The Sydney Festival is renowned for bringing some of the most interesting and experimental artistic works to our fine city, and to kick things off on the music front a world premiere event this weekend promises to be just that with a once in a lifetime experience.
Led by award-winning saxophonist Sandy Evans, Bridge Of Dreams is a one night only performance which blends together the sounds of Indian music with the brilliance and energy of a jazz big band.
In order to develop this monumental experience, Evans has been working on the project for a number of years. Evans has called upon the talents of Indian musicians Shubha Mudgal, Aneesh Pradhan, Bobby Singh and Sudhir Nayak the Sirens Big Band to bring their shared vision to life.
“All of us have this dream that we could see which had us playing together to create something that we felt was very special and hadn’t been done before,” explained Evans.
Jazz and Indian music are diverse, complex, constantly evolving musical systems. The music in this collaboration will draw on many aspects from both systems as Evans explained though there are enough similarities to make the process both challenging and exciting.
“In the beginning, it was the rhythmic similarities that drew me in. A lot of the reason I got invested in finding out more about Indian music was to improve my ability with rhythm. In both types of music, there is also a lot of improvisation, which is the other thing that we both share and what makes it so interesting to blend.”
Even with these similarities, there were some challenges along the way. In particular, the decision to incorporate the big band style in the show because Indian music is typically performed with a small number of musicians.
Evans explained how they went about overcoming this challenging, “selecting what was going to be appropriate to this context was something that we thought about quite carefully. So we’ve chosen specify types of melodies from the Indian side of the music, because they would work best with the big band whilst maintaining the integrity of all of the various influences.”
With Bridge Of Dreams being such a unique collaboration we asked Evans how accessible it will be for audiences who may not be familiar with Indian music.
“ I think this show is quite accessible. There are some really fantastic grooves, so people who enjoy reggae or Latin music or funk will enjoy the rhythmic grooves of the music. It’s also very melodic and beautiful, which any audience can understand. Anybody will be able to find some element of the show that they will be able to enjoy.”
Jan 12. City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Pl, Sydney. $40-$50+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.cityrecitalhall.com