The latest concert as part of the Live at Lunch series was entitled THIRD CULTURE reuniting artistic director of the series internationally renowned flautist Jane Rutter and Australian musician and composer John Huie with their friends from former chamber group POSH – Hugh Fraser (double bass), Sally Schinckel (cello) Andrew Wilkie assorted vibes and percussion and Maharshi Raval on tabla and Indian percussion.
Indian, Arabic & Chinese-inspired classical music were blended with Australian world music for flute, guitar, cello, double bass, Chinese banjo and Indian percussion.in an exotic, heady mix. There was inspired ensemble playing throughout . Rutter – or sometimes Huie – introduced the various works and told us how the group reunited and the CD of ‘Third Culture’ was brought to fruition.
The term THIRD CULTURE refers to multi-cultural children who have spent a significant part of their formative years outside their parents’ culture, blending their birth culture with their adopted culture and creating their own. And the group Third Culture’s music represents a similar union of diverse styles.
First up was Back From India by Huie, bright and exotic bubbling and rippling featuring tabla and xylophone.
La Reunion, also by Huie, was light and airy with tumbling infectious bubbles on the flute and xylophone and a shimmering conclusion.
We then heard Lift Up Your Veil (Chin Chin) a traditional Chinese melody also arranged by Huie who for this piece played a San Xian (a Chinese form of banjo in this case giving a bluegrass feel) .Rutterplayed both flute and piccolo .You could see the running, gliding dancers in your imagination.
Nanni Wa, another traditional melody also arranged by Huie, was delightfully infectious with Rutter on an alto flute.
Then came the sprightly Kava Time written by Rutter, inspired by her visit to Fiji, which proved to be an audience favourite. The flute dominated and led the piece animatedly played by the ensemble.
Huie’s lyrical, enchanting Largo from 1421 Suite followed, with its rocking melody (as on a ship?) and delicate string finish.
Jasmine Flower again by Huie was a jazz inspired arrangement of a traditional Chinese melody. Rutter on flute opened the work with a short solo and darted and swooped around the rest of the piece.
Rutter’sPapadum was next featuring table flute and cello in fleet staccato Indian Bollywood dance rhythms .
Far Distant Place, as arranged by Rutter, featured Rutter on a special Chinese bamboo flute as well as her usual gold flute. It was a soaring, melancholy, rather wistful work.
Huie’s The Snake Dance was next with its sinuous infectious belly-dancing rhythms and concluded with Rutter jumping and a theatrical flourish.
McCartney’sBlackbird – with Huie singing – had a somewhat jazzy feel in this particular arrangement.
Oh Yeah as arranged by Huie was buoyant and bouncy combining jazz and Indian rhythms, with a cascading xylophone finish.
The last piece was Gotta Go by Huie, rather haunting and melancholy with pulsating, glistening strings before we had to leave for lunch with CDs also available.