There's an old phrase (I think it's from America's South) which goes, "You gotta dance with the one who brung ya". I thought about that phrase when deciding whether or not to tell you about a musical side project.
But I'm gonna.
See, I was going to keep this website focussed on my original music and written output. But I don't know where I'd be musically without having taken up the clarinet at the age of ten. Without having learnt from a Romanian clarinet teacher who introduced me to gypsy and Klezmer music. Without having simultaneously gone through a Celtic music phase, playing Irish tin whistle in a smoky Irish bar every week for a couple of years. Which then ironically led me back to clarinet and down a rabbit-hole of Balkan and Middle-Eastern music, playing with amazing people, discovering a new world of mind-boggling melodies and rhythms.
I don't know where I'd be without the musical skills I picked up and the intricate melodies that I welcomed into my head. (They take up a lot of space in there).
So, I will mention that I've been dancing again with "the one who brung me", playing clarinet and tin whistles with Ensemble Diaspora, a 9-piece world music ensemble featuring some of Brisbane's finest folk musicians. The repertoire combines all the different types of world music that I love - Irish, English, Balkan, Middle Eastern, Russian and Jewish - and I'm having a blast. It's as though everything I've learnt over the years is finally merging, like dogs from the neighbourhood coming to play in one big dog park. Let's hope they get along.
We'll be playing this Wednesday night, 5 November 2014 at the spectacular St John's Cathedral (Ann St, Brisbane) as part of the G20 Cultural Celebrations! The gig starts at 7.30pm, beginning with our support act Nicholas Ng playing Chinese erhu. We'll be on around 8pm. It's a FREE, all ages performance.
I cannot wait, because it's been a long time since I've performed in the beautiful St Johns Cathedral. How long? Since I was in high school. Was I wearing a cummerbund at the time? Most likely.
See the G20 website for more details.