CROSSINGS: SONGS FROM THE EAST – June 2nd 2013 – Sydney Opera House


Crossings: Songs from The East is a cross-cultural collaboration presenting traditional and improvised music spanning the Greek, Kurdish, Arabic and Persian traditions. This is an exciting coming together of local Sydney-based musicians from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, drawing both from their own musical heritage and their contemporary experience of multi-cultural Australia. A rich program of song from both the folk and classical traditions of the cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East regions, taking the audience on a musical passage from the Mediterranean to Mesopotamia.
The five musicians featured, including first-generation Australians of Greek, Kurdish, Iraqi and Persian origin, share a common musical language – a language anchored in centuries old systems but at the same time contemporary and inspiring of innovation. And this is exactly what audiences can expect from Metin Yilmaz, Mustafa Karami, John Robinson, Dimitri Koubaroulis and Imad Rahem on their respective instruments: kaval (wooden flute), daf (frame drum), oud (fretless lute), kanun (plucked lap zither), voice and violin.

Artist Information

Dimitri Koubaroulis – voice and kanun
Dimitri studied Byzantine chant from the age of 9 in Greece, graduating with a Diploma of Byzantine Music in 1998 from the Philippos Nakas Conservatorium of Athens. He migrated to Australia in 2002, where he began his studies in oud and kanun with renowned Turkish-Australian music teacher Sabahattin Akdagcik. He has since founded The Melisma Ensemble, which debuted with a sell-out concert in 2012. He has been invited to perform as a vocalist and instrumentalist by The Greek Festival of Sydney and in various other engagements.

Mustafa Karami – daf and voice
Mustafa began his musical studies at the age of 10 with vocal training. He later began studies in daf and oud. He holds the Iranian award for best daf player, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Mustafa has worked with many musicians in Iran both as a performing and recording artist and has made several appearances on Iranian television and radio. Since migrating to Australia in 2009 he has performed at various festivals and engagements, has taught daf and founded his own musical ensemble, Salmak.

Imad Rahem – violin and voice
Imad graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, where he later went on to become a teacher of the violin. He held a position in the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra and performed regularly on Iraqi radio and television and with various renowned Iraqi artists including: Hussein al-Adhamy, Kadim Al Sahir and Naseer Shamma, before arriving in Australia five years ago. He is a very active musician within his local community.

John Robinson – oud
John is a multi-instrumentalist with a deep appreciation of and interest in multi-cultural music. Over the last 12 years he has collaborated with many esteemed artists in Australian music including: Bobby Singh, Bukhchuluun Gangburged, Tunji Beier, Fiona Hawkins, Andy Busuttil, Mara! Llew Kiek, Paul Jarman, The Renaissance Players, and has recorded with Fiona Hawkins, Skorba, Mark Saliba with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and Equus.

Metin Yilmaz – kaval and voice
Metin is a master of the kaval, having studied under Turkish kaval virtuosos: Sinan Celik and Osman Aktas. Of Kurdish origin and born in Turkey, Metin’s experience as a performing and recording artist in Turkey and Europe is extensive. In 2008, he performed with the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra, Germany, in an opera adaptation of renowned director Fatih Akin’s award-winning film, ‘Gegen Die Wand’ (Head-On). He has also performed alongside internationally renowned Kurdish artists, Sivan Perwer and Aynur Dogan. Since migrating to Australia in 2009 he has performed at events for the Sydney Peace Foundation, Amnesty International, NSW Parliament House, The Rocks Aroma Festival and The Greek Festival of Sydney. He continues to work on various musical projects, recently founding the musical ensemble, Sounds of Mesopotamia.

Prices correct at the time of publication and subject to change without notice. Exact prices will be displayed with seat selection.

Early Bird – book before 1 May $40
Standard $55
Insiders $40
*Concession $45
**Group 8+ $42
Booking fee applies per transaction
$8.50 – Contact Centre
$8.50 – Internet
$5.00 – Box Office Counter

Sunday 2 June, 5pm Running Time: Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, no interval

Pre-show artist talk by Dimitri Koubaroulis at 4pm – 20 minutes

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