Feb
4
2013

Rokia Traore

Rokia Traore credit Jamie Williams 10

City Recital Hall, January 20, 2013  The poignancy was biting. Here was Rokia Traore devoting one of her Sydney Festival concerts to traditional Malian songs while, even as she sang, that tradition was under threat from Islamist extremists who believe music is the sound of Satan.  So more than just offering folkloric entertainment she was […]

Feb
2
2013

Rokia Traore: High Noon in Mali

Rokia Traore credit Jamie Williams 09

When music is banned in the north of your country, and those who persist in making it are threatened with having their fingers amputated, the stakes of being a musician have just been raised. But, as Rokia Traore knows, the stakes were always high in Mali, the epicentre of African music, and the well-spring of […]

Feb
1
2013

A Masked Ball

A Masked Ball

Joan Sutherland Theatre, January 30, 2013.  The avant-garde has a way of becoming the mainstream: just add time. In 50 years Surrealism went from outraging the bourgeoisie to fuelling advertising. In 1989 Spain’s Alex Ollé and his La Fura dels Baus company stormed Sydney Festival with Suz/O/Suz, and now he is one of the gatekeepers, […]