A very Happy New Year to you all. I hope each one of us can find our path to a deeper and more fulfilling way to experience our lives. The blessings continue to pour around us & into us each and every second whether we are aware of it or not. I pray we all find a moment to touch that flowing river of vibration which will sustain us for the rest of our lives. Lets lean into a great year!
In December 2011, I completed my annual Australian tour which was, as always, such a pleasure. I love seeing all my good Australian friends who have supported the music I have brought over the past 6 years.
This year I brought violin virtuoso Kala Ramnath who is such an amazing musician. If you'd like to watch the youtube video from our recent concert then scroll down on this blog or go here Ty's Youtube Channel.
I was very humbled, as I am every time I play with her. The vocal tradition from which she comes is vast and regarding accompaniment, is a specialized art form. Kalaji learned from her grandfather who was a renowned Classical Indian violinist. Her training began at the age of 2 1/2 and in the years that followed, he gave her many of the skills she needed to excel well beyond the expectations of her family and peers. Then, as a teenager, she studied and traveled extensively with vocal maestro, Pandit Jasraj. So Kala's unique combination of highly refined instrumental technique and a vast knowledge of the vocal tradition has brought her to a un-paralleled position as a violinist. The music flows so naturally from her, that it appears as though it is an effortless flow, like a wave of a hand or a smile or a sunset.
We began our tour in Hawaii. One concert on Kauai and one concert in Maui. My dear friend Mike Crall produced these concerts as he has done for the past 5 years. We had a wonderful time on the Islands and the concerts were packed and full of music loving people. It always moves a musician to deeper emotional states to have an audience that really wants to listen and share in the creation of music. Hawaii was a wonderful example of this important interaction.
Also, while on Maui, I was honored to be hosted by Akari Ueoka and Paia Yoga for my second "Musical Universe" workshop. Akari did such a first class job producing this introductory workshop, that it was full of many wonderful people who were both residents of the Islands as well as visitors from the main land and the UK. One of the real treats for me was the presence of one of my all time music heros, Mick Fleetwood. He was of course a key figure in the band Fleetwood Mac as well as a major musical force through out the 70s and 80s. We had an immediate deep connection and have kept in touch ever since. If you don't know about his amazing career, check out the links above.
Maui Musical Universe workshop.
Then we flew off to Australia for the seventh annual music tour. We played in many of the major north/western cites including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Byron Bay, Newcastle and Hobart Tasmania. As tradition has it, I rented a 4 wheel drive SUV and drove to most of our events which I enjoy since the Australian outback is an amazing place to experience.
Sunset with the rental car near Byron Bay.
The view dropping down into the Byron Bay valley.
In the Sydney Airport - coffee time!!!
Australian dollars are so much more beautiful than US dollars ~
but they come and go just as quickly...
I could not do these tours without the help of my dear friends. Dayasagar, who is also
a tabla student, helped produce a number of the events in the Sydney area and
our wonderful friends Anandajyoti & Alan in Canberra.
Gerard Williams & Ty on a rainy night in downtown Byron Bay.
Gerard is an amazing supporter of the Native Wisdom traditions, please
check out his work and retreats in Oz and Peru.
I challenged a barista (coffee maker) at the Brisbane airport to make me a
latte with a grizzly bear in the foam... and wow, she did such a great job!
Concert in Newcastle.
Video from Ty's Youtube Channel from this years tour.
Concert in Melbourne.
Concert in Canberra.
As some of you may know from reading earlier diary entries, Chris Hooper is the reason I come to Australia. She was a key figure helping produce the first two Krishna Das tours and the person in Australia I had an immediate friendship with back in 2004. She has been my sponsor for all these years and continues to be such an amazing supporter of the arts for Australia. She has, in recent years, also become co-ordinator for His Holiness, the Dalai Lama's Australia tours. She is indeed a brilliant soul, doing great work for us all out there in the world.
Chris & Ty at the Melbourne Airport.
In Hobart Tasmania, we had a lovely concert as well as a special "Musical Universe" workshop. These events were produced by my friend Sharon East who did a great job producing and is a shining light for yoga in the Hobart area.
Musical Universe workshop in Hobart.
Tabla workshop in Sydney.
Article in the "Sydney Stage" Magazine.
Final concert in Sydney at the Tom Mann Theater.
These last concerts mark the end of an amazing year of music. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to play with artists such as Kala Ramnath and learn about the power and presence within music each and every time. This coming month I finally have the exciting release of a CD with Kala called "Samay Chakra". It is released on Tala Records and available for purchase now. It will be my first fully classical recording. Please check it out and I hope you enjoy.
I send you my very best wishes for a beautiful and fulfilling 2012 and I hope to see you on one of my upcoming tours. We'll touch base soon and until then, much joy to you and yours,