Monday, February 10, 2014

Sangeet Mishra tour 2013-14, including Woodford Folk Festival

Following the "Masters of Sarangi" tour with Pt Santosh Mishra and his son Sangeet Mishra in August 2012, Sangeet and I were invited to perform at the recent Woodford Folk Festival, following which we did a couple of small concerts in Brisbane and Byron. At Woodford I also accompanied sitarist Saikat Bhattacharya, and we also enjoyed a couple of jugalbandi concerts. (Nice that the Folklorica organisers take some of my programming suggestions.)  It's always a pleasure to host and accompany Sangeet, a wonderful musician and all-round lovely guy. We're looking forward to the next visit, hopefully in September this year for my planned Brisbane Sangeet Mela (more on that later).

Sangeet Mishra (sarangi) with Shen (tabla)

Saikat Bhattacharya (sitar) with Shen (tabla) and Bipasa (tanpura)

Sangeet also participated in improvised morning performances with Michael Askill and James Coates, reading the Ashtavakra Gita.

This year Folklorica stage had a small side-stage called the Fire Stage, featuring Kathakali-Shakespeare fusion by Arjun Raina, followed by Indian classical performances.

Sitar-sarangi jugalbandi on Fire Stage

New Year's Eve sunset concert on the hilltop. Unfortunately this performance was aborted due to rain.

Impromptu jam session in the Green Room with amazing kora player Mamadou Suso from the band Jaaleekaay

New Year's midnight jugalbandi concert

Tashi Lhunpo Monks were present at the festival, making a beautiful sand mandala.

Upon completing the mandala it was ceremonially dissolved and disposed in the festival dam.

Final concert for us at the festival, New Year's Day.

Street performer at Woodford Folk Festival

Post-Woodford Tour

Family photo at Sudha Manian's residence

Sarangi recital at Sudha Manian's residence, Mt Ommaney, Brisbane

"Sufi Soul Sangeet" concert with Tahir Qawwal at Red Tent Yoga, Byron Bay

New musical partners: Radha Bornstein, Bart Stenhouse

Late last year I started performing separately with two different soloists: original kirtan singer Radha Bornstein and jazz guitarist Bart Stenhouse.

"Radha Bornstein has been writing, singing and performing devotional songs from early childhood. She skillfully weaves together the strands of poetic words from saints like Rumi, Mirabai and the Buddha, with traditional sanskrit mantra, soul-stirring vocals and rhythmic guitar. "

Radha and I met at Yogafest in June and have now done 4 concerts together in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. I'm really enjoying her musicianship and original songs, and finding new ways to accompany on tabla in Western chord-based music. I have experience with traditional bhajans within the Indian community but funnily enough these have been my first outings into the Western yoga-kirtan community.

Radha and I have upcoming concerts on April 12 (Brisbane), 26 and 27 (NNSW).

Radha Bornstein and Shen Flindell at The Yoga Den, West End, 20th Oct 2013.

Video of  "Bolo Ram" by Radha Bornstein, ending with tabla solo by Shen

"Bart Stenhouse has been an active player on the jazz and world music scenes for many years. His love of world music styles, classical indian, flamenco, folk/roots and western classical music has influenced his various compositions. He performs on a myriad of instruments, including mohan vina, electric mandolin, electric/double bass and guitars. A musical explorer, he seeks the common ground between the different worlds of music and actively pursues them around the world. Currently he lectures at the Qld Conservatorium and works actively as a film score composer, live sound engineer and music producer."

Bart is an experienced jazz and flamenco guitarist who has recently started playing mohan vina (Indian slide guitar) and is currently here in Varanasi recording a CD with some local musicians. I'm really looking forward to seeing his development in both Indian classical music and its influence on his jazz playing. We kicked off with a couple of concerts and a workshop in November and December. 

The first concert was an Indian classical evening held in Mullumbimby on November 16th, also featuring Yuki Taniguchi Flindell's beautiful Dhrupad vocal. (She managed to get baby Saraswati to sleep for the duration of her set!)  

Bart Stenhouse (mohan vina) with Shen Flindell: Raga Kirwani, vilambit and drut teentaal

Yuki Taniguchi Flindell (Dhrupad vocal) with Shen (tabla): Raga Yaman, chartaal, Raga Adana, sooltaal

The second event with Bart was in the magnificent Langri Tangpa Centre in Camp Hill, Brisbane on December 14th. We opened with an Indian classical set on mohan vina and followed up with some of Bart's original jazz compositions, plus an attempted cover of Remember Shakti's "Lotus Feet". What a blast!

Bart Stenhouse (mohan vina) and Shen Flindell (tabla) at Langri Tangpa Centre

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Indian community events Oct-Dec 2013

Writing to you from Varanasi, India where a bit of spare time allows me to catch up on blogging about concerts from 4 months ago!  I'm going to summarise my activities during October to December 2013 in a few posts, starting with Indian community events in Brisbane during that period.

Navaratri at South Maclean Vinayakar Temple

On October 8th, the Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School was invited to put on a night of performances at the Sri Selva Vinayakar Koyil in South Maclean, south of Brisbane towards Beaudesert. Yuki and I also participated in the performance by Sri Krishna Music Academy under Smt Vijaya Visvanathan the previous evening.

 Junior students Shainthra, Rushi and Ashwin
 Anju Kethweeswaran (sitar) accompanied by Jesinthan Kethweeswaran and Sanjey Sivaananthan
 Sulagna Basu (vocal) accompanied by Tito Basu

Yuki Taniguchi Flindell (Dhrupad, Bhajan) accompanied by Shen Flindell

Finale by Saraswati Flindell, discovering microphone for the first time.

And four more events

Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School performing at Diwali Festival, Fortitude Valley, 26th Oct 2013
Sivamsan, Shen, Bipro, Joseph Nand (harmonium)

Swara Mohini concert with Pt Rajan Kulkarni (sarod - Pune), Sunnybank, 10th Nov 2013

 Swara Mohini concert with Pt Rajan Kulkarni (sarod - Pune), Sunnybank, 10th Nov 2013

 Yuki and Shen at Cultural Festival of India, Mt Gravatt, 23rd Nov 2013
Thanks to Susmitha for taking care of Saraswati while Mama sang. This concert ended a bit early when she'd had enough.

Swara Mohini "End of Year Concert 2013" with Saikat Bhattacharya (sitar)