Snake Beings

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 »

Huia Vortex

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Animated visuals, with electric guitar loops, one-stringed bass, and drums – the opening track from the ‘Ngumbang‘ album (get the free download) – w/ Emit Snake-beings & Nat da Hatt

The title ‘Huia Vortex’ refers to the location where the track was recorded, in Huia, a small village on the outskirts of west Auckland.

Dave Black & Emit Snake-Beings

It’s not necessarily related to ‘Swansong (for the Huia)(2004), the second album by The Winter, an electro-acoustic trio improvisation in tribute to the extinct New Zealand bird the huia by Dave Edwards, Mike Kingston, and Simon Sweetman. Its 19-minute final track remains an underrated fiffdimension epic. [send us your review]

Spotify playlist – fiffdimension & friends

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Here’s my first Spotify playlist… a mix of my own tracks and by other artists who I’ve had the privilege to meet and be inspired by, in several cases played gigs alongside and/or collaborated with.

Thank you all for the journey! And some great music here.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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 »

Ritual Remnants exhibition by snakebeings

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Saturday 2 September in Port Chalmers

Emit Snake-Beings 2-9-18

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Ritual Remnants’ is an exhibition by snakebeings using leftover objects, failed electronic projects and discarded materials from the process of designing and making an electronic instruments which combines Gamelan musical structures with the rhythms of Morse code.

The objects were made during the art science residency in Port Chalmers between March and September 2018.
snakebeings and dave black also collaborated in 2018 on ‘sampak membengkak
and in 2015 on the Ngumbang album

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

Free mp3s 2014 – 2015

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New free downloads 2014-2015 !  Pay koha / what you want for

Ngumbang

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.

and

ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes

(2014) Japanese psychedelic rock by Dave Black & Nat da Hatt – two New Zealanders living in Japan.

plus

The fifth album from New Zealand free improvisation trio of Mike Kingston, Simon Sweetman and Dave Edwards

and

Free-jazz & improv from Wellington, New Zealand 1999/2014 – in collaboration with simon.ororke.net

and a video clip of

Gamelan Taniwha Jaya

rejection-dryrot-ripple-gombageand Dave and Cylvi contributed to Postmoderncore‘s first volume of Dada Songwriting Compilation, Rejection dryrot ripple Gombage.

 

Enjoy!

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!