“I feel happiest and most ‘myself’ when I’m singing. An audience member once told me I looked ‘zen’ on stage and that’s pretty much how I feel! I love the fact that it is such an expressive avenue through which to communicate and tell stories”.
LIVE MAYHEM is more than a document of the toughness and smart writing of James Ryan’s Sonic Mayhem Orchestra. Like all truly worthwhile live albums it stands on its own as a valid document of this unique ensemble.
“There are times when the magic flows, when the musos are all in the right place together and when you get that wonderful ‘virtuous cycle’ going with the crowd, who are loving being there, loving what you are doing and that just takes you to another level. It doesn’t always happen like that, but when it does, you feel like you are absolutely doing what you were born to do.”
Mike Nock explains that “We’re learning the original arrangements as a starting point to play the music from our current perspective. This is turning out to be a bigger challenge than I originally thought, but I’m finding it an incredibly interesting process and a huge journey of self-discovery, as the music contains most of the concepts I’ve spent my lifetime exploring ever since. It may be true one can never go home again – but maybe that’s because we really never leave it!”
“I think whilst duo performance is, exposing, it’s also very liberating, as you have a lot more space to play and work with.”
Tunisian born French oud player and producer SMADJ brings you an extraordinary fusion of middle eastern music via Paris. [From the Press Release] Jean-Pierre Smadja, aka SMADJ, has a passion for two things; music and technology. Raised by Tunisian parents in the suburbs of Paris, SMADJ professed an early obsession with jazz and Arabic music …
“It will be great to reunite with one of my earliest musical collaborators, Steve Newcomb. On that night, the performance will be like two old pals catching up after a few years, each one filling the other in on what they’ve been up to (in this case, musically) in the intervening time.”
” These guys didn’t live to play music. They lived because they played music. Music literally kept them alive.”
The festival, a “cornucopia of music from across centuries and continents”, taking place at the churches, wineries and intimate spaces of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, opens on New Year’s Day.
Phil Treloar takes it from there, his playing a way to clarify things, put them in order and into perspective.