travel

Isa Lei, and the Yasawa islands, Fiji

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This odd arrangement of a traditional Fijian folk song was inspired by hearing the real thing.

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), 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), Campbell Kneale (electric guitar, analogue synthesiser),

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 (2010-2015)

Ngumbang (2014-2015)

The Winter: Exit Points (2010/2015)

The Electricka Zoo (2017)

and previously unheard tracks,

and hear the previous compilations

Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 

and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012

New releases coming in 2017

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Coming soon in 2017… new projects on the go, available to pre-order.

The Electricka Zoo


The debut album from the Hutt Valley guitar/bass and live electronica duo – full of eclectic electric sonic surprises.

and

Other Islands: 2012-2017


Our third overview compilation* of album tracks and previously unreleased recordings – made in Okinawa, Indonesia, Western Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand.

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

Pre-order now and you’ll be automatically sent the download link to the full albums once these are released, along with bonus material not available for streaming.

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Also coming in the near future, two new field-recording based albums made of sounds from Western Australia and Indonesia. We didn’t release an album in 2016, but that wasn’t for lack of ideas!

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 »

Fringe Festival 2016: East to West

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Here’s my first major project for 2016, as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival:

 East to West flyer1

The show is a big OE epic of video & music from the Tasman to the Atlantic, a decade in the making.

It takes the audience on a journey half way around the world from New Zealand, across Australia, via a dozen countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Albania, Portugal and more.

l’ll play a live soundtrack myself as a solo performance, to evoke each country… it’ll be a culmination of the travelling and field recording /world music direction I’ve taken over the past decade.

So far it’s screened in New Zealand Fringe Festival and also at the Southland Arts Festival in Invercargill.

My 2005 Fringe show Ascension Band won best music award.  So did the 2006 Lines of Flight show in Dunedin that I was part of.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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Here’s video from my two visits to Indonesia in 2014 – a fascinating new country that I’m only just beginning to explore, and can continue to do so through gamelan (like Indonesia itself it gets more complex & interesting the more you look).

Partly because I’ve visited several countries in East Asia now, and lived in two (Japan and South Korea), Indonesia seems like something else entirely. It’s less Chinese-influenced and has a style of its own.

[Diary from September] This trip was just enough for an introductory sampler. I decided to focus on the arts this time rather than the mountains, ocean and jungle which would require more time, money and preparation.

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I had mixed results in my cultural studies mission this morning. Read the rest of this entry »

Bali, Indonesia

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There’s my first video from Bali, from footage taken on my earlier visit in August.  Note the gamelan (bronze percussion) and rindik (bamboo percussion) soundtrack.

I left my job in Perth and am on my way home to New Zealand, so I’m nervous about jobhunting & starting all over again (again).  On the way home I’m spending a week on a smaller island, Nusa Penida, doing conservation volunteer work with www.fnpf.org  If you’d like to help me afford to stay longer and make more of a contribution  ($20 = 1 day’s expenses) please  – or even better, buy some of our music.

Bali is (once you get away from the main city and the tacky resorts in the south) an almost absurdly beautiful place… frangipani and Indonesian flags (preparing for the August 17th independence day celebrations) everywhere, majestic hillsides lined with centuries-old rice terraces, and too many Hindu temples to count (each family has their own). That plus the many international flights, and entertainment options from adventure sports to nightclubbing to traditional arts make it easy to see why it’s such a popular destination (I read somewhere that 80% of visitors to Indonesia go to Bali and nowhere else, which makes me glad I saw Java first).

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