Coming in 2018
The third volume of fiffdimension’s best-of compilations (see also Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012) brings us into the current decade – with further wide-ranging experimentation and exploration both sonically and geographically, in New Zealand, Western Australia, Indonesia, Okinawa (Japan), and Fiji.
Now available to pre-order (some tracks available immediately and you’ll be automatically sent the rest once everything’s finalised).
Featuring tracks from the albums
The Winter: Flying Visit (2012)
in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway (1999/2014)
The Winter: Exit Points (2010/2015)
The Electricka Zoo (2017)
and previously unheard tracks
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), Cylvi M (vocal, field recordings, percussion, shakuhachi), Emit Snake-Beings (vocal, percussion, flute, electronics), Blair Latham (bass clarinet), Simon O’Rorke (synthesiser), Chris Prosser (violin), Julie Bevan (acoustic guitar), the Digitator (electric drums, keyboards & loops),
5 Feb – 13 March 2016
ShadowPlay – an exhibition of wayang kulit shadow puppets from Cirebon (West Java) at Pataka Museum in Porirua. The antique collection of puppets was purchased by the late Allan Thomas (who also commissioned me to contribute to the book Jazz Aotearoa) in 1974 together with a set of gamelan instruments. Jennifer Shennan and Joko Susilo have worked to curate a unique exhibition showcasing these treasures.
Saturday 6 February, 11:30am, Performing Arts Studio, Pataka Art + Museum
Wayang kulit performance by Joko Susilo accompanied by The First Smile gamelan.
Sunday 7 February, 1:45pm
Concert by Gamelan Padhang Moncar.
Gamelan Padhang Moncar is a group of New Zealand musicians dedicated to the study and performance of Javanese music and based at the New Zealand School of Music (Victoria University campus) in Wellington. They are directed by Budi S. Putra, and managed by Megan Collins.
The group performs traditional repertoire from the courts and villages of central Java as well as contemporary works by New Zealand composers such as Jack Body and Gareth Farr. They also frequently accompany wayang kulit (traditional shadow puppetry) with Joko Susilo.
Members come from a diverse range of backgrounds and include: Judith Exley, Marie Direen, Jo Hilder, Greg Street, Pippa Strom, Mike Jones, Briar Prastiti, Jason Erskine, Helen O’Rourke, Stephanie Cairns, Carina Esguerra, Rupert Snook, Tristan Carter, Jack Hooker, Megan Collins, Anton Killin, Alisa Hogan, Bronwyn Poultney.
The Javanese name can be interpreted in several ways. Read the rest of this entry »
New free downloads 2014-2015 ! Pay koha / what you want for
the first collaborative album by New Zealand artist/musician/filmmaker/ethnomusicologists Dave Black & Snake Beings – performed on guitars, bass, banjo, percussion, saxophones, clarinets, harmonicas, synthesisers, Indonesian gamelan, Okinawan sanshin, ukulele, violin, loop pedal, piano, drums and spoken word.
(2014) Japanese psychedelic rock by Dave Black & Nat da Hatt – two New Zealanders living in Japan.
The fifth album from New Zealand free improvisation trio of Mike Kingston, Simon Sweetman and Dave Edwards
Free-jazz & improv from Wellington, New Zealand 1999/2014 – in collaboration with simon.ororke.net
and a video clip of
We’ll take a break from more releases for the remainder of this year while some new ideas percolate – thanks for listening, see you at the New Zealand Fringe Festival in 2016!
A major highlight of 2014 for me was visiting some new parts of Southeast Asia. I enjoyed the Tamil Indian culture in Singapore and Malaysia, which has sated my curiosity for India itself for the moment.
The sensory overload of the Hindu temples was an intriguing contrast from the elegant minimalism of the Japanese approach, and the mix of Indian, Chinese and Malay cultures is like having three different Asian countries in one.
Nusa Penida is a smaller island between Bali and Lombok, about an hour by boat from Sanur in Bali.
I spent a week as a volunteer with Friends of the National Parks Foundation. I helped with feeding the Bali starlings (critically endangered due to poachers – the population was down to 10 at one point but is now over 100 thanks to the translocation project), along with plant nursery maintenance, a beach cleanup of plastic waste, and construction of the new FNPF premises (thatched huts on a terraced hillside, and gardens that will be beautiful once established).
Nusa Penida is much less developed than Bali, and resembles Bali as it might have been 40 years ago before the tourism boom. Accomodation is simple, with basic facilities (eg cold showers – actually very pleasant in the tropical climate – bucket-flush toilets, and limited food variety).
For tourists it offers great snorkelling & diving,
and enough Hindu temples & local colour to make it interesting culturally. It’s nice to not be hassled to buy things as much as in Bali. Mostly people just say ‘hello’ (in some cases it’s the only English word they know).
I also need to mention The Gallery, run by an English expat Mike Appleton – it’s THE place to go for local information, language interpretation, western food, and to support local artists.
The main amenity I missed was reliable internet connections – there was no access at all for five of the nine days I was there, and when it was available it was patchy & unreliable even at the one internet cafe in town. Lesson from this for me was to finish all travel bookings before going somewhere remote like this. Even back here in Bali the connection is too slow for me to upload any sounds or other photos, so I’ll add more later.
I also had a motorbike accident, though not the kind you’d expect. Read the rest of this entry »
Crossing from Singapore into Malaysia the land is surprisingly empty for Asia – the bus passed only a few buildings and no towns on the way to Melaka… just acres & acres of palm oil plantations.
I spent a day in Melaka, an historical town where the Portuguese and Dutch fought over control of trade routes (and ultimately lost out to the British as Singapore became the richest city in the region), then on to Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur is a big modern city with several attractions such as museums and wildlife parks, and the Batu Caves.
One of the highlights so far has been Read the rest of this entry »