ethnomusicology

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…

First Time Around: South Korea

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Before there was ‘Gangnam Style’ there was

– field recordings, electro-acoustic ethnography, Asian industrial soundscapes

by kiwis in South Korea, 20072008

Credits

released July 1, 2008

Dave Black – field recordings, laptop, gayageum, loops, bass, acoustic guitar, vocal

Cylvi M – tangso, shakuhachi, shaker, vocal

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www.fiffdimension.com/category/korea
www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL26D01AF2105C675D

Further listening

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Live 2019

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An acoustic solo set, live at Wairarapa TV in Masterton, New Zealand

– which took place live on the internet. This was simulcast on Freeview CH41, ArrowFM 89.7FM and YouTube.

The set was part of the Property Law Service May Music Marathon – 12 straight hours of live Music to Television screens during NZ Music Month on May the 4th 2019.

Living in a small town I don’t get to as many gigs as I used to… so here using 21st century technology to play ‘virtually’ everywhere.

On the other hand musically this was closer to a traditional folk/singer-songwriter set than I’d done for quite a while, eschewing dissonant improv, multitracking, live backing musicians or electronic trickery.

I kept my half hour minimal and acoustic (the discord and electric noise I’m saving for another time soon) and updated my past – with

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아리랑

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Live 4th May 2019 at Wairarapa TV May Music Marathon

Banjo rendition of a Korean folk tune 아리랑 (“Arirang”).  The banjo is not typically found in Korean music – this would normally be played on a gayageum.

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Eastern

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4th May 2019 at Wairarapa TV May Music Marathon

Solo guitar version of a tune by the Electricka Zoo, from our 2017 debut album:

It’s based on the hijaz scale and a 7/8 rhythm.

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2005

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2005

The year got off to a good start, with Ascension Band: Evolution

The successful collaboration with Nigel Patterson, Ryan Prebble, and over a dozen other musicians, from jazz-schooled to untrained punks, won the best music award in the NZ Fringe Festival.

I had my first taste of success (the fame part of Fame & Oblivion 2005-2012)

Melbourne, VIC, Australia 2005

…But by this time I was ready to see the world beyond Aotearoa.  I shifted across the Tasman Sea to Melbourne – in Australia, the West Island.

 

For the next few months I lived in Brunswick, and worked in temp jobs around the city and in rural Victoria.

 

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The results became After Maths & Sciences

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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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Wayang for Cirebon – 30 June 2018

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Saturday 30 June 2018
in the Adam Concert Room (NZSM, Victoria University of Wellington).
$30/adult – all proceeds go to Cirebon

This show is a repeat of our recent successful show at CubaDupa.

This fund-raising event was sparked by a tragedy in Cirebon, Indonesia, in April this year when a wall adjacent to the rehearsal space collapsed on top of the players, killing seven youngsters, aged between 12 –15 years, and their teacher, dhalang Mas Herman Basari.

The Cirebon area of Northwest Java is dear to our hearts. Allan Thomas brought the first gamelan to New Zealand from Cirebon in 1974. You can read about the history and about these instruments on the Gamelan NZ site by following the links. Later named The First Smile, the ensemble is still played by a local Wellington group who are embarking on a fund-raising campaign to send support to Gegesik village and families affected by the tragedy. Plans are already underway there to purchase a new gamelan, and dedicate it to the memory of those who died.

You are invited to attend what promises to be a spirited occasion, and to contribute generously to the funds. The programme for this concert will include:

  • A wayang kulit (shadow puppet show), The Fall of Gathutkaca, performed by dhalang Ki Joko Susilo, accompanied by Gamelan Padhang Moncar of the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington. Dr. Joko Susilo is a celebrated dhalang, Indonesian traditional shadow puppet-master, the eighth generation in his family. He has lived with his New Zealand family and taught gamelan in Dunedin for over 25 years, but is often in demand for wayang kulit performances and gamelan teaching abroad.
  • Ambassador Bapak Tantowi Yahya will also perform as part of the event.
  • Refreshments

Tickets are $30 per adult. School aged children are free. All funds will be directly sent to Cirebon.