|Dimensions||21 × 15 × 1.5 cm|
Mohona (Bengali: estuary)… the place where the great rivers meet the ocean…whether turbulent or placid, Mohona is both a beginning and an end…a place of meeting, convergence and departure… a place where life thrives. Likewise our music is a confluence of musical tributaries and currents; four musicians from different parts of the planet now living in Canberra, each bringing our own musical identity and heritage. We blend these individual ingredients into a unique and fragrant stew — Indian and western melodies seasoned with sizzling guitar, soaring vocals, pulsating or soothing rhythms and enchanted improvisations. We play music that colours and opens the mind and the heart, music that seeks to celebrate nature, life and friends.
Simon Attwood (England) – acoustic and electric guitars, fretless bass – major influences John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck.
Robin Guda (Bangladesh)- vocals, harmonium, tabla – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Nitya Bernard Parker (New Zealand) bansuri vocals, flutes, saxophones, guitar, keyboard – major influences Jan Garbarek, Chaurasia Prasad, Pharoh Sanders.
Andrew Purdam (Australia) – tabla, cajon, dulcimer, piano accordion, backing vocals, keyboard, Irish bouzouki – influences include Stravinsky, Ayub Ogada, Jimi Hendrix, Nikhil Ghosh.
“In Beauty” by Mohona
A unique and extraordinary album of smooth, sharp, twangy, thoughtful, exotic, boppy, esoteric, sublime and just plain beautiful music. Kind-of Indo-jazz-folk-fusion-nice.
A brief description of the tracks
Tr 1 – Foxley wood; environmental, bansuri, cajon, tabla on Simons Attwood beautiful guitar composition. Fusion of jazz, folk, Nth Indian.
Tr 2 – Shanti – spiritual – ambient yet with vigour, soaring guitar and Hindustani vocal solos, over a rich textured layer of tabla, guitars, keyboards bansuri and tenor sax.
Tr 3 – Ruff and Reeve – funky upbeat and bright – jazzy
Tr 4 – The Fall – One listener commented this sounds like Industrial New York meets a Turkish Bazaar! Originally composed by Andrew Purdam for a string quartet after 9/11 – this fast 11 beat composition reveals the virtuosity of the players, and a vivid contrast to track 2.
Tr 5 – Heart to Heart – Mohona’s rendition of a 70’s folk protest song.
Tr 6 – Loro de la Noche: another arrangement of a beautiful guitar composition – with the tenor doing imitations of parrots.
Tr 7 – In Beauty –an initial alaap in Rag Ahir-Bhairav sets the mood for a tender love song along with soaring soprano sax and and Hindustani vocal solo’s. Indian-jazz-pop.
Tr 8 – Nadia – a traditional Thumri of North India that has been made famous by Nitin Sawhnee and Jeff Beck. This is in Raag Desh (an error in the cover notes where it says raag Khamaj).
CD Review by John Williams
Mahona is a four piece band comprising Andrew Purdam (tabla, cajon, dulcimer, piano accordion, keyboard, Irish bouzouki and backing vocals, phew!), Robin Guda (harmonium, table, vocals), Nitya Bernard Parker (bansuri, flutes, saxaphones, guitar, keyboard, vocals), and Simon Attwood (electric and acoustic guitars, fretless bass). All four are very accomplished musicians.
The first track ‘Foxley Wood’ was composed by Simon and is a beautiful piece of work. Simon manages to mix flutes and electric guitars to create a very relaxing tune complete with bird songs.
The second track ‘Shanti’ creates a sub continent sound with saxophone and electric guitar highlights just to add a point of difference. This track has a dreamlike quality with subdued percussion. I really liked it.
The third track Ruff and Reeve’ was also composed by Simon. It features a great mix of percussion, flute and guitar.
Andrew composed ‘The Fall’ which starts very dramatically and continues in this vein. The next track ‘Heart to Heart’ features a lovely acoustic guitar opening which blends with the vocals to create a beautiful sound. The lyrics are very moving.
‘Loro de la Noche’ composed by Simon features the guitar and beautifully played wind instruments to create a lovely piece of music. The title track, ‘In Beauty’, was composed by Nitya. It has a very sub continental feel to it. I enjoyed it more each time I listened to it.
The CD finishes with ‘Nadia’ which again shows its sub continental heritage to great effect, especially in the vocals. Simon’s electric guitar is a feature of this track as is the percussion.
This compilation has been put together by quality musicians and it shows throughout. I like the way they have experimented with their music to create a unique sound. I enjoyed it.
4 in stock