I had the privilege of visiting Iran in 1978, five months before the Shah fell. Because of the fraught times there was a nighttime curfew. The exception was intercity buses and as a result I hardly slept in a bed in Iran. A further consequence was that I could not go out in the evening to see an Iranian concert, although during the day I was enchanted by the exotic mosques and ruins that I saw as well as mixing with the delightful Iranian people.
In a way this concert was a type of catch up. ‘Afternoon Tea at 6’ is I believe a time when food and families get together and drink a cup of Iranian black tea. In order to get into the mood the Eisthan Ensemble, together with guest vocalist Sonya Holowell, gathered before every rehearsal and drank a cup of the strong Persian tea.
The Sydney Opera House today announced an exciting next step in welcoming audiences and visitors back to the site with a program of unmissable live events set to start in two weeks.
The line-up includes the return of Antidote – the Opera House’s annual festival of action, ideas and change that will bring together thought-leaders from around the world to reflect on 2020 – along with an inspiring and diverse calendar of First Nations culture and storytelling, comedy, jazz, kids shows and independent local artists, curated by Sydney Opera House Presents. Resident companies will also make their return next month when the Sydney Theatre Company takes to the stage with its production of Rules for Living.
Eishan Ensemble’s excellent performance at Venue 505 in Surry Hills blended Persian and Western musical traditions in an exciting and impressive way. Their music does not fit into any customary genre but Persian infused jazz could be one label. Persian-Australian musician and composer, Hamed Sadeghi, is the lead of the ensemble. He plays classical Persian instruments the tar and the oud and is accompanied by some first-rate musicians: Pedram Layegh on classical guitar, Michael Avgenicos on saxophone, Elsen Price on double bass and Adem Yilmaz on percussion.
Persian music traditionally has improvisation at its core and combining with jazz musicians and their conventions allows Eishan Ensemble to take advantage of this and create harmonious and fascinating music. Hamed explained that Eishan means “these guys” and that he feels fortunate to be playing with these guys. Judging by their response the audience at Venue 505 felt fortunate to be in the presence of these guys. Continue reading EISHAN ENSEMBLE @ OLD 505→
Eishan Ensemble defies neat labels. Variously described as Persian Chamber Jazz and Middle Eastern Jazz Fusion, Eishan is a vehicle for the original music of acclaimed Iranian-Australian multi-instrumentalist and composer, Hamed Sadeghi.
After a successful debut album release late last year, Eishan emerge in 2019 with new material, blurring the lines that define genre even further, to create something that is stand alone.
This adaptation by William Zappa after Homer, has been 7 years in the making. Zappa has researched 17 translations, travelled far and wide, testing the work. He always knew Homer came from a tradition of professional guilds of storytelling, the words were meant to be heard. So now with the start originally a commissioned radio drama, the four actors devote themselves to the storytelling with their voice their primary instrument but delivered as if a staged reading with script in hand, moving in and out of the central sand circle.
I must immediately acknowledge only a limited visit to Homer as a student of literature. It is the oldest western writing surviving, attributed to Homer (mostly – but that is the debate around many very old writers Shakespeare included). 3000 years old. Written in the mid eighth century BCE. Earlier than the festivals of Greek Tragedy with which we might be a little more familiar. So it sits, Epic, it is after all still 24 books told in 3 parts and 9 hours. But Zappa has allowed intentionally in his direction (supported by Sport for Jove and specifically Damian Ryan) to become a resonance of our very modern world. Attempting to make the world of Homer’s Iliad, at once, an Australian Soap Opera, an HBO series with recaps and reminders, and I thought inconsistently, a colloquialism that ‘played’ with his characters; be they kings, princes or indeed gods. Continue reading THE ILIAD – OUT LOUD…PARTS ONE, TWO AND THREE→
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