Nexus Arts, Lion Arts Centre, Sun 26 Feb.
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! It’s too late for you get along to see them this Fringe – but these HATS projects are well worth getting to see.