SOUNDS ACROSS OCEANS – BEMAC
Sounds Across Oceans Education program at BEMAC this summer: As promised a ground breaking new educational program will be presented here in Brisbane this January. After many years exploring diverse musical styles and collaborating with amazing musicians across genres and platforms I have come to believe that an inclusive, collaborative and exploratory music-making approach that applies the diverse principles of folk, jazz and classical music is essential to give young people the broad skills necessary to share and create music in the 21st Century.
To make this happen I am teaming up with Katherine Philp, Ruth Ghee, Ian O’Brien, Tabla Performer and Teacher Dheeraj Shrestha and Getano Bann to present a week long integrated music-making workshop at BEMAC.
Sounds Across Oceans Summer Music Program
18 JAN – 23 JAN 2016 | Monday 9:00pm to 4:00pm
Does your child play and love music? Do you want to give your child the opportunity for a life changing musical experience?
Sounds Across Oceans is a highly unique educational program designed to offer young musicians from all musical and cultural backgrounds the opportunity to come together to learn, share and collaborate with some of Queensland’s finest musicians.
Convergence: The Science, Art and Spirit of Compassion
Finding ways to further cultivate compassion in our society continues to be an important priority. How can we all open our hearts and minds to be more compassionate to both ourselves and others? Over recent years, Spirituality, Science and the Arts have converged in an attempt to find answers to this question, and to discover what can work.
“Convergence” is a collaboration between renowned classical guitarist Dr Anthony Garcia, and highly regarded clinical psychologist & speaker Dr Stan Steindl. Together they will explore with participants this convergence, drawing on ancient traditions of meditative and mindfulness practice, more recent principles of evolutionary science and neuroscience, and the emotional potency of music to enhance compassion and self compassion. During convergence meditations Dr Garcia & Dr Steindl lead participants in a series of experiential exercises, conversations and practical strategies to incorporate into daily life.
BG SOUND PROJECT
When William Barton and Anthony Garcia first performed live on ABC Radio in 2009 a unique synergy was ignited that has led to the emergence of one of Australia’s most respected ensemble collaborations. The pulsating rhythms and ethereal textures of the didgeridoo blend with the soaring melodies and lush harmonies the guitar to create a new Australian soundscape that holds no boundaries. The BG Sound Project has since performed throughout Australia in festivals and concerts to critical acclaimed. “A brilliant fusion of ancient and contemporary sounds from two modern masters! William Barton and Anthony Garcia’s collaboration is a match made in heaven… this musical meeting of two soulful musicians was an enthralling experience. The relaxed presentation and the humour was a counterpoint to the intense, at times, mystical experience of the music itself. William Barton channels the ancient, primal music of his people and Anthony Garcia is symbiotically attuned to this, creating his own complementary and powerful guitar sounds.” Phil Brown (Senior writer, Queensland Newspapers)
The ensemble’s acclaimed CD, Desert Stars Dancing, was recorded over a weekend at Brisbane’s Studio 180 in 2010. The subtitle – Eclectic Sound Scapes for Didgeridoo and Guitar – reflects the colour and diversity of this body of work with both artists freely exploring the possibilities of their instruments to the fullest. By experimenting with a synthesis of composition, improvisation and digital processing, this CD manages to combine the didgeridoo and guitar in a range of distinct settings reflecting the artists capacity to play, twist and turn genres inside out. The ensemble achieved throughout the recording is testament to the artist’s creative and emotional connection. In White Notes Between Heaven and Earth, a largely improvised work originally commissioned for the Maleny Autumn Music Festival, the classical guitar and didgeridoo weave together as one with Barton spontaneously adding a vocal cadenza to close the work.
In the lead up to a memorable recital at the Sydney Opera House in 2013, ABC Sydney radio presenter, James Valentine, upon hearing the ensemble for the first time exclaimed, “this is reconciliation”. [Listen to Inside Sleeve Interview] The music of Barton and Garcia represents a powerful synthesis of culture, tradition and innovation that continues to moves audiences. “Even by the high standard of Tyalgum Festival events, last Sunday’s performance at Tweed River Art Gallery was exceptional. Guitarist Anthony Garcia and didgeridoo player William Barton are both virtuosi, but when they team up they have a musical chemistry of a rare kind – a generous meeting of two great cultures…a sound emanating from the depth of the human soul.” Judith White (Tyalgum Classical Music Festival)
SOUNDS ACROSS OCEAN – THAILAND An experiment in inter-cultural collaboration and performative education
The emergence of performative research in the creative arts has led to a new surge in creative thinking around musical composition, performance practice and education. These trends suggest a reconceptualisation of music education toward a more fluid and whole experience where student and teacher enter a space of collaborative learning, musical dialogue and shared discovery. In June of 2013, I traveled to Thailand to facilitate a two-week collaborative workshop with third year music students from the University of Khon Kaen. Underpinning the project was a desire to explore new modes of instruction that placed the teacher among the students as a co-collaborator and mentor.
Participants included students from both Western Music and Thai Music streams. The Thai music element comprised traditional Isan folk musicians and Thai classical musicians. No directives or preparative instructions were stipulated prior to the workshops with the view to allowing the moment of interaction to unfold as naturally and spontaneously as possible. Over a two-week period participants improvised, composed and experimented, sharing the music-making journey in a final concert at the University. The following paper documents the experience, outlining the applied research methodology with reflections on the processes and outcomes of action learning. This research argues that conventional pedagogical models alone, whereby the teacher passes on information to the student for development and integration, prevent the student-teacher relationship from becoming a music-making force: a relationship of discovery.
BREATHING UNDERWATER Short Film Collaboration
Breathing Under Water is an abstract dance film evoking the transformative power of breath and the emotional symbolism of water through the movement of body, sound and vision. The visual canvass created in collaboration with Randall Wood, Bo Dechcamp, performance artist Brian Lucas and producer Jennifer Garcia is supported by a musical score performed and recorded by Anthony Garcia. Abstract tension, emerging from the subconscious torment of the lead character, ‘the man,’ fold into undulating melancholic melodies that draw him forth into his daily ritual. In a trance he morphs through the surrounding cityscape accompanied by dronal pulsations which spiral downward into the abyss where his dream-state unravels. A culminating moment of catharsis, proceeded by a single breath, represents and new direction as soulful banjo and electric guitar lines pull him out of his habitual mourning.
This film was made possible with the support of the Brisbane City Council through the Creative Sparks funding initiative.
SOULO Guitar Quartet
In 2010, SOULO guitars, comprising Anthony Garcia, Aaron Hopper (stringmansassy), Andrew Veivers (Flamenco Fire) and Toby Wren (Cows at the Beach), was premiered at the Judith Wright Centre in Brisbane. Based on the success of this initial presentation the four composer/guitarists have been developing an evolving body of work for four guitars based on their unique fields of expertise. SOULO have combined their love of flamenco, folk, jazz and classically-inspired guitar to create a vibrant synthesis of genres taking listeners on a journey from the cobblestoned streets of Spain, bustling gypsy markets and backroom jazz bars of New York to the rolling hills of the Australian hinterland. SOULO Guitars embraces the passion and virtuosity you’d anticipate from these artists, a concert experience that defies expectation.
Zarabanda Latin Harp and Guitar Duo
Introduced by Sebastian Flynn, recently retired director of the Canberra Folk Festival, Sandra Real (Latin harp) and Anthony Garcia (guitar) first performed to a capacity audience of over two thousand people in Brisbane’s City Hall in 2007. Developing a repertoire for subsequent performances at BEMAC (Brisbane Ethnic and Multicultural Arts Center) and the Queensland Multicultural Festival, Garcia and Real began presenting innovative programs featuring Latin American works, Spanish Baroque arrangements, spontaneous improvisations and original contemporary compositions. In early 2008 the ensemble recorded the CD Moliendo Café, receiving a five star rating from ABC Limelight Magazine. The duo’s name, Zarabanda, comes from the popular Spanish dance from the Baroque period believed to have its origins in the early music of Latin America. Though the Zarabanda was outlawed in 1585 and 1630 for its sensual an immoral character it didn’t stop the Spanish priest and composer Gaspar Sanz from setting music to this evocative rhythm and today this dance beautifully represents a blending of old and new traditions, a perfect symbol for this inspired ensemble pairing.