George St Thebarton
Moonta Street Euro/Asian World Music from Adelaide
Moonta Street is the heart of Adelaide’s Chinatown, where the lions stand guard on the street and the music of this new group perfectly reflects that synergy of East & West/Ancient & Modern.
Moonta Street brings together five diverse musical forces to create a music that spans continents but is uniquely Australian. Celebrating the traditional music’s of both Asia and Europe, Moonta Street presents a rich full blend of traditional music with a very contemporary sound. The songs are sung mainly in English and some are very old songs and ballads, poems and stories with a timeless feel that suits the blend of both traditions. Moonta Street also presents some brand new original songs that bring together traditional folk, blues, reggae and jazz. Ambient, hypnotic and timeless music in a modern soundtrack that talks about the modern world where East meets West..
Moonta Street is:
Zhao Liang Guz Heng Chinese Zither (Director Adelaide School of Chinese Music)
Satomi Ohnishi Jazz drummer and percussionist
Mary Heath Vocals & Guitar
Keith Preston Santoor (Indian dulcimer) & Guitar
Shivani Preston Keyboards & Melodica
Zhao Liang is a virtuoso player of the Guz Heng and is founding director of the Adelaide School of Chinese Music. Originally from Singapore, she has performed widely throughout SA and recently travelled to China for masterclasses.
Satomi Onishi is a percussionist/ drummer with high credentials from Japanese schools of music and performs with a range of acts in Adelaide including the acclaimed Jazz shows, Take Five & Swing with Brendon Fitzgerald. She has coordinated world drum projects with the Migrant Resource Centre and plays with a number of active SA bands.
Mary Heath is a well known SA folk-singer, coordinates a community choir and is highly regarded for a strong authentic voice for traditional music.
Keith Preston is an experienced world music performer and arts project coordinator. He has played and toured with a range of music groups in SA such as Sikh music group Dya Singh, Bengali music group Shoor Jahan, Afghan music with Sufi Soul and recently as songwriter/coordinator of the acclaimed Adelaide Songs project.
Shivani Preston is a talented young 17 year old pianist and keyboard player, already highly experienced in music performance for theatre and a very accomplished folk music artist in music and folk-dance. A rising star.
Dunstan Playhouse Harmony Day Concert for Migrant Resource Centre SA
Nexus Arts Adelaide Fringe
Nexus Arts Umbrella Music Festival
The Jade Launch of www.folkmadsa.com
Wayville Showgrounds Whole Body Expo Cultural Festival
Unley Gourmet Gala Tour Down Under Event
Oz Asia Festival 2017 Elder Hall performance for Confucius Institute
The Moonta Street connection for this group is Zhao Liang, the Principal of the School of Chinese Music and Arts based in Moonta Street, Adelaide, the heart of Chinatown. The other part of the puzzle, in terms of connecting the dots towards this rather eclectic ensemble, is HATS – the Heritage Arts and Traditions, who have a number of different musical things going.
Walking into Nexus, to see Guzheng (Chinese harp) next to an Indian Santoor, electric guitar with pedals, percussion kit, acoustic guitar and electronic keys, one is not quite sure what to expect, either for repertoire or for the sounds on offer. Then to see the line-up of folks on duty – particularly the multi-talented Keith Preston, daughter Shivani, Mary Heath and the effervescent Satomi Ohnishi – a better drummer is hard to find!
In terms of songs, many were Celtic, there was also a quite raucous Greek drinking song (a couple of props and a bottle of ouzo might have helped this one!). In terms of the sounds, at times we had call and response from Guzheng and Santoor which was a delight to the ears, others with bends of the Guzheng notes being echoed by the tremolo of electric guitar. Mary did a great job with the vocals and general introductions etc.
There is some great local music happening and some of this with unusual instruments! There are also some master instrumentalists crossing several lines into cross cultural collaboration – with some results that will prick your ears up! These HATS projects are well worth getting to see. Clayton Werner –The Clothesline 26th Feb 2017
Steve Charles and Luke Swinburne (both emerging – play 10mins ea 1st)
Georgy Rachow (Student at the Conservatorium)