Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Woodford 2012 with Pt Rabindra Goswami, Vinod Prasanna and Taro Terahara

Woohoo, Woodford Folk Festival!  If you're from far away or have otherwise somehow never heard of Woodford, it's a week-long folk festival held 2 hours north of Brisbane every year from just after Christmas until New Year's Day. The weather is usually hot and dusty or rainy and muddy, but this year again stayed relatively close to the pleasant middle ground - mostly quite hot but the occasional shower cooled things down and kept the dust down too.

This year I was booked to accompany Taro Terahara in 3 concerts including New Year's Dawn. At the last minute I was also called to accompany visiting Varanasi sitarist Pt Rabindra Narayan Goswami and Melbourne-based Varanasi bansuriya Vinod Prasanna in several of their shows. There were some mishaps in the scheduling for their original accompanist, Bobby Singh. So in the end I got quite busy!  I even managed to come back to Brisbane for two days early in the festival, into which I squeezed in a week's worth of tabla lessons for my kids (before their big tabla exams on January 19), and a home concert with Adelaide-based Bangladeshi singer Akhter Jahan.  In the last 24 hours of the festival I had 5 shows (pictured below)!

It was a great honour and opportunity for me to accompany Pt Rabindra Goswami.  I had known him for many years in Varanasi but never previously had the chance to play with him. In fact I've seen him play with my guru-bhai Manishankar Tripathi and my guru-ji's son Dr Debabrata Bhattacharya many times. It was also a good chance to play with Vinod - it always takes me a while to get used to accompanying an artist. And as always it was great to play with Taro! Our final set on New Year's Day was particularly good.

 Dec 31 morning - Shen and Taro
 Dec 31 evening - Sacred New Year - Shen and Vinod Prasanna
 Dec 31 til midnight - Sacred New Year - Shen with Pt Rabindra Narayan Goswami
 New Year's Dawn concert with Baatarsukh (Mongolia), Tenzing Yeshi (Tibet), Tenzin Choegyal (Tibet), Katherine Philp (cello), Taro Terahara (bansuri - Japan)
 New Year's Dawn concert, getting lighter
 First rays of 2013 from the Woodford Hilltop Stage
 New Year's Dawn performers

 Jan 1 midday - Shen and Taro Terahara
Jan 1 afternoon - Shen with Pt Rabindra Narayan Goswami

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