late 2010s music
the opening track from Ruasagavulu
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.
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.
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
At the end of the decade, and looking for a way to follow up the eclectic Asia-Pacific Odyssey of Other Islands: 2012-2018, I stripped things back down to the solo acoustic format of my early years with Live 2019.
The set, at Wairarapa TV in Masterton, New Zealand, was streamed live on the internet on 4th of May 2019.
For the past couple of years I’ve been living in a small town and don’t get to as many gigs as I used to… so here was an opportunity to use 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. I eschewed dissonant improv, multitracking, live backing musicians, field recordings, or electronic trickery this time, and used just acoustic guitar, banjo, and harmonica (and a few seconds of wah pedal on ‘Eastern’).
The set was followed by an interview.
I also released a companion album to Live 2019 – its stroppier lo-fi postpunk ‘official bootleg’ predecesor Live 1999. This was recorded on cassette 20 years (or half my lifetime) ago, when I opened for Chris Knox at Bar Bodega in Wellington NZ last millennium:
I started and finished both live sets on the same two songs, to show continuity and evolution.
It’s been quite a journey in between!
My other 2019 works in progress included
* a couple of informal jam sessions with the Electricka Zoo (which has otherwise been on hold since last year); ( http://www.soundcloud.com/darrel-hannon/jamming-with-dave)
* and I continued to adapt the 19th century book ‘Poems & Lyrics by John Collie’, which I’d learned was written by my Scottish great-great-grandfather in 1856 before he came to NZ. Three of his poems featured on Live 2019, with more in the pipeline.Read the rest of this entry »