Kim’s Instruments

[Kim has a small number of kavals, neys, meys, darabukkas and one zurna for sale. Meys and zurna include spare reeds. kimzgaida@hotmail.com]

“I play many instruments.  Some of them have stories as well”

AARDVARK

A hybrid Turkish, Bulgarian, Australian bass bagpipe.  There’s only one in the whole world, and this is it.  The range is an octave plus a major third. The basic scale is Turkish Ussak scale – like Aeolian Minor with the second flattened by a quarter-tone. The bag is goat-skin. The chanter is made from Cooktown Ironwood and the drone from privet.

A Tale of an Aardvark

On my first trip to Turkey in 1984 I saw a cassette of gaida (Balkan bagpipe) music in a shop – rare in Turkey. I bought it, and it was fantastic. Guy by the name of Kamil Gül (“Perfect Rose” in Turkish). I thought I might follow it up, maybe score some lessons. I rang the record company to find out how to get in touch: “Dunno,” they said, “We think he lives in Lüleburgaz…” So Linda and I got on a bus to Lüleburgaz, checked into the El Sleazo Hotel, and did what I have done many times on my travels: headed for the local tea-house (or taverna, or equivalent), whipped out an instrument (in this case a gaida) and, played a tune (to establish local street cred). After which I asked if anyone knew Kamil Gul, gaida-player…After a while, someone appeared who had heard of him; but we had to wait for the other guy who knew a guy who knew a guy whose uncle had a car…who arrived in the fullness of time and we headed off to the address. There were wild dogs and other diversions along the way, but we eventually established that he didn’t live there anymore. Dang! Up to this point, everyone had been telling us (as best they could, given that they had no English, and my Turkish was, at this early stage, fairly rugged) that this guy was a Bad Man, a motherf****r, a fatherf****r, who would rob me, rape Linda etc etc, which I was inclined to take with a grain of salt, reasoning that anyone who could play gaida like that couldn’t be all bad…We were eventually taken to meet The Doctor (head of the local hospital), who could speak English (sort of), and who explaıned that Kamil Gül was a very bad man, motherf***r etc etc and advised us not to proceed with our quest. By this time, I was getting stubborn, and dug my heels in. The Doctor was a bit strange. His wife, apparently, had been some sort of Beauty Queen. They had gone to Canada several years before, but had had to return to Turkey on account of her (unspecified) “psychological problems”. He offered us accomodation in the hospital, which seemed strangely deserted…At this point the whole thing felt like it was beginning to turn into a horror movie, so we declined, and took our leave as rapidly as possible.

Next day, it was back on the bus to Kirklareli, near the Bulgarian border. Our man allegedly lived in a nearby village. We needed the permission of the Hamdi (headman) of the village, who actually lived in the town; so we went to his place, and were immediately adopted as Guests, in the sometimes suffocatingly hospitable Turkish manner. The Hamdi couldn’t understand why we’d want to go to all this trouble to meet some vulgar villager. He insisted we stay the night, which we did, dutifully chatting with his Nice family, watching a Nice variety programme on tele before putting on the Nice pyjamas they gave us (we didn’t have any with us in our rucksacks at the time) and going to bed (mmmmm, soft…). Next day we got the 6am minibus to the village (twice daily service) and hit the Official Office. They sent for Kamil (though they still couldn’t understand why we were interested), and eventually dragged him up, unshaven and wondering what the hell was happening, and was he in deep sh*t for some reason?

Kamil Gul

I introduced myself, explaining that I was from Australia, a gaida-player who dug his cassette, and wanted to talk, have a bit of a blow, and maybe get a lesson or two. He was a little suspicious (as you would be), but after a while loosened up a bit, and invited me back to his place. This did not go down too well with the officials, who could not understand why I would want to commune with this nebish rather than exchanging small-talk with them. Inevitably, he turned out to be a very sweet guy, as was his wife Bedriye, and we had a ball playing and singing all day. It turned out that the Bad Guy reputation came from one of his sons, who had been arrested in the company of a Swedish tourist who had one joint in his pocket (and was serving an “indefinite” jail sentence – he did about 18 months, as it turned out), and his daughter, who, we were told by some old ladies of the village, had “gone to be a prostitute in Istanbul” (not true, as I suspected: She had gone to Istanbul, as I later discovered, but more to escape village closed-mindedness than to flog the bod…She was working as a hairdresser) One thing was for sure: Kamil could play a gaida just like a-ringin’ a bell, and when he was playing he wasn’t in a two-roomed house with dirt floors in a village in Turkey, he was way, way out in Gaida-Land. We had to leave at 6pm on the minibus, but we commuted there and back for three days, and then went to Greece for a festival we wanted to check out, promising to return. This we did, and bulldozed our way through the Polite Hospitality in the town, arguing that Kamil Bey had invited us to stay in his house, and it would be impolite to refuse. They couldn’t get round that one. We stayed a week, I got some lessons and learned a lot of tunes. I was allowed to slip him a few bucks for the lessons (paying for bed and board being out of the question, of course). A magical time was had. The neighbours would cram in, and sing, eat, dance, Kamil and I (and assorted darabukka-players) would play and play… And then we left, and I never saw him again. Back in Australia, I wrote, but they had moved, and I lost touch with them. In 2001, whilst studying in Istanbul, I followed up a very tenuous lead on the daughter, expecting a wild goose chase (had a few of them on the travels!). But to cut a long story short, I eventually did track her down to a town 80 km out of Istanbul on the bus. So (the day before I was returning to Australia), I went up there. Kamil had died three years previously (dang!), but Bedriye was well; and the whole family (five kids, now grown up, of course, including Ruhi, the only one we had met – he was five then. He was now 22, but had gone a bit feral in the meantime, and hadn’t seen his mum for two years… After eating, I took out my gaida, and played, and I had this strange feeling that it was Kamil playing…Ruhi had to go out into the hall for a bit of a cry (and he wasn’t the only one). I was crying too… And that’s the story. He was the wildest, grooviest, craziest, swinginest gaida-player I ever met, and my CD You Can’t Get There From Here was dedicated to him.

Evolution of the Aardvark

Linsey Pollak

Kamil was half Bulgarian, half Turkish and had made his own gaida similar to Bulgarian in construction, but with Turkish fingering and scale. I measured it up as best I could with a school ruler, and sent the measurements back to Australian musician and instrument-maker Linsey Pollak, who had introduced me to the Macedonian gaida many years before. A year or so later, Linsey presented me with his bass version – what a great sound! The drone was a bit of a problem, though.

To make it short enough so it wouldn’t bang on the ground, he had to make the bore narrower than it should have been, which had the effect of making it a bit unstable – it tended to jump around between various overtones. So I figured what I needed was a u-turn at the bottom and some kind of classy spout thingie. This would give the extra length that would solve all the problems. Linsey was too busy, so I asked Craig Fischer, a maker of uillean pipes in South Australia, to do it.

Aardvark drone

Sure enough, five years later, the new drone arrived (with a loop-da-loop instead of a spout). Fantastic sound, and solid as a rock! In the meantime, I had made a discovery. Many wind instruments have big or little holes near the end, called end-correction holes. They are developed by trial and error, and make the instrument play in tune right at the bottom of the range, where all that stuff you learn at school about sine-waves in tubes goes a bit wierd and doesn’t work any more. I discovered that if I closed the end-correction holes with the inside of my knees (whilst sitting), I could get an extra low note – and a very useful one at that (the 5th of the scale).

Aardvark chanter Mk I (rear) and Mk II (showing Nicholson key)(front)

I recalled the scene in “Five Easy Pieces” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wtfNE4z6a8) where Jack Nicholson, frustrated at not being able to get a serve of plain toast, tells the frowsy waitress in the diner to give him a chicked sandwich, hold the chicken between her knees, and give him the bread, toasted (she was very impressed). So I figured that what I needed was a Nicholson Key to let me close the bottom hole with my little finger (clasping a gaida between the thighs is not easy when you’re playing into a microphone). So I asked another Scottish/Irish pipe-maker, Ian MacKenzie (of Blackheath) to see what he could do, and he came up with a new improved chanter with a Nicholson key. What we now know as the Aardvark was ready to roll. And it wails! Incidentally, many people think it’s called an aardvark because of its appearance. Certainly it is hairy, has a long snout, and two beady little eyes. But it is actually called an aardvark because that’s what you say when your reeds go out of tune in the middle if a gig and make you look like a complete goose: “Aardvark!

KAVAL

   Kavals

Kavals

Edge-blown wooden flute found in Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. The joints and blowing-edge are made of buffalo horn or composite materials. In Bulgaria they are usually made in three pieces, elsewhere in one piece. They come in various sizes from about 40 to 80 cm.

Bulgarian 3-piece kaval

Bulgarian 3-piece kaval

My favourite is a three-piece Bulgarian kaval in E,  made from plum wood and horn. It belonged to the father of my friend and teacher Georgi Doytchev.  It is at least 50 years old, probably more, and a beautiful instrument.

Turkish kaval in A

Turkish kaval in A

I also have a low A kaval.  When it finally arrived in Australia (four years and many phone calls after I ordered it in Istanbul!) I discovered it was too long for my little finger to reach the bottom hole, so I asked Ian Mackenzie to makey a key.  Not orthodox, but it works!

MEY

Meys, reed

Meys, reed

Turkish double-reed instrument The cylindrical-bore body is made of wood (often plumb or apricot) and the reed (“kamis”) from cane, flattened at one end and left cylindrical at the other. The opening at the tip and the fine tuning of the reed are done by sliding the cane ligature (“kiskac”) along the reed. Circular breathing (like with didgeridu) is often used.The brass plug on the side of my instruments is for a pickup – it is a very soft instrument, and on live gigs a microphone can’t cut it without massive feedback.

Guanzi

Guanzi

My meys were made by Ayhan Kahraman in Istanbul, but he is apparently not doing it these days. My current reeds were made by Adem Ceylan, who also showed me how. It’s kinda tricky! Instruments similar to mey are found from the Balkans all the way to China.  I  have a guanzi from a trip to China in 2005, but I haven’t had time to learn how to play it properly yet.

MACEDONIAN GAIDA (GAJDA)

Macedonian Gaida

Bagpipe with chanter and single drone, made from wood and horn (or, increasingly, composite materials). Chanter is theoretically cylindrical, but sometimes slightly tapered, according to the maker.

gaida blow-pipe showing cage valve

Blow-pipe showing cage valve

The blow-pipe has a valve to prevent the air from going back out the in-pipe. This  is either a leather flap bound onto the mouthpiece, or a disc of leather (or bicycle inner-tube) in a wire cage.

Cane chanter reed

Reeds are single, made of cane.  The bag is made of salted goatskin, with the fur on the inside. This skin was made in Australia by Risto Todoroski (see Links Page).
The gaida is tuned by a combination of any or all of the following: moving the ligature on the reed up or down (thereby making the vibrating tongue of reed longer or shorter),  putting a little piece of beeswax on the tip of the reed, shaving the reed in different places and partially covering particular holes of the chanter by wax.

Horn chanter stock, carved by Risto Todoroski

The drone can also be adjusted by sliding its three component parts in or out. My Macedonian gaida is from Prilep, in Macedonia. It is made of boxwood and horn.  The chanter stock (the bit tied into the bag that the chanter goes into) is from Jack Thompson’s bull Desmo, who unfortunately got stuck in a bog some years ago and drowned.  His spirit lives on.

DUDUK

Duduk

A very old Armenian double-reed instrument with a cylindrical bore, usually made from apricot  wood, though plum and mulberry are sometimes used. The duduk is similar to the Turkish mey, but with eight finger-holes on the front, and an extra hole at the bottom that can be closed by pressing against the body. Variants are also played in Azerbaijan (balaban), Georgia (duduki), Iran (balaban) and elsewhere. The duduk is commonly played accompanied by a drone (“dam”), using circular breathing. The duduk comes in various sizes and has a total range of an octave plus a 4th, although the easily usable range is one octave.  Mine goes from D to G.

Duduk reed

Duduk reed

The large double reed (“yegheg” or “ramish”) is made from cane, flattened at one end and left cylindrical at the other.  The edges of the reed have pieces of very thin leather glued to them to prevent splitting. The opening at the tip and the fine tuning of the reed are done by sliding the cane ligature along the reed. I got this one from Zafer Tastan in Istanbul in 2008.

NEY

The ney plays a primary role in the rituals of the Mevlevi (“Whirling Dervish”) and Bektasi Sufi rituals as well as for for Turkish Classical Music. The Turkish ney is distinct from the Arabic and Persian varieties.

Turkish neys

Turkish neys

The Turkish ney is an edge-blown flute made of carefully-selected cane, usually from Southern Turkey or Syria. The cane must be cut in October/November when the diameter and wall thickness of the cane are most suitable.  The cane must be  carefully dried and often needs to be heated and straightened as well. The “baspare” (mouthpiece) is made from buffalo horn, ivory, wood or, increasingly, composite materials. Its interior is not cylindrical but slightly curved – one of the skills of the maker. The baspare fits into the “bogaz” (throat) or first section of the ney. There are metal rings (“parazvane”) on the ends of the ney to stop splitting. During construction the ney is tuned not only by placement and size of the holes (remembering that every piece of cane is different) but also by the degree to which the interior nodes of the bamboo are opened. The ney has six finger-holes on the front and a thumb-hole on the back.

Baspare (mouthpiece)

Its apparent simplicity hides the difficulty of playing the 53 pitches per octave necessary for playing the complete range of classical makams. Pitches are adjusted by partially uncovering the holes, cross-fingering and changing the angle of the air-stream striking the edge of the baspare. Range is over two and a half octaves. Ney comes in a variety of sizes from the lowest, Davud (lowest note Eb) to the highest Bolahenk (lowest note D). Occasionally smaller neys are found. The neys I am currently playing are by Rifat Varol and Hanefi Kirgiz.

Arabic nai

Persian ney

The Arabic nai is similar to the Turkish ney, but has no baspare – the blowing edge is bevelled like the kaval.  Blowing technique is similar. The Arabic nai ise usually played in a higher range than the Turkish.

The Persian ney is played using the interdental blowing technique, where the player places the ney in his teeth and upper jaw and directs his breath with his tongue – very difficult!

BULGARIAN GAIDA

Bulgarian gaida

The Bulgarian gaida differs from the Macedonian in that it has a “conical” bore.  Each maker has his own shape and makes his own tool to bore it. The other dimensions (length, size and spacing of holes etc)  are therefore often quite different between different makers. The range is a ninth.

Bulg gaida blow-pipe showing flap-valve

Blow-pipe showing flap-valve

There are seven finger-holes and a thumb-hole.  The top hole is very small and is therefore called the “flea-hole”.  This hole is used for ornamentation, vibrato and for some chromatic notes.

Composite/cane drone reed

A lot of ornamentaion is also done with the thumb on the back hole. The original salted goat-skin wore out.  This one is tanned, formerly a feral from Percy Island in the Great Barrier Reef, but now a patron of the arts. I got this gaida (in D) through my teacher Georgi Doytchev in Sofia in 1993. It is my favourite – a particularly delicate piece of work. I also have gaidanitsas (chanters) in G, E and D from Traiche Baldzhiev and A and D from Kostadin Varimezov.

BULGARIAN KABA GAIDA

Bulgarian kaba (bass) gaida

Bass gaida from the Rhodope Mountains in Southern Bulgaria. This one is from Corey Dale who got it in Bulgaria in 2007.  I swapped it for a Hungarian duda which Laci Lakk got for me in Hungary on a tour in 1988, and which I’ve never had time to get working and learn how to play.

Kaba gaida drone

Kaba gaida drone dismantled

The chanter and bag are by Kostadin Illchev and drone by Todor Todorv. Wood is cornell cherry and stocks are cow-horn. The bag is goat-skin.

BULGARIAN/TURKISH/BALINESE/AUSTRALIAN (“GANESHA”) GAYDA

Turkish/Bulgarian ("Ganesha") Gayda

Bulgarian gaida in C (chanter from Kostadin Varimezov) modified by “moving” the fifth hole from the top up a quarter-tone and making the five-fingers-closed hole the tonic (drone)  note (A).

Ganesha gaida stock ready for staining

(It took me three months to pluck up enough courage to take a rat-tailed file to the hole…) Fingering is similar to Turkish zurna and mey.

Ganesha chanter stock bagged up

I had the front stock carved by I Wayan Sudiarta,  a craftsman from Mas in Bali in 2005. It is the Hindu god Ganesh (Lord of Removing Obstacles, Patron of Arts and Sciences and Deva of Intellect and Wisdom).  I stained it (except for the eyes and tusks) to match the colour of the chanter. The other stocks, bag and blow-pipe were made by Cory Dale (see “Links” page).

I also use a standard-fingering Bulgarian A chanter with this set-up.

Tulum from Rize

The Turkish gaydas that I play (Ganesha and Aardvark) are different to the other (more common) type of Turkish bagpipe, the tulum. Tulum comes from the Black sea and is similar to the Pontian (Greek) tsampouna, still played in some of the Greek islands.  It has no drone and a double-chanter with a curved bell (like a saxophone) at the end, sometimes made of horn but usually  from wood.  Some of them have very fancy covers.  See Links page for video of me playing gayda with Birol Topaloglu on tulum in Istanbul, 2008.

TAPAN (aka tupan, dauli, davul, tabla)

Macedonian tapan

Balkan, Middle-Eastern double-sided drum, with a thick skin and a thinner one, played with a big beater and a thin switch. As well as playing its own strokes, the little stick can be placed on the skin, producing a snare affect when the big stick hits the other side.

Tapan sticks

Tapan sticks

My little tapan was made by Risto Todoroski.  I carved the big stick myself from Australian brush-box.  The little stick is plum.

ZURNA (ZURLA)

Turkish zurna (Uzbeki necktie)

Turkish zurna (Uzbeki necktie)

Known as “zurla” in the Balkans, the zurna is a wooden shawm with double reed.

Pollock zurna

Pollock extenda-range zurna

Similar instruments are found in the Middle East, Central and East Asia, Indonesia and North Africa. The bore is cylindrical till the bell. The reed is traditionally made from a soft reed flattened at one end and tied onto a staple.  Circular breathing is used to produce a non-stop sound.  Often played in pairs, with one instrument playing melody, the other playing drone using circular breeathing. This technique is also often used on the melody pipe as well. I got the traditional zurna above from Istanbul luthier Yusuf Toraman in 1984.

Zurna reeds

Zurna reeds: cane (rear), plastic straw (front)

I also have a zurna designed and made by Linsey Pollak, incorporating elements from the Chinese suona. This allows the normal range of a ninth to be extended by a flat 6th. Linsey also uses reeds made from plastic drinking-straws – less affected by changes due to moisture.

FLUTES:

Saluang, suling, furulya

Saluang, suling, furulya

Saluang (L) is an edge-blown cane flute of the Minang people of West Sumatra. It has only four finger-holes, so a lot of half-holing is done. The blowing technique is similar to ney. Possibly influenced by Arab traders over several centuries. This one was given to me by Sawung Jabo. Another Indonesian cane flute is suling (centre) with a fipple and six finger-holes. This one is a Sundanese suling I got from Agus Super in  Bandung, West Java. Hungarian furulya (R) is another fipple flute, with six finger-holes and no thumb-hole (like a tin whistle). It is in two parts, which allows fine-tuning.  Laci Lakk got this one (made from wood and bone) for me on a tour in Hungary in 1988.

TENOR SAX

With Tianchuang, Jintai Museum, Beijing, 2004

With Tianchuang, Jintai Museum, Beijing, 2004

Good ol’ Selmer Mk VI. It’s a bit gnarled now (I’ve had it since 1972) but I wouldn’t swap it for anything. I use an Otto Link 7* mouthpiece with Rico Royal 2 1/2 reeds.

Kim’s CDs

Bent Grooves

frontcover-low-res

Magical collective improvisation framed by lush melodies and anchored by hypnotic rhythms, drawing from the traditions of Turkish Sufi and folk music, Balkan Gypsy brass bands, West African grooves, Indian Classical music, flamenco, blues and jazz.

Magical collective improvisation framed by lush melodies and anchored by hypnotic rhythms, drawing from the traditions of Turkish Sufi and folk music, Balkan Gypsy brass bands, West African grooves, Indian Classical music, flamenco, blues and jazz.

Featuring (in order of height): Sandy Evans: soprano and tenor saxes; Carlos Villanueva: charango; Bobby Singh: tabla; Kim Sanders: ney, Turkish gaida, aardvark, kaval, mey, tenor sax, saluang; George Doukas: bouzouki, Greek baglama; Llew Kiek: Turkish baglama; Steve Elphick: double bass.

The CD was produced by Tony Gorman, engineered by Ross A’Hern and mastered by Paul Bryant. The project was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding advisory body.

What the critics say about Bent Grooves

“That asinine term ‘world music’ actually acquires some meaning when applied to the art of Kim Sanders. The Sydney multi-instrumentalist has stewed in musical melting pots from Indonesia to Gambia and is especially steeped in the sounds of Turkey and Eastern Europe. Having absorbed these traditions, he plays within or without them as suits his creative impulses.Sanders’s long-term collaboration with tabla player Bobby Singh stretches the sonic world of Asia Minor eastward, towards the subcontinent, just as Steve Elphick’s bass and Sandy Evans’s saxophone bring jazzier sensibilities to bear. But Sanders never forces square pegs into round holes and his musical imagination unfolds with a marvellous fluidity, like a river being fed by many tributaries, with the main flow mingling beautiful, often melancholy melodies with evocative rhythms and exotic textures.His own braying tenor saxophone, assorted wistful flutes and sometimes imperious bagpipes radiate a joy in having such open dialogues with his gifted collaborators; dialogues that have been superbly recorded.” – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

“What I wouldn’t give to have friends like these!…Bent Grooves is an instrumental CD, beautifully measured and layered” – Jaslyn Hall, ABC Limelight Magazine“No ‘world fuzak’ here!” – Doug Spencer, Producer, The Weekend Planet, ABC Radio National

 

Trance’n’Dancin  

Kim Sanders’  CD Trance’n’Dancin is an exploration of trance music, from the etherial flights of the ney flute used in the rituals of Turkey’s Mevlevi Dervishes to the hypnotic dance-rhythms of the Balkans. It also features the world’s first composition for Bulgarian bagpipe and Hammond organ.

Featuring Kim Sanders: Turkish ney (Sufi flute), kaval (Bulgarian wooden flute), Bulgarian and Turkish gaidas (bagpipes), aardvark (Turkish/Bulgarian/Australian hybrid bass bagpipe), mey (Turkish double reed), saluang (Sumatran flute) & Peter Kennard: dhaf, bendir, darabukka, megabukka, riq, zills, gong-on-a-mattress, wood-blocks, dried budgies, surdo, ride cymbal, harmonium, keyboards, chan, another cymbal

 

What the critics say about Trance’n’Dancin

“Sublime, haunting…The album is a beautifully shaped journey from the spacious taksims to fast and upbeat dance tunes… Sanders has spent years studying the music of Turkey and the Balkans and his passion and skill for this music are clearly evident in this superb album.” – Oonagh Sherrard for www.indie-cds.com

“There is a profound dignity about the expression of sadness in Turkish music. With neither histrionics nor sentimentality, the sadness is distilled into beauty. Kim Sanders has immersed himself in this culture for years and achieves an extraordinarily haunting sound on ney (Dervish flute) for the rubato improvisations on this haunting album. He is accompanied by Peter Kennard, whose realisatons of the slowest tempos in tricky time signatures is a marvel of meditative concentration and execution.” – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

“What stirs you throughout this album is the realisation that the breath is what brings you closer to God, that is the ‘ruh’ or the soul. Kim’s brand of music is based on the movement of breath and an inner connection to the mind and spirit. The album is a must for world music conoisseurs and anyone who enjoys the world of Islam.” – Kuranda Seyit, Australia Fair, Dec 05

“A major part of this album is a modern interpretation of Traditional Mevlevi (Whirling Dervish) and Balkan dance music. Yet it loses none of the meditative and languid qualities of the original trance music…The real beauty of the album is the way that the bulk of the tracks achieve the near impossible feat of exuding a sound that is elegiac but at the same time spirited. The hauntingly beautiful “Gidemem Siraza Ben” is almost heartrending in this technically masterful and emotionally uplifting intertwining of the plaintive with the exuberant… Multi- instrumentalist Kim Sanders achieves total command over all his instruments and together with Peter Kennard has produced a masterful album which is an ideal vehicle for a breakthrough to a wider audience.” – Dush Perera, Jazz’n’Blues www.corporatenews.com.au

“This is an energetic and distinctive blend of virtuoso playing from multi-instrumentalist Kim Sanders, masterfully accompanied by Peter Kennard’s magic trunk of percussion… Trance’nDancin features several different fascinating musical styles – Sufi meditations, Turkish lullabies, trance music, folk tunes- as well as an enigmatic track, “Solitary Circumambulation”, which Sanders claims is the world’s first composition for gaida (Balkan bagpipes) and Hammond organ. Sanders is a relentless champion of world music and this CD celebrates the freshness and sheer excitement of the Balkan and Turkish traditions with added new twists and a funky rhythm section to create a joyful session of music for listening or dancing” – Jas Hall, ABC Limelight Magazine

 

You Can’t Get There From Here

Kim Sanders and Friends’ ARIA-nominated CD You Can’t Get There From Here showcases traditional pieces from the Balkans and Middle-East and original pieces including “Hepimiz Deliyiz” (“We’re All Crazy”), first performed at the Ataturk Cultural Centre with the Istanbul State Modern Folk Music Ensemble, 2001. Demented Gypsy-style collective improvisation, Indo-Turkish grooves and more…

Kim Sanders: ney, kaval, mey, duduk, saluang, Bulgarian and Turkish gaidas, aardvark, tenor sax, gong;  Bobby Singh: tablas;  Sabahattin Akdagcik: baglama, oud, yayli tambur;  Steve Elphick: double bass; Peter Kennard: percussion and Epizo Bangoura: djembe, balafon.

What the critics say about You Can’t Get There From Here

This is a dream of an album, full of emotion and skill – Carina Prange, Jazz Dimensions (Germany)

I was immediately conquered by the beauty of the arrangements, the high degree of musicianship and the perfect selection of the tunes featured there – Massimo Ferro, Radio Voce Spazio (Italy)

A gem …Great sounds, textures, clever improvisation over tricky rhythms, an album for conoisseurs – Dieter Bajzek, Folk Alliance Australia

A beautifully-balanced mixture of traditional and contemporary sounds from Turkey, West Africa, India and the Balkans …A fantastic array of moods and charms – K S Seyit, Australian Muslim News

Plenty of beautiful, breath catching moments – Craig N. Pearce, Drum Media

You are sure to want to linger in this musical mystery land – Bernard Zuel, Sydney Morning Herald

Deliciously eclectic! – Doug Spencer, Producer, The Planet, ABC Radio National

Chronic Rhythmosis

Brassov’s World-Gypsy-Jazz CD – re issued 2014       

Brassov are acknowledged as one of Australia’s most original and accomplished contemporary world music – jazz bands.  Their irrestistible rhythms and vibrant melodies have their roots in the music of the Romany (Gypsy) Balkans, West Africa and Latin America.  This is music to listen to, laugh with, and dance to!

The members of Brassov – Robert Guzmani: trumpet; Christine Evans: soprano/alto Sax; Kim Sanders: tenor sax, Balkan & Middle Eastern wind instruments, eastern bagpipes; Boyd: baritone, bass saxes; Peter Kennard: percussion; James Pattugalan: drums.

What the critics say about Chronic Rhythmosis

This is richly-layered brass instrument playing ranging from the fast and furious…to the sublimely lyrical and emotionally sustaining…it’s a brass band that has absorbed its world music, bebop and big band influences and remains true to itself with a rich and distinctive voice.  Chronically good – Realtime, Jan 98

..(with) a gargantuan bass saxophone honking out the bottom end, Brassov take brass band music on a rhythmic bender through Africa and Latin America.  The result is berserk folk-jazz dance music – Richard Guilliatt, Sydney Morning Herald Metro, Jan 97

Marvellously engaging…one of the most original and enthralling of musical ensembles you are likely to encounter – Craig N. Pearce, Drum Media, Oct 97

…an insouciant and vibrant world hybrid, perhaps better thought of as world music jazz.  In it you can hear Balkan, Romany Gypsy, ska, Persian, West African and Latin strains, mixed in a riot of exotic polyrhythms and time signatures – Shane Nichols, Australian Financial Review, Jan 98

Armed with an arsenal of Balkan bagpipes and enough strange instruments to send an ethnomusicologist into paroxysms of delight, Brassov have produced an album of world jazz which is energetic, inventive and fascinating – The Jazz Messenger, Dec 97

People lift up their arms, wiggle their torsos and shout ‘whoopah’…It’s not often that you get to see a gangster, a showgirl, and a Balkan shopkeeper in the one band – not in Sydney anyway.  These guys are like the Macedonian Village People – they can definitely groove, in three, give seven and eleven. – Hugh Worrall, Drum Media, Oct 97

It is obvious that the members of Brassov have a thorough understanding of the sources at the heart of their project and the results were exhilarating: exuberant, raucous playing – Peter Jordan, Sydney Morning Herald, Nov 97

One of the most stimulating and vibrant groups currently operating in the local music scene – Blowing, Drum Media, Nov 97

 

GengGong’s CD – Not Just Music

GengGong uses traditional musics from many cultures (Javanese, Madurese, Bulgarian, Turkish, Arabic, Sumatran) in contemporary arrangements and original compositions.  Indonesion drums, gongs and reeds are combined with guitar, Balkan &Middle Eastern bagpipes, didgeridu, saxophone and wooden flutes to produce a unique and totally compelling performance.

Sawung Jabo: vocals, guitar, bonang and other gongs, dance); Kim Sanders: tenor sax, aardvark, Deravish flute, Bulgarian bagpipe, Middle-Eastern reeds, Sumatran saluang, percussion;  Ron Reeves: Sundanese kendang, Sumatran sarunai, didgeridu, genggong, buzz flute, vocals;  Reza Achman: drum kit, percussion, vocals.

GengGong: "Not Just Music"

 

What the Critics say:

GengGong rock hard – Revolver

The whole blend of traditional music they performed…created a rhythm of harmonic and peaceful sounds, as if we were being drawn into a spiritual experience together with them – Newsmusik

A powerful performing unit – Richard Jasiutowitz, Diaspora

Their commitment to excellence in performance, professional deportment and creative synthesis of traditional and modern elements…[makes] this band…the fore-runner of exciting new developments to come in the fusion of east and west in Australia – Dr David Goldsworthy, Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, University of New England.

Wow, GengGong really went off!! – Seth Jordan, Director, Bellingen Global Carnival

GengGong have already made a significant contribution to contemporary Australian cross-cultural music, especially by promoting a sense of cultural exchange and understanding between Australia and Asia. – Lex Marinos, (former) Head of Carnivale.

 

 

Buying Kim’s CDs

All CDs are available directly from kimzgaida@hotmail.com.  Bent Grooves, Trance’n’Dancin and You Can’t Get There From Here are available from:Indie-CD’s www.indie-cds.com, Trad & Now www.duckscrossing.org/tradshop, Birdland (Sydney city) www.birdland.com.au, Lamdha Books (Wentworth Falls, NSW) www.lamdhabooks.com.au, Mara! Music www.maramusic.com, “Saba Nefes II” is included in the compilation “Groove Medicine – Groove Music” from Music Mosaic.  Individual tracks or full album downloadable online – http://www.music-mosaic.com/ecom/groove-music-medicine.php

You Can’t Get There From Here , Trance’n’Dancin,  Bent Grooves and Chronic Rhythmosis are now available online from iHear Music. You can download single tracks or whole albums.  iHear Music supports Australian musicians – support them if you can!

From the Archives: 

There are still a few copies available of pioneering Australian World Music group Nakisa’s Camels in the City CD and Nakisa’s first album Insallah (LP/cassette  format only)

Kim has also recorded with:

Phanari tis Anatolis,  Oppie Andaresta, Oguz Yilmaz,  Setiawan Djody, Silvia Entcheva Trio, Flamenco Dreaming, Indiajiva, Tansey’s Fancy, Seaweed and Wire, Chichitote, Caiseal Mor, Rick-e-Dee, Bob Wheatley, Sabahattin Akdagcik’s SASOM, David Hobson, Blair Greenberg, Roger Mason, Rabadaki, Tony Lewis/Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre, Turkish Art Music Ensemble, Global Roots, ABC Childrens’ series “0-9”  and others…

East West 101

Kim has just done a session for the sound-track of the next series “East West 101”. Davood Tabrizi (kemenche) also took part in the sessions. Composer is Guy Gross.