Sunday, October 9, 2011

Melbourne Festival: The Manganiyar Seduction

I bought tickets for the Melbourne Festival that will run over October
The first one was Saturday night and I was unsure whether I would go but after resting for  a few hours I headed out, driving to North Melbourne station at 7pm got a train in 3 minutes and arrived with 5 mins to spare Very relaxing trip!
The picture of this was what made me decide to try it.
The bottom left flute was AMAZING
Some of the drummers
A darkened stage comes slowly to life; a conductor gestures and lights flare, as curtain-lined boxes stacked upon the stage are illuminated, revealing white robed musicians who begin a hypnotic Eastern melody. The languid refrain slowly builds, as more boxes blaze to life, and more musicians - dozens more, 42 in all, singing and playing lutes, percussion and reed instruments - join an increasingly frenzied symphony.
It started slowly with the lute wailing for at least 5-10minutes, but then it started to build and was absolutely stirring and fantastic!!
The conductor played castanet type things and was dancing around
At the end everyone was on their feet roaring and clapping, that went on and on!
The leader Roysten Abel spoke briefly reading a letter from a patron the previous night (very witty and funny) from Geoffrey Rush!
The Manganiyars in bygone days performed for the Rhajasthani kings of India. A centuries old musical tradition runs in the veins of these Muslim minstrels and Roysten then talked about getting Visas for the 41 musicians nearly all of whom have the surname Khan! (not sure how that occurs as they are not all family)

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