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.

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