV, and had a good time and met some lovely people along the way too.

Tenzin and Shen in Stroud Monastery Hall

Tamil book launch

A few weeks ago I was invited to take part in a Tamil book launch being held in Inala. I accompanied the opening act, vocalist Roshni Gopalakrishnan, and later in the programme performed with some of my tabla students. Thanks to Sriram for inviting us to participate.

 Shen with Roshni Gopalakrishnan

Tabla Tarrango at the Tamil Vazhai function - Tito, Thejan, Jesinthan, Sanjey. Thejan had just appeared as Krishna in a Tamil drama, hence the costume.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Tibet2Timbuk2 in Coffs Harbour with Yuki

Tibet2Timbuk2 recently had a show helping to raise funds for CWON (Child Welfare Organization of Nepal) at a concert in Coffs Harbour. On the drive down Tenzin asked Yuki if she would join us for a couple of songs, which turned out beautifully! Yuki opened the show with a short mantra and lovely bhajan, then joined us for Crane Song, Tso Marpo and the finale Aum Mani Padme Hum. In the process we helped to raise $2000 for Nepali kids, and we were then treated to a fun party by the CWON crew.  Many thanks to Calida Neal and her father Neville Neal for bringing us down to Coffs Harbour.

Tibet2Timbuk2 with Yuki Taniguchi Flindell
I did a short tabla demonstration with my usual finale - "Rabbit, Deer, Lion"

Gold Coast Multicultural Festival and home concert with Tenzin

In mid-September I had a double header with a morning concert on the Gold Coast followed by an afternoon home concert near Mullumbimby. Tabla Tarrango! (my tabla student performing group) participated in the Gold Coast Multicultural Festival. (Here's a link to last year's performance there.) Tenzin and I then had to rush down to a beautiful home on the ridge above Mullumbimby for one of his "For Tibet with Love" series of fundraising home concerts, where we were unexpectedly joined by the lovely violin of Cye Wood.

Tabla Tarrango at Gold Coast Multicultural Festival - Thejan (12), Shen, Nitin (14),  Tito (16)

 Shen, Tenzin and Cye exploring the sonic sphere. Cye had never heard our songs before which made it all the more a spontaneous and inspired journey.

The view from our home concert stage.

Pete Lockett

In early September I got the chance to see UK world music multi-percussionist Pete Lockett performing and to meet him after his show. He was performing as part of the Drumscene Live tour and borrowed a set of tabla from me for his clinic and show. I've been working many years with my tabla maker in Varanasi, Anwar, to produce great tabla which satisfy Australian Quarantine's strict conditions. I'm glad to have been able to help Pete out with some tabla and was happy that he liked the sound. 

I'm sorry to say that while I'd heard his name before, I'd never heard Pete Lockett's music until he got in touch with me to arrange the tabla. Having had the opportunity to listen to quite a few of his albums now I can highly recommend him to all world music percussion fans out there. We enjoyed the performance which featured not only tabla but darabuka, cajon, and plenty of vocal percussion along with a nice ambient backing track. Lots of dynamism and tonal variety. During the show Pete also demonstrated his new iPhone/iPad app, DrumJam - one finger percussion, check it out!

 Pete Lockett playing my tabla at the Drumscene Live Brisbane concert - you might recognise the non-leather binding, especially made to clear Australian Quarantine.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Tibet2Timbuk2 with Sulagna Basu in Noosa

This weekend Tibet2Timbuk2 had a double header on the Sunshine Coast, with an afternoon concert at one of our favourite venues, Crystal Waters Eco-Village, followed by an evening concert in Noosa Pengari Steiner School. Unfortunately I don't have any photos from the afternoon concert, but here are some from the evening. Thanks to organiser Jalberto Maldonado of Timbeao Planet and to special guest artist Sulagna Basu.

Sulagna Basu opened the evening with a variety of classical, semi-classical and folk songs, accompanied on tabla by Shen.

We concluded the first half of the programme with a tabla duet between Shen and his senior student, Sulagna's son Tito Basu, which got a very good audience response.

Tibet2Timbuk2 were joined by special guest Sulagna Basu on vocals in "Crane Song"

Sulagna performed some Kathak dance with us on "Tso Marpo"

Masters of Sarangi tour

This August I was lucky and blessed to have a tour around the Brisbane region with sarangi masters, Pt Santosh Mishra (Varanasi) and his son Sri Sangeet Mishra (now based in Mumbai). If you've seen concerts in Varanasi there's a very good chance you've seen Santosh-ji accompanying some great singer or tabla soloist, as he is invariably invited to all concerts for his great accompaniment. Santosh-ji and Sangeet-bhai's duets were just marvellous, as they naturally played together in a true jugalbandi - two people playing as one. In all we had 8 performances and I'm very much looking forward to their next tour! I've posted a larger selection of photos in my Facebook album, "Masters of Sarangi".

We participated in the Indian Independence Day function at Qld Conservatorium on 15 Aug.

Our first full concert was a home concert at Sim and Pat Symons home in Sunshine Coast. Yuki opened all of our concerts with Dhrupad or Bhajan (depending on the concert), accompanied by Sangeet-bhai's lush sarangi.

On Saturday afternoon we went up to Toowoomba to join Tenzin Choegyal in his concert there. We just performed a short raga, and 3 of the attendees drove all the way to Bracken Ridge (2 hours each way) for our full raga concert that night!

Bracken Ridge concert

We had the first home concert at our new house in Oxley
- what a way to inaugurate our new home!

The Nimbin concert was the biggest of the tour.
Many thanks to promoter DanaLee Mynard of Spirited Productions.

Nimbin concert

Workshop at Ocean Shores

Ocean Shores home concert - a packed house!

Final concert in Mt Gravatt, thanks to Swara Mohini's Anant Bellary.
Opened by sitarist Smt Shrabani Choudhury.

We had such a great time at all the concerts, but especially the last one :-)

5th Annual Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School Concert

As usual in July we held our annual tabla school concert, as always one of the major highlights of my year, where I have strong feelings of the presence of my late Guru-ji in my life, of the energy and knowledge transmitted through the guru-shishya parampara (guru-student lineage) starting from Benares Gharana progenitor Pt Ram Sahai through his students down to my myself and my students. A very powerful and joyful event. Many thanks to all the students and parents, and especially to our regular lehra player Joseph Nand and sound-guy Mohit Lal.
(Links for previous concerts: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.)

Altar to Guru-ji

Our regular harmonium accompanist, Sri Joseph Abhay Nand

Yuki opened with shloka and bhajan

Making his first appearance with self-accompanied bhajan, Rushi Kakkad (4)

Ravneel Deo (14), Bipro Hussain (10), Ishaaq Jamil (9)

On-track to be Brisbane's leading female tabla player, Rhea Ravi (8)

Father-son team Jeevan and Sivamsan Senthilvasan (10)

Gold Coast students Nitin Niranjan (14) and Thejan Elankayer (12)

Jesinthan Ketheeswaran (18)

Bhavik Barot (12)

Arka Tito Basu (16)

All the students received certificates featuring the lineage of gurus starting from Pt Ram Sahai

We finished up with my tabla solo, in which I played some new compositions I learned this year from Pt Chhote Lal Mishra's book "Tabla Granth".