DVA with Tunji Beier
|“Dva” (pronounced D-vah) is simply the Macedonian word for “two” which expresses the great love of playing together as a duo shared by its two members: Tunji Beier and Linsey Pollak.
Linsey and Tunji first performed together at the “Border Crossings Festival” in Germany in 1996 and have played together ever since. Although they have travelled very diverse paths and studied different musical traditions, they find their playing extremely compatible. They create improvisations and compositions that draw on the traditions of Macedonia and South India, their greatest musical influences.
Linsey’s collection of wind instruments is unique with 30 years experience in making & experimenting with wind instruments. He has come up with new single reed designs, such as the various clarinis (narrow bored clarinets) made from bamboo, wood, aluminium and glass as well as various hybrid bagpipes based on the gaida (Macedonian bagpipe) which he studied in Macedonia and also the conical bore Saxillo. These wind instruments are combined with Tunji’s Gangan (a small Yoruba talking drum), Tavil (South Indian temple drum), Kanjira (South Indian tambourine with a lizard skin), Jaw Harps and other percussion instruments that Tunji has mastered while living in Nigeria, India and Europe.
Audiences respond enthusiastically to the intense musical relationship between these two artists, and while their music has its roots in Eastern European, Sth Indian and African traditions, they have developed it along their own very personal lines. Their repertoire of original compositions is constantly changing and although based on a solid structure their performances are not rigidly planned and there is a great deal of improvisation that is both technically and emotionally dazzling.
listen to mp3 audio tracks from Dva
Tunji Beier www.tunji.org/dva.html
Tunji’s success derives from the fact that he adjusted early to his father’s nomadic life – constantly moving between Nigeria, New Guinea, Australia and Germany – and above all because he managed to absorb the contradictory influences of African and Indian music seamlessly into his own make-up as a musician. Undoubtedly it was his experience of Yoruba drumming as a small child that determined the entire direction of his future life. When Tunji was about eighteen months old, Ayansola (the powerful dundun drummer from Oshogbo) played in his parents house at Ile-Ife and the child danced all night, dancing himself into a trance like state.
He started his training at the age of 8. At age 10 he debuted at the Sydney Festival with Yoruba master drummer Muraina Oyelami. At age 15 he moved to South India for 3 years intensive percussion training with T.A.S.Mani. Since then Tunji has played with some of the finest musicians in the world. His impressive musical credentials include performances with such greats as Billy Cobham, Zakir Hussain, Trilok Gurtu, Hossam Ramsey, Greg Sheehan, Kayhan Kalhoor, Georgi Petrov & Ross Daly.
For over 20 years Linsey has made an international reputation as a performer, musician-in-residence, musical director, instrument maker/inventor, and composer. A life-altering experience was an 8 month stay in Macedonia, where he studied the Gaida (Macedonian bagpipes). When he returned to Australia he founded the Multicultural Music Centre of WA and later created many multi-cultural music ensembles including the National Cross Cultural Ensemble “Slivanje”.
Linsey has performed all around Australia and internationally, and has recorded 22 albums. He is also well known for his solo music/performance art shows such as “The Art of Food”, “Knocking on Kevin’s Door” and “Playpen” which have toured to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, North America, Brazil and many festivals in Europe. He has also worked as a musical instrument maker for 30 years and has designed a number of new wind instruments and specializes in crafting woodwind instruments of Eastern Europe
“Some partnerships, were meant to be. Dva is unique in both instrumentation and output, Pollak having invented many of the wind instruments he plays. Beier, meanwhile, plays an array of hand-drums from Africa, India and points in between. Their combined influences -primarily the music of Eastern Europe, India and Africa – add up to a swirl of colours as they enjoy almost telepathic dialogues on self-penned or traditional compositions, which give way to thrilling improvisations. Dva is at the forefront of Australian creative music.”
- John Shand – review in “Limelight”
This amazing creation will resolutely refuse to be pigeonholed for marketing or retailing convenience, so all too few will ever hear it. Those lucky enough to do so will be swept away by music of astonishing scope, energy and beauty. That just two men can create all these sounds is remarkable enough, yet they do so with such unfailing artistry across such a broad spectrum of influences from Eastern Europe to India to Nirvana. Pollak blows into the most unlikely objects and makes them sing, while Beier is simply one of the most accomplished percussionists in the land. Don’t hesitate.
“Dva” is an album that demands to be listened to carefully to fully appreciate its intended feel. It’s sometimes crowded, sometimes ambient but always intriguing. If you’ve heard Pharoah Sanders or The Master Musicians of Jajuka, and appreciated their sound, then you will love the genius of “Dva”.
About their 3rd album (June 2005):
“Even the dullest of us are fascinated by difference. Watch a child stare at a disabled person, a crowd gather at the scene of an accident, or heads turn at a man in a purple suit. Some get it from sci-fi films, fantasy novels or drugs, some from exotic food, wondrous places or meeting new people. What’s at stake is a sense of having one’s life expanded from a just room, a suburb or even a country into something approaching the infinite. It can be derided as escapism – sometimes true – but such instinctive curiosity is also what broadens minds, fires imaginations and breeds tolerance.
Tunji Beier and Linsey Pollak offer a path to the same destination via music. To enter their sonic world is to dare to leave the known behind, and to step back in time to what it was like when you first heard music as a child. Often you don’t know how the sounds are made, but you are prepared to give yourself up to them and be rewarded by the wonder, the playfulness, the piercing melancholy and the flashes of wit. Then there is the implicit beauty of those sounds, and the seamless way that ancient instruments and exotic new inventions blend, as do acoustic instruments and digital technology. Behind those sounds, behind the vibrant composing and improvising, lie two rampant imaginations, harnessed to a fierce discipline of performance.
After two magical live CDs, this is the duo’s first studio album, and each piece is will take you somewhere you – and often the musicians! – haven’t been before: other worldly sounds that are always intensely, irrepressibly human.”
- John Shand, music writer, The Sydney Morning Herald and Limelight.
“It’s inspiring to hear music with such freedom, expression and musicianship”. – Mark Williams
Performances to date:
Woodford Folk Festival
Sydney Opera House
Govt House – Sydney
Sydney Film Festival
Alice Springs Festival
Rudolfstadt World Music Festival (Germany)
Bellingen Global Carnival
Music By the Sea – Sandgate
BEMAC / QPAC World Music Café
Brisbane Powerhouse – Worldbeat
Darling Harbour (Sydney)
Side on Café (Sydney)
The Basement (Sydney)
Thredbo World Music Festival
Australian International Music Market (2005 Brisbane)
Lake MacDonald Festival
Brazil (Salvador da Bahia)
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