Friday, 30 May 2008

Cultures at the far edge of the world

I really recommend the talk by Wade Davis mentioned in this post from TED.

Unbelievable photo of one of the world's last uncontacted tribes

If you've seen Wade Davis's unforgettable 2004 TED Talk -- where he evokes the magic of the world's cultural diversity, and speaks so eloquently about the alarming rate with which cultures and languages are dying -- then you might find this photo as heart-stopping as I did.


It's so surreal, I thought at first it must be a hoax. But Reuters just picked the story up, and I'm going to assume they did my fact-checking for me. The photo shows members of one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes, who were spotted and photographed from the air in a remote corner of the Amazon rainforest near the Brazil-Peru border.

Survival International, an advocacy group for tribal people, released the photos on their website and quotes Jose Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Junior, who works for the Brazilian government’s Indian affairs department: "We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist ...This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence."

"What is happening in this region is a monumental crime against the natural world, the tribes, the fauna and is further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the 'civilized' ones, treat the world," Meirelles said.

Apparently, more than 100 uncontacted tribes remain worldwide, with half living in Brazil or Peru. Extraordinary.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Tribute to Pt Kishan Maharaj

Pandit Kishan Maharaj -
The end of an Era

Kavita Chhibber shares Part I of her tribute to Tabla Maestro Pandit Kishan Maharaj on her webcast

‘When legends like these leave, their presence, their fragrance leaves with them”
- Ustad Amjad Ali Khan on the passing away of Pandit Kishan Maharaj

Majestic, royal, incomparable, romantic, a hard task master, brilliant, innovative - words tumble out like a flow of his resonant bols, from the lips of all those who have known him or played with him. Pandit Kishan Maharaj, who passed away this month truly was the last the of tabla legends of an era that is slowly coming to an end with the passing away of the golden greats of Hindustani classical music. And no matter what the current music maestros of the modern era may say, the royal elegance, the integrity and dedication with which these stalwarts of India’s rich cultural heritage took to the stage, cannot be replicated....

Monday, 19 May 2008

News from Indo-Japanese Music Exchange Association

from T M Hoffman / Indo-Japanese Music Exchange Association

Dear Friends of India and Japan

Please visit our newly constructed website for reports and photos etc of recent projects undertaken in both India and Japan with the support of Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan Foundation, Japan Airlines, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, India Center, Air India, American Institute of Indian Studies and others, and with the kind cooperation of Embassies and Consulates of both nations.

We are pleased to report successful completion of our India-Japan Friendship Year tour of South India with four artists from Japan in four co-operative concerts with four exemplary artists of Carnatic music in the four cities of Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi and Thrissur.
Sample media reports:

Tampura meets shakuhachi! New India Press full-page story17 Mar 08

Best of both the worlds - Deccan Herald report 11 Mar 08 Bangalore

and from a recent two-month all-India tour --
charity concert w/eight Carnatic musicians in Visakhapatnam 31 Jan 08
(flyer & news) (review/photo)

Grateful to God, Guru & Gharwalli, I continue to be on the move musically with neither fanfare nor apology, including my Asian music course again this semester at Keio University, also Nada Yoga sessions.

Please note that I will giving programs - performance, lecture-demonstration, lecture, workshop - throughout India again in summer, in USA and Europe in autumn, in Philippines and again India next winter. Please contact me if you are interested.

None of this is off-the-wall haphazard fusion experimentation. Our efforts are recognized by commentary such as 'very significant contribution to tradition in the contemporary world' (pls see the National Network of Education, India interview, in our website).

Best wishes!

Tim Hoffman
Sangeet Acharya (awarded 12 Feb 08)

T. M. Hoffman, performing artist and ethnomusicologist
BA (USA & Japan), MA (USA), Visharad & Sangeet Acharya (India)
Senior Performing and Creative Artist Fellow - 2006-2008
American Institute of Indian Studies AIIS (USA & India)
Lecturer in Musicology and Linguistics
Keio University & Musashino Academia Musicae (Japan)
Director, Indo-Japanese Music Exchange Association (estab. 1989)
e-mail: (new complete website, in Japanese & English)

---------(Japanese version)---------

演奏家・教育家・日印音楽交流会代表T M Hoffmanです。アメリカとアジア各国の先生方に深く感謝をしながらアジア音楽の演奏・教育・国際交流活動に努めて忙しくしております。

「日印音楽交流会」(1989年創立)の本客的なwebsite 開設のお知らせです。最近の活動については、そのなかで、インドにての「筝によるインド音楽奏法開発企画」(2006年7月-2008年1月、米国インド学会との協同長期企画)の第三期(2007年12月-2008年2月)および日本より4人の演奏家による3月08日-22日間の「日印交流年」南インド公演旅行(日本外務省と AOTS海外技術者研修協会の後援企画)の写真などもご覧になれます。南インドの神父さん との共演などありました。

*“Tampura meets shakuhachi!
New India Press full-page story on 17 Mar 08 Cochin concert  
*“Best of both the worlds” - Deccan Herald 11 Mar 08 Bangalore

インド最大の知的障害者施設Lebenshilfe Indiaの支援日印協同公演
*charity concert Visakhapatnam, AP (India) 31 Jan 08
(flyer & news) (review/photo)

そして、2008年2月12日に、インド現地にて全国芸術連盟より敬称Sangeet Acharya「音楽聖人」を豪華な儀式のなかにて授かりました。より忠実に「音道」Nada Yogaに努められる意志になる気掛けともなりました。



T. M. Hoffman  演奏家(北インド古典声楽、天竺尺八、筝)企画情報・写真・動画・音楽)

Monday, 5 May 2008

CD: Shastriya Syndicate (Purbayan Chatterjee)

Shastriya Syndicate

Syndicated (Sense World Music, 2008)

Shastriya Syndicate is Purbayan Chatterjee's project. On the outstanding CD Syndicated (Sense World Music) he has brought together a group of young Indian masters, who are bringing new blood to Indian classical music. The virtuoso musicians fuse the music of North India (HIndistani) and South Inda (Carnatic).

While many Indian artists follow the traditional format of ...


Friday, 2 May 2008

CD: The Teak Project (Indo-Jazz)

The Teak Project (First Hand, 2008)

Second generation Indo-Jazz sitar player Jonathan Mayer is the son of Indo-Jazz pioneer John Maye, which maintains the tradition nicely. The devilish complexity of the music does nothing to detract from its sweetness and serenity.

Justin Quinn is a fleet-fingered guitarist worthy to fill John McLaughlin's sandals.

Tabla-player Neil Craig provides the impetus, and transforms the gentle acoustic music with the serpentine-like beats of the raga.

In short, The Teak Project offers a near-perfect realization of Indo-Jazz, yet hints at further expansion: the floating impressionism of Outnumbered By One recalls the work of Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine. Lovely stuff.

Full story here...