Category Archives: music
… played on the Chinese hammered dulcimer, an amazing instrument.
A rather powerful combination…
I’ll have more to say on Louis Nowra’s Ice later.
I have been having fun ripping my CDs to the ACER. I hadn’t realised how easy it is!
Discovered a great new media player too, after which I have retired my VLC.
Gizmo Freeware – a very good site – gives the KM Player a big thumbs up. Took a little getting used to, but the quality of playback really is excellent – and it is totally free.
You may have guessed from the previous post that Sirdan took me to the Opera House last night to see Aida.
Excellent it was too. The Pharaoh was played by David Parkin, winner of Operatunity Oz at age 27. Rosario La Spina was extremely good in the role of Radames. Claire Rutter played Aida, and Elizabeth Campbell was Amneris. I was taken by Warwick Fyfe as the King of Ethiopia.
It was often said that it would be impossible to mount Aida at the Opera House as the interior was so compromised when the bureaucrats took over the project mid-stream – a situation that apparently is to be corrected. We ended up with a shoe box instead of a grand opera stage, you see, as the planned concert hall morphed in a moment of bean counting into the Opera Theatre it was never intended to be. Nonetheless, Graeme Murphy has done the impossible with his usual flair, and even if large parts of the cast occasionally sang from somewhere off stage in the mass spectacles the result was spectacular still. There may even be a plus: the “smaller” moments were thereby highlighted. Come to think of it, I’m not sure a cast of thousands and live elephants pissing all over the place would really have added much.
On the way I was distracted…
As we left an old SBHS colleague Dallas Watts joined us. Turns out he was in Aida. Amazingly quick change back into civvies!
… or perhaps “Quick go the shears…”
Yes, that is SO Australian. But it tells of time past rather more than time present, and is more true of 1909, even 1959, than of 2009. All things must pass, as the article I linked to above in The Australian notes.
THEY are becoming icons of a passing era. As sheep numbers continue to plummet, so do the carloads of shearers crisscrossing the backblocks in search of work.
In Western Australia, where some of the big remote stations could carry up to 60,000 head of sheep in their heyday, the harsh realities of modern life are threatening to turn our most romantic profession into nothing more than a curiosity…
In 1971, there were 155 million sheep across the nation, propping up the long-held notion that the country had made its luck off the sheep’s back. Today, there are fewer than 70 million, and that number has been dropping annually by anywhere between 5 and 8 per cent over the past decade. That trend is not expected to change…
Here is another rendition, in its own way a marker of how this country is changing.
Well, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube…
Remember I first mentioned The Batik Courtyard Cafe in April? Sirdan and I have been back several times and the food really is excellent – mainly Indonesian and Malaysian, but with other items too. One couple near us were having bacon, eggs and sausages! We went down the Indonesian track with something like this but with the addition of a VERY hot pickle garnish on the side that appeared to have dried fish bits in it. Great meal though, and a multicoloured ice desert with lychees and so on after.
The great thing though was the music: cool jazz played by a group that was mostly Indonesian, but with an Anglo lead guitarist and one Anglo singer – didn’t catch his name, but he was so good! Performs also at The Basement, a well-known Sydney jazz venue.
An amazing cross-cultural experience really.
I’ve been thinking about this, and I’d have to check with Kristina Nehm, but – though it is now a long time ago – I am sure the “Anglo” guitarist in this group was at Kristina’s memorable party during the Australia Day period in 1988. I seem to recall talking to him, but I met so many people that night!