Griffith hosts world music stars in lead up to Festival 2018

The Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University will host some of world music’s superstars in the lead up to Festival 2018.

Associate Professor Vanessa Tomlinson will feature in an all-star 12-piece ensemble that will perform at Festival 2018 on 13 April.

Susheela Raman

Ecstaticwill feature musicians from India,Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, UK and Australia – bringing together some of the Commonwealth’s diverse musical traditions for an epic gig on the beach.

The band, led by legendary Indian-British vocalistSusheela Raman, will spend a week rehearsing at the Queensland Conservatorium’s world-class facilities in the heart of Brisbane’s South Bank cultural precinct.

Vanessa Tomlinson

Associate Professor Tomlinsonheads up the percussion program at the Queensland Conservatorium, and will be playing a variety of instruments at the high profile gig, including vibraphone, marimba, bells and gongs.

She has collaborated extensively with South Indian musicians, and will be improvising new material under the guidance of UK-based musical director Sam Mills.

“Improvisation is like walking a musical tightrope – you are always a bit apprehensive, but it takes things to a new level, ” she said.

“You have to go way beyond ego and any preconceived ideas and be open to whatever comes.

“Our week of rehearsals at the Con will be about learning each other’s musical language and working out how to integrate all of those ideas.”

Associate Professor Tomlinson said it was an honour to be selected to perform with the ensemble, and for Griffith to host the musicians.

“This is a world-breaking opportunity,” she said.

“These musicians are some of the leading practitioners in the world – it’s going to be amazing to hear that sound coming out of the Basil Jones Orchestral Hall.

Associate Professor Tomlinson was part of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Gamescultural program, and remembers the experience as “totally amazing”.

“The cultural side of the Games is incredibly important,” she said.

“The real point of the Games is to bring together people from across the Commonwealth – and music is an amazing way to do that.”

Tomlinson is looking forward to performing at Festival 2018’s Main Stage at Surfers Paradise.

“The vibe on the beach is going to be amazing,” she said.

“There will be thousands of people in the audience who are going to hear things they’ve never heard before.”

Griffith University is proud to be the Official Creative Arts Partner for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.