We're happy to present you a new series of five videos presenting performances
and conversations with some of the wonderful musicians playing modal music
in and around Toronto. This is our third year participating with the Toronto Arts
Council's Arts in the Parks project, and we're grateful for the generous support
and the chance to highlight these artists and the music they play.
The music is very different from video to video, but there are also links: the
qanun appears twice, and three feature what can be called "lap fiddles", as Marta Solek discusses in her interview - the Polish instruments, Suka and Plotz fiddle, that she plays, along with Gheychak, played by Soudabeh Badiei, and the Sarangi performance by Pankaj Mishra in the first video.
We hope you enjoy these videos, and that they encourage you to listen and explore further – and maybe even bring an instrument to a park, or even a back yard, to play in the open air.
Your friends at Labyrinth Ontario
Pankaj Mishra (Sarangi), recently moved to Toronto from Kolkata, and Tanjeer Alam (Tabla) perform in Raag Kirwani, an originally South Indian Classical raga adopted into North Indian Classical music. The interviews discuss their instruments and the roles they play, the scale and rhythm of the piece, and the connection of raga to certain times.
with Lea Kistein and Saskia Tomkins
Marta performs her arrangements of folk and medieval Polish music on Suka and Plotz Fiddle, two instruments that fell out of use and were reconstructed in the 1980s. She is joined by Lea Kirstein on Cello and Viola, and Saskia Tomkins on Violin and Nyckelharpa, a Swedish keyed fiddle.
Dr. George Sawa has over 50 years of experience teaching, researching, and performing Arabic music. Here he and Suzanne Meyers Sawa perform 19th and 20th century Egyptian music for qanun and percussion, and discuss the history and construction of the qanun and practices of accompaniment and ornamentation.
Omar Bongo on Kaban (Oud)
Soudabeh (Gheychak) and Sanaz (Qanun) perform pieces from Turkish classical repertoire, coloured with Iranian modes. In the interview clips, they discuss their instruments and Sanaz's study comparing Turkish, Iranian, and other modal musics.
Many thanks to our funders at the Toronto Arts Council for their support through the Arts in the Parks Program: Animating Toronto Parks.