Advanced music with a way of enjoyable | Canberra CityNews

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Mara! The expanded band at The Street Theatre.

Music / “Zashto?”, Mara! Big Band. At The Street Theatre, May 13. Reviewed by GRAHAM McDONALD.

MARA! the band (with the exclamation mark) has a novel place in Australian music. 

Mara Kiek is an Australian singer with a ardour for folks music from throughout the Balkans with their eerie shut vocal harmonies and complicated rhythmic patterns. 

With her multi-instrumentalist husband Llew Kiek, their musical tasks over the previous 30 or extra years have introduced collectively points of people, early music and jazz to create music that acknowledges its origins, however goes nicely past them.

Mara! has all the time included jazz musicians into its interpretations of, and music impressed by, Balkan vocal and dance music (which might usually be the identical factor), with bassist Lloyd Swanton and sax gamers Sandy Evans and Andrew Robson long-term members of the band. 

For this tour Mara! Has grown from its regular 5 – 6 members to 12, with the horn part augmented by James Greening, Sam Golding and Paul Cutlan and the addition of percussionist Jess Ciampa, Gary Daley on piano accordion and singers Jenny Dorman and Jarnie Birmingham.

The core of this efficiency was “Zashto?” (Bulgarian for “why”), a collection of music written across the themes of immigration and incarceration with parts of Irish, Bulgarian, Persian, cabaret and what sounded remarkably like a central-African rhumba. 

It has six elements, every a mixture of vocal and instrumental sections. The vocal elements are in unimaginable harmonies, the drums, bass, bouzouki and accordion present a rhythmic and harmonic basis permitting the splendidly advanced horn preparations to punctuate and add to the combo, whereas offering for improvisation and solos.

After an interval, the band returned for one more hour of music, materials the band had performed up to now, however rearranged for the expanded line-up. The horn gamers acquired a bit extra room for improvisation amid some superb band preparations and three-part vocal harmonies. 

What was outstanding was the sense of enjoyable these musicians had been having. There had been 12 individuals on stage taking part in intensely advanced music, but relaxed and clearly having fun with the efficiency, constantly smiling and inspiring one another. This was a memorable musical expertise with extra performances lined up over the following few months round NSW. If you may, go and see them for a night of a few of the most enjoyable music you’re ever prone to hear.

 

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor


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