Presented by Behnoosh Aryanpad. Nexus Cabaret.
Kashkul is an Adelaide based traditional Persian ensemble bringing the exotic sounds of ancient Persia to the stage. Their music, set to classical and traditional poetry uses a range of traditional instruments including the Tar (Lute), Kamancheh (Bowed string instrument), Oud (Lute), and Daf (frame Drum). The music is very beautiful and relaxing, and transports the audience to another place.
There often seems to be an assumption made by world groups that their audience will all be familiar with the music. Often this is not the case, and music aficionados are in the audience hoping to experience something new. Kashkul provides this, but like so many world music bands neglects the education component. An introduction and brief history of the instruments at the top of the show would have really aided in the appreciation and invested the audience in each song. Further to this, a brief description of each number, explaining the origins and inspirations of the song would have given context to the piece.
Context provides the basis which engages an audience. A good CD album has a story line that draws you in. This performance made for great ambient music which would have accompanied a nice meal and some great coming, perfectly. Without the story line however, without context, it eventually lost its intrigue and became a struggle to sit through. The ensemble was an outstanding group of musicians, but this performance craft would have made their set more engaging.
There was an awkward amount of instrument tuning prior to the opening number which could have been done before the audience entered, and throughout the show more issues with re-tuning for later pieces.
Unnecessary fold back had been provided for the performers, which created feedback early in the show, and some of the microphone levels were too high. The skill of these artists was still clear to see despite these technical and structural issues however.
It was amazing to watch the sound that can be achieved by one drummer on a Daf. The drum (a skin stretched over a timber ring resembling a large tambourine with metal rings hanging inside it) was reminiscent of an entire military marching band!
It was a pleasant performance of some incredible music, performed by highly skilled masters of these instruments. With the addition of a story to take us through the show, it would be a great night’s entertainment.
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