Aref had just worked with Lisa live and suggested we invited her to record, it seemed like a good idea for her to do some improvising with Aref at the same time.
She ended up on 2 tracks on the E.P. “ Breathe” and “Flutation tank” (terrible pun I know – sorry) but my fave track from that session is a traditional tune . Lisa and Aref played live . I later edited down for 13 minutes to 3 mins and added a small amount of electronics
It is available here as a free download if you fancy an earful click
Daydream 365 (trad) by Aref Durvesh + Xfile
I wanted to know more about Lisa’s background.
You play a silver flute as well as bansuri – whats the difference?
The main difference is the material and construction-a silver flute is metal with keys whilst the bansuri is made from bamboo and has only six fingerholes which allows for the characteristic sliding techniques. The bansuri isn’t chromatic either, so there are different sizes of flutes for all the keys. The lower the key, the larger the flute. Due to the timbre of the two materials, the flutes are markedly different in timbre and the bansuri is much more mellow and earthy in its production
When did you switch from playing silver flute and start playing bansuri ?
I initially started experimenting with Indian ragas on my silver flute whilst studying my music degree. Once I graduated I decided to research deeper into the music and started to learn the bansuri early 2001 before heading off to India for nine months later that year.
We heard you did some training in India can you tell us a little about that?
The study of Indian music is so vast that I felt I could only really understand and do it justice by spending a long term sabbatical in India. I was fortunate to receive funding from the Arts Council and jetted off late 2001 for an incredible musical and personal journey. Much of my time was spent living in Mumbai, studying with my Guru (teacher) Hariprasad Charusia who was so inspirational. I also travelled quite a bit and gigged with various musicians including artists such as Sivamani. I’ve since been back three times to continue my study,
Describe in a sentence what music does for you?
Music is my inner connection to my soul and being…it lifts, moves and touches me and is my driving force and purpose in life.
What is your favourite sound ?
I love the sound of string instruments…the most soulful one has to be the Sarangi which is exquisitely sweet, intense, soulful and melancholy all rolled into one
You have worked with Nitin Sawhney a couple of times can you tell us about that?
I’ve been involved with two of his theatre projects -the Mahabarata (2007) and Entanglement (2010). Its fascinating working with him and watching the process of composition in action, which was very much the case on the opera project last year. I’ve admired Nitin’s music for many year previous so its always a privilege to work with such a great and talented artist.
I met you when you visited my studio to play on the last Aref Durvesh + Xfile ep
can you tell us about that and who else have you been recording with ?
I met Aref when I was working with Akram Khan a few years back though have only gigged with him a couple of times so it was good to be invited to play the EP. I spent a day at the Tigersonic studios jamming on a few tracks and loved the vibe of the tunes. I’m about to record with the jazz trumpeter Matthew Halsall on his new project, the Gondwana Jazz Orchestra, a ten piece including string quartet, harp and percussion inspired by Alice Coltrane. I’ve also recorded for a number of other artists over the years..Faye Patton, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Jo Hamilton to name a few, plus I have done some TV/ film work too.
What is the best gig you have seen ?
One of the best gigs I’ve seen was in Mumbai back in 2002 with some of the original members of Shakti including Zakir Hussain. The musicianship was incredible and it completely blew me away.
What other underground artist would you would recommend we should check out ?
Mamane Barka from Niger…he plays a traditional five stringed instrument called a Biram which is shaped like a boat. Legend says that the first Biram was given to humans by the spirit of Lake Chad, Kargila – the music tells the stories of the nomadic tribes people and life living on the lake.
video of Lisa playing bansuri with Aref Durvesh
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