An unusual mix of sounds and genres was played for crowds at Design Tasmania.
Sunday’s Mofo Session featured Mona Foma curator and musician Brian Ritchie and session curator and instrumentalist Yyan Ng.
Ritchie said the performance was the first in a series called Shotgun Weddings.
“A shotgun wedding, of course, refers to a forced wedding,” he said.
“In this case, it’s between one iconic musician from the South, and one from the North of the state of Tasmania.”
Ritchie said the best way to introduce the series was for the two curators to perform themselves.
“We both have studied Japanese music. I’ve studied the shakuhachi, which is a Japanese bamboo flute, for many years, and Yyan is the leader of the taiko group up here in Launceston,” he said.
“These are instruments that don’t usually appear together, but they both come from the background of Japanese traditional music.”
The only reason the instruments were not traditionally played together is due to volume, Ng said.
“The shakuhachi is from the Zen tradition, and taiko is from Shinto tradition,” he said.
Ritchie also had an iwabue to play, which was a Shinto flute made from stone.
The performance included traditional Japanese music and modernised adaptations of traditional material, their own original compositions, improvised music, and music from other styles, such as jazz.
Ritchie said mixing traditional Japanese instruments with genres such as jazz was “a little orthodox”, but it worked really well.
“If you understand music, there’s no reason why you can’t do it on any instrument,” he said.
The next Mofo Session will take place on September 16, with Alex South, Ros Dunlop, and the Tasmanian Clarinet Quartet.
More information available here.