Australian music

World Music Exploration 2010/11 Week 4 - INXS

My students and I wrap up our exploration of Australian music this week with the popular rock band INXS. Best of INXSThe group first performed as the Farriss Brothers in Sydney, Australia in 1977. Original band members included Michael Hutchence (vocals), Kirk Pengilly (guitar/sax/vocals), Garry Gary Beers (bass), Tim Farriss (guitar), Andrew Farriss (keyboards/ guitar/ percussion/vocals) and Jon Farriss (drums).

Throughout the band's 30 year history, INXS has sold over 30 million records worldwide. They have performed all over the globe, most notably at Wembley Stadium (with the band Queen), the HFS-Tival, the US Festival, the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. INXS has won numerous awards and accolades, including International Live Act Of The Year (1986), Rolling Stone Magazine Awards (1991) and ARIA Hall Of Fame inductees (2001).

The death of singer/songwriter Michael Hutchence in November 1997 was a devastating blow. The band continued to perform with guest artists Terence Trent D'Arby and Jon Stevens, however, it wasn't until 2005 that a new lead singer was found. That year, INXS launched their search with a reality TV show “RockStar INXS.” Out of the 100+ singers who auditioned, INXS chose Canadian JD Fortune as the band's new lead singer.

Here's this week's clip: What You Need

(c) 2010 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.

World Music Exploration 2010/11 Week 3 - Visions of a Nomad

This week, my piano students and I are listening to Visions of a Nomad, an Australian jazz fusion/groove pop band that is accompanied by the didgeridoo, an Australian indigenous instrument. Band members include: Michael Cuming (didgeridoo, keys, percussion, classical harp, clarinet, guitar, vocals), Silvana van Dijk (drum kit, small percussion, congas, vocals), Tim Berry (trumpet, flugelhorn,trombone) and Adama Storey (double bass/electric bass).

Australian music

This group has received rave reviews on its international tours, from theatres to concert halls and from festivals to the club scene.

Career highlights include: Tour of United States in 2005, Diversions Festival Ireland, Holland Theatre concert tour, Cultural Olympiad Greece, Ireland Theatre tour, Japan concert tour, Powerhouse Theatre Brisbane Australia and Conservatorium Theatre Australia. Michael Cuming and Silvana van Dijk were asked by the Olympic committee to produce and aboriginal show to be performed on the ruins of the Acropolis and Olympia.

Here's a clip of Australia White Birds:

We are also exploring The Edge this week. (c) 2010 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.


World Music Exploration 2010/11 Week 2 - Elena Kats-Chernin

This past week, my students and I explored Wild Swans and Alexander Rag by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin. She was born in Uzbekistan in 1957 and received her musical training in Yaroslavl and Moscow before immigrating to Australia in 1975. Career highlights to date include: having her music featured at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Olympic Games and the 2003 Rugby World Cup and having six published CD's under her belt.

Her discography is comprised of ballets, operas, piano concertos and commissioned works for many performers and ensembles, including Sydney Alpha Ensemble, Evelyn Glennie, Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.

(c) 2010 by Musespeak(tm), Calgary, AB, Canada. All rights reserved.