September has been a busy month with Amaraterra kicking if all off with a concert at Rich Mix and a sold out gig at our usual Jamboree night. Amaraterra also won the Battle of the Bands contest organised by World Music Network. What a great start to the season! Bonnendis received excellent feedback from our Rich Mix debut on 10 September. The sold out event on the theme of hope gathered Iraki, Anatolian and Greek musicians.
One of September's highlights was presenting my thesis in Mallorca at the Sant Domingo Cloister in Pollença to a diverse audience of about 150 people as well as sharing my experience on IB3 radio and on the local news. We stayed in Mallorca a couple more days to measure some acoustic properties of the xeremies as part of the Geste-Acoustique-Musique project. After Mallorca, we presented part of our ongoing research on the quena at the Woodmusick conference in Barcelona.
Next on the list is Världens Band's band 2016 autumn tour, kicking off with two concerts at Cornucopia Festival in Yorkshire on 23 and 24 September. See you there!
The New Year started with a bang and Amaraterra is completely in the limelight this month. Our regular residency at Jamboree will resume on 9 January, negotiations with the British Museum are underway, the Al Jazeera documentary we recorded the sound track for will be aired (link to come soon!) but first and foremost we will be recording for our BBC debut, a whole show dedicated to us on World on 3. After a great show on Resonance FM with DJ Ritu (A World in London), World Scatterlings will be recording for an upcoming album.
Varldens Band Autumn Tour is now well underway. With 14 concerts, a UK tour including Musicport, Rich Mix, the Sage and Band on the Wall, many workshops, a concert at Oslo World Music Festival and thousands of kilometres through Britain, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway behind us, we are now looking forward to a week-long Danish Tour from 3-9 November before heading back to Sweden. Later this month, I'll also do a short London appearance with an Amaraterra concert at Cafe Barcelona on 19 November and an interview on SOAS Radio with DJ Ritu about Varldens Band on 18 November. But in the meantime, it's back on the road tomorrow for Part 3 of the tour!
September started with a bang at the BBC Extra Late Proms with a sold out Follow the Rats concert, broadcast on Monday 7 September at 10pm on BBC3. We were told that this was the first Extra Late evening where the audience spontaneously broke into clapping during a tune so thank you all for being so wonderful! The month continues with Amaraterra at the Almeida Theatre on 13 September and at our usual hide out, Jamboree, on 26 September. September is also the end of my student years as I hand in my thesis after five wonderful years working on the xeremies, the Mallorcan bagpipes, at SOAS. I was also awarded the British Forum for Ethnomusicology Student Paper Prize for a presentation given in Paris last July. The summer is ending well and autumn should be just as good with Varldens Band's #NoBordersTour in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the UK to mark the release of our first album.
June was fantastic with an amazing concert at the Muzzuni World Festival in Sicily where I was invited to play. I collaborated with Massimo Laguardia and Nino Milia who were fantastic musicians to work with and the people of Alcara could not have been more welcoming. Mponendis was also featured at Tandem Festival in Oxford on a winter wonderland stage. July started with a presentation at the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and the Societe Francaise d'Ethnomusicologie joint conference in Paris. Upcoming concerts include World Scatterlings on 10 July at Mondomix festival on the Isle of Wight and Follow the Rats on 12 July at Cambridge Big Weekend Festival. After that, another conference, this time in Kasakhstan with the International Council for Traditional Music where I will be presenting my research on the Mallorcan bagpipes, focusing on the Xeremiers de Sa Calatrava.