Music

Why Tasmania? MONA and Dark Mofo!

Why Tasmania? MONA and Dark Mofo!

Tasmania has lovely local festivals – food related, history related, solstice related, music, or craft related – whatever small towns can do to ring people in, entertain them, and showcase local interests.  It also has a couple of major festivals – Agfest and Dark Mofo.  Dark Mofo was started by David Walsh, the owner and founder of MONA (Museum of New and Old Art), and it has grown exponentially. No longer based around the museum itself, the festival now spreads across the city of Hobart, with performances in other areas.  The city and private residences used red lighting throughout to add to the atmosphere. I think David and his committee have a plan to take over Tassie.

Dark Mofo is held close to the middle of winter, and covers two weeks of food, music, performances, installations, art, and general good fun. David, being David, has no problems with controversial exhibits, but he is also happy to create the ethereal.  One piece of ‘ethereal’ that was absolutely glorious was the Siren Song. 450 loudspeakers places on buildings through the city, plus a tsunami warning helicopter playing a 7 minute piece of music based on the call to prayer, played at sunrise and sunset for the duration of the festival. Siren Song was really moving.

The winter feast was amazing, the Dark Park interactive art, music performances, laser shows and art installation good fun, and then out at MONA itself, the opening of the exhibition “The Museum of Everything”, plus more performances, shows, food….

Posted by DeborahH in Art and Craft, Australia, Cultural dimensions, Fun, Music, Tasmania, Weekends, 0 comments
Dancing in the rain

Dancing in the rain

“I’m as wet as a shag on a rock”, she said – and it was true. The rain came down, the raincoats went up and the show went on. Tasmanians are a hardy breed, and a little rain wasn’t going to stop them from enjoying the “Music in the Vines” day out.

Tickets sold out well before the event and more than 1000 people turned up to party at a local vineyard. The music covered everything from Johnny Farnham to Shepherd, with a stop or two on the way for Hotel California, and a touch of Whitney and Queen.

From the beginning people were up and dancing, so the wine couldn’t have been a major factor. The ‘elite’ bought the pricey tickets and sat inside and were able to buy from the menu. The rest of us had tickets in the outer, supplied our own chairs and could buy food, coffee and wine from the various outlets set around the outside. We had the best fun – we could dance down the front near the bands, or near our chairs.

Did the rain stop us? NO WAY. Forget singing in the rain or dancing in the dark – we’ll dance in the rain any day.

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Cultural dimensions, Music, Village life, Weekends, Wine, 0 comments
Afternoon at the Opera

Afternoon at the Opera

 

One of the joys of life in China is being able to head out of the city into a whole new world of village life.  Villages still retain the essence of traditional lifestyles that are rapidly disappearing in the struggle for modernity in cities.  Yesterday I went to visit good friends who live outside Xi’an. For me these friends embody some of the best of China: welcoming, warm, generous, and talented.  The Li’s are part of a local opera group, retaining the traditions of singing and playing that other villages have lost.  Mr Li is also a renowned ‘nong min hua’ – or farmer painter.  His paintings have life and energy, and unlike many other farmer painters he does not merely repeat the traditional images.  He adds and creates, with sly modern touches.  His paintings supported his 2 sons through university, while his farm work ensured that he and his family could survive daily life. When I visit, I am often lucky enough to be invited on days when the opera group get together to sing and enjoy themselves.

Here is one such day.

Posted by DeborahH in China, Music, Photography in China, Village life, 3 comments