Saturday, January 21, 2012

Woodford 2011-12

The weather-gods smiled on Woodford Festival patrons and organisers this year, and we had one of the most enjoyable festivals in quite a while. I was performing there with bansuri player Taro Terahara and also accompanying sitar player Saikat Bhattacharya in a couple of performances. Taro and I had 7 performances, mostly in the Folklorica stage but also including the special hilltop New Year's sunset and sunrise concerts. For those of you who don't know, Woodford Festival runs from Dec 27 to Jan 1 every year and has over 20 stages and music and entertainment of all varieties. I'll be uploading these and many more photos to my Facebook Australia 2011 album.

Tashi Lhunpo Monks

Taro and Shen with Yuriko (tanpura) in the first of our 5 concerts in Folklorica. Fantastic stage with the talented Siri on sound, making it so easy for musicians of all ethnic varieties.

One of my festival favourites: Hanggai - Mongolian rock music. Very entertaining, especially the lead singer with frontless studded leather jacket, talking enthusiastically in Mongolian between songs.

Taro was invited to join Tenzin Choegyal, Michael Askill (gongs) and Stuart Ransome (shakuhachi) for a beautiful morning meditation concert.

Fantastic Flamenco dancer with Gerard Mapstone (guitar). Some of the most musical Flamenco tapping I've seen.

Another festival favourite: Tuba Skinny - old-time New Orleans jazz

And the dream band: EarthSync Collective - ghatam, sarod/guitar, bass, samples/drones, Carnatic male vocal/morsing, Hindustani female vocal, violin, tabla. We had a lot of fun hanging out with the EarthSync folks, especially tabla player Chiranjit. I had to help Chiranjit out with an emergency tabla repair at the festival, so thanks to Australian Quarantine for helping seal our friendship.

After Taro and Saikat's solo sets on Dec 30 we joined together in a trio jugalbandi.

The crew for the New Year's Eve Sunrise Concert - Stuart Ransome (shakuhachi), Carla Thackrah (flute), James Coates (poetry), Michael Askill (gongs, samples), Jonny Ng (violin), Shen (tabla), Yuriko (tanpura), Taro (bansuri)

The last sunset of 2011

We enjoyed Die roten Punkte - intentionally bad comedy music in German industrial pop style. Unfortunately I couldn't see the whole set as I had my own set...

I accompanied both Saikat and Taro as part of the Sacred New Year programme in Folklorica stage on New Year's Eve night.

As the clock ticked over to 2012, some of the festival-goers were sitting in contemplation in Folklorica, while Trikaya performed "... in the Between - The Tibetan Book of the Dead"

The New Year's Dawn concert - Yuriko, Shen, Taro, Tenzin, Tashi Lhunpo Monks, Jonny Ng (violin)

First sunrise of 2012

Taro and I had a set immediately followed by Tenzin Choegyal, which gave us the perfect opportunity to play along together. This was New Year's Day, and our 4th show in 24 hours, but despite the brain-daze it was a beautiful set.

The Tashi Lhunpo Monks made this sand mandala during the festival.

And had a Dissolution ceremony at on the last evening.

The Farewell Ceremony in the Amphitheatre.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On tour with Taro Terahara (part 2)

For Taro's second weekend in Australia this summer, we had a 3 stop tour of NSW with Tibet2Timbuk2. We were hosted in Bellingen by Roots Records, who were celebrating their 1st birthday. Then the Wauchope Arts Council welcomed us back after our show there in January, and we closed out the weekend with an afternoon show at Sphinx Rock Cafe near Mt Burrell, NNSW.

Tenzin and I have toured Japan with Taro a couple of times now, but this was our first chance to have both Marcello and Taro playing with us for a series of really good shows. The chemistry that developed was really fantastic, and these were some brilliant concerts. (Here's a review of the Bellingen show.)




Sphinx Rock Cafe:

This is a U-Stream (live internet stream) archive of our Sphinx Rock Cafe concert. The sound is not the best!


After the Tibet2Timbuk2 tour, I had Taro help some of my students with accompaniment. We had a little student Christmas party and 4 of the students accompanied Taro.

On tour with Taro Terahara (part 1)

This summer we were lucky to have our old friend, bansuri master Taro Terahara returning to Australia, this time with his wife Yuriko. (Click here for an index of blogs on Taro's previous Australian tours.) As you'll see in the coming episodes, we had a great summer with lots of good times for all. Unlike previous years, the weather was fine most of the time, though not too hot with the occasional afternoon shower to cool things down.

We kicked off the tour with a couple of classical shows, firstly in the Sri Saileshwara Temple in Brisbane and then the next day at Awakening Centre in Maleny. On the Sunday we were joined on the Sunshine Coast by Tibet2Timbuk2 for a concert in the splendid gompa at Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Community, on the anniversary of HH the Dalai Lama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

Yuki opening our concert at Sri Saileshwara Mandir.

These two members of the temple congregation treated us to a beautiful devotional song at the end of the evening.

Yuki opening our concert at Awakening Centre. There was a storm just before the concert, which resulted in a blackout and a candle-lit performance.

There was a lunar eclipse that night. After the storm the sky was quite clear.

Tibet2Timbuk2 with special guest Taro Terahara, at Chenrezig Gompa.

Many thanks to Yuriko for the following videos of the concert:

And thanks to Lesley for the following videos of the concert: