A couple of days ago I received an email with an invitation to a musical evening while at work and for a while I ignored it. A part of me wasn’t particularly keen, but then I hadn’t been to 505 for a while for my usual dose of good music. My musical education was overdue by a week! During a brief lull at the office, I decided to take a look at the website that was in the email. The music began as soon as the webpage loaded – and it was mesmerizing. It was different, I hadn’t heard music like that in a long while. I found myself wanting more and listened to the tunes that were listed on the website, and so by the end of the day, the decision to attend the performance was made.
Yesterday was the day I was introduced to the oud, the req and the wonderfully talented Tawadros brothers at the Tom Mann Theatre in Sydney. The oud is a stringed instrument used in Middle Eastern music while the req is a small tambourine with five cymbals and traditionally with skin covering. Joseph Tawadros has been performing on the oud since he was 12 years old, and younger brother James, not to be left behind, is a brilliant young percussionist. Joseph composes and produces his own music and is fascinating how talented this young pair is.
The music of Joseph Tawadros is a wonderful fusion of the old and the new, of life and spirit and solitude and peace. Spring is in the air, and listening to Joe, his brother James, Matt McMahon and Dimitri Vouras perform the music from the album Angel, brought love back into the heart of a skeptic. Within the span of a half hour, perhaps even less, I felt at peace with myself and with the world around me. I felt loneliness in the music and yet, it was nothing to be sad about, there was joy in the solitude that the music spoke of. I could feel nature’s beauty through the music, sitting in a small auditorium last evening. The music took me off my chair and transported me to the corners of the world where beauty waits to embrace the seeker. At one moment in time, I felt as though I was lying beneath the green canopy of a forest with the breeze rustling through the leaves above me. Another moment later, I felt I was floating along on the calm waters of an ocean, feeling the warm touch of the sun on my skin. A little while later, I felt like a bird soaring above the blue-green of the world below me and watching humanity play out it’s part. The music had some strange powers over me which were broken by the sudden applause of the audience, and I had to have the CDs with me. And as I write this, I am listening to the melodies of Angel again.
On the jacket of the CD is written – “When angels visit us we do not hear the rustle of their wings nor feel the feathery touch of the breast of a dove; but we know their presence by the love they create in our hearts.” During his introduction, Joseph told us what Angel meant to him. To him it is the presence of someone in the audience to whom he performs for, when he travels around the world and is surrounded by strangers. This album has the genius of Matt McMahon, one of Australia’s finest jazz pianists, and Dimitri Vouras, a multi-talented performer who can play the clarinet, the piano, the Shakuhachi (Japanese flute) and the Bansuri (the Indian flute). Joseph’s brother, James, all of 21 years of age, has already made a name for himself in the world of percussions, playing the Req, a small tambourine. Watching these talented men together is exhilarating, to say the least. I have watched Matt McMahon’s fingers dance on the keys of the piano before, and I will keep going back for more. I never imagined that the piano, the clarinet and the tunes of an oud could blend into one another and emerge as one beautifully melodious tune as these musicians made happen with Angel.
I am not someone who can be very eloquent about my feelings and it is the rare occasion that I go over the top with descriptions while writing. This is perhaps the first post I have written that sounds a tad bit over the top, but please, dear reader, take my word for it, sitting in the audience and listening to the awesome foursome perform the music of Joseph Tawadros was perhaps the most tranquil I have felt since moving to Australia. Every word I have written here is true and is no exaggeration. Go to Joseph’s website and listen for a while and perhaps then you will understand what I am trying to say here. In fact, I feel that I have not done justice to the maestro, that there’s so much more to say, but no words that I can use to express myself correctly. The music has made a believer out of a skeptic that is me, listening to it makes me want to believe in love and fairy tales, in humanity.
For those who are in Sydney, Joseph and James Tawadros will be performing on the 13th of Oct at the Red Rattler in Marrickville. I do suggest you find the time and indulge your senses. They will be performing the music from their latest albums – The Prophet and The Hour of Separation.
Joseph was kind enough to satisfy the whims of a fan by signing his CDs for me, and sending in the pictures I have posted here.