Fiji

Ruasagavulu

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Out now – the new album

by Dave Black & Dr Emit Snake-Beings

Made in Fiji

“So easy to get totally lost in this music, recommend for helping with your inner peace” – Andi Verse

Indo-Fijian inspired tropical devotional avant-garde instrumentals for keyboards, ukulele, dholak, duduk, harmonicas, DIY kitchen gamelan, and video.

 

Snake Beings & Dave Black in Fiji

This was one of the last in-person international collaborations from before the world ended… it’s got nothing to do with the pandemic.

It was recorded in Suva, Fiji, 2nd and 4th of November 2019.

The title ‘ruasagavulu’ means ‘twenty’ in Fijian, to kick off the new decade optimistically.

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Further listening

Our first duo recording wasNgumbang‘  (2015) –

a fusion of several genres and a DIY manifesto – “Pick up the pieces and make them into something new, it’s what we do…”

Read the rest of this entry »

Gar mar par da nee sa

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the opening track from Ruasagavulu

by Dave Black & Snake-Beings

recorded in Suva, Fiji, 2nd November 2019

Snake Beings and Dave Black in Fiji

This short warmup improv is based on an Indian scale, inspired by Dr Emit Snake-Beings‘ travels to Kerala in India, and harmonium lessons in Suva.

There’s an Indian influence throughout the album, as several sections are based on drones and modal improv (rather than the chord changes)… though this is not a traditional Indian album, we’ve borrowed ideas to inform our own experiments.

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The temple in the photo is Sri Siva Subramaniya in Nadi. It’s built in the Dravidian style from southern India, which is also found in Singapore and Malaysia.

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In contrast to other Pacific Island countries, Fiji has a large – almost half – population of Indian descent. Indians came to Fiji in the 19th century, as indentured labourers to work the sugar cane plantations.

The following videos are made in India, courtesy of www.snakebeings.co.nz

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Fiji 1976, by Alastair Edwards

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Film footage by my father, Alastair Edwards, in Nadi and around Viti Levu in 1976.

It’s from a couple of years before I was born.

There was no sound, so I’ve added a soundtrack from Ruasagavulu, which Dr Emit Snake-Beings and I recorded in Suva decades later.

My Dad’s interest in film (then video) and photography was one of the key influences on my own travel and videomaking. He was doing this long before youtube or instagram!

I miss you Dad…

Ruasagavulu – with Snake Beings in Fiji

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Made in Suva, Fiji – the new album by Dave Black & Dr Emit Snake-Beings

“So easy to get totally lost in this music, recommend for helping with your inner peace” – Andi Verse

Indo-Fijian inspired tropical devotional avant-garde instrumentals for keyboards, ukulele, dholak, duduk, harmonicas, DIY kitchen gamelan, and video.

This was one of the last in-person international collaborations from before the world ended.

 

The title ‘ruasagavulu’ means ‘twenty’ in Fijian, to kick off the new decade.

recorded in Suva, Fiji, 2nd November 2019

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Further listening

Our first duo recording wasNgumbang‘  (2015) –

Read the rest of this entry »

Ruasagavulu – with Snake Beings in Fiji

Posted on Updated on

Made in Suva, Fiji – the new album by Dave Black & Dr Emit Snake-Beings

“So easy to get totally lost in this music, recommend for helping with your inner peace” – Andi Verse

Meditative tropical avant-garde instrumentals for keyboards, ukulele, dholak, duduk, harmonicas, DIY kitchen gamelan, and video. This was one of the last in-person international collaborations from before the world ended.

This is currently a pre-order work in progress, as some of the mixes will be refined  over the next few weeks.

The title ‘ruasagavulu’ means ‘twenty’ in Fijian, to kick off the new decade.

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A new sound for 2020 perhaps?

In the meantime have a listen to the ‘Ngumbang‘ album we made together in 2015Read the rest of this entry »

2018

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The main project for 2018 was Other Islands: 2012-2018;

 

The last five (of the 20) tracks were recorded in 2018 – each in a different genre:

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Isa Lei, and the Yasawa islands, Fiji

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This rearrangement of a traditional Fijian folk song was inspired by hearing the song sung there.

In May I visited the Yasawa Islands, to the northwest of Nadi and the main Fijian island Viti Levu.

The boat ride took 3 hours, and enjoyably scenic. Each of the many small islands we passed was different in some way but all stunning

The marine life included

Part of Other Islands: 2012-2018

– recent highlights recorded in New Zealand, Western Australia, Fiji, Indonesia and Okinawa

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Soso village #Yasawa #fijiislands #fiji #2018travel

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Other Islands: 2012-2018

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fiffdimension vol3

(see also Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012)

brings us into the current decade – with further wide-ranging experimentation and exploration sonically, temporally and geographically, in New Zealand, Western AustraliaIndonesia, Okinawa (Japan), and Fiji.

by Dave Black (acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, harmonica, laptop, bass, tenor saxophone, field recordings, piano, ukulele, sanshin, saron, jublag, demung, vocal), with

Mike Kingston (charango, acoustic guitar),

Simon Sweetman (percussion),

Nat da Hatt (electric guitar, keyboards, banjo),

Emit Snake-Beings (banjo, vocal, percussion, flute, electronics),

the Digitator (electric drums, keyboards & loops),

Campbell Kneale (electric guitar, analogue synthesiser),

Cylvi M (vocal, field recordings, percussion, shakuhachi),

Blair Latham (bass clarinet),

Simon O’Rorke (keyboards),

Chris Prosser (violin),

Julie Bevan (acoustic guitar),

plus Indonesian gamelan ensembles led by Sofari Hidayat, Budi Putra, and Gareth Farr,

a song by my great-great-grandfather John Collie (1856),

and field recordings from Western AustraliaIndonesia, Okinawa (Japan), and Fiji.

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Featuring tracks from the albums

The Winter: Flying Visit (2012)

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway (1999/2014)

ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes (2010-15)

Ngumbang (2014-15)

The Winter: Exit Points (2015)

The Electricka Zoo (2017)

and previously unheard tracks.

And hear the previous compilations

Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 

and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012

Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2013

Viti Levu, Fiji

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My first visit to a Pacific island country, apart from my own (though the term is ambiguous – I’m not counting Australia, Indonesia or Japan).  I’d always wanted to visit Fiji, due to family connections… I may have even been conceived there.  A week’s visit to Viti Levu, the largest and most populated island, in September was all too short but still a great introductory taster.

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First stop was Nadi, Read the rest of this entry »