2016 in review

Mara! to Western Australia for Musica Viva in Schools

Continuing their long association with Musica Viva In Schools, Mara! headed off to Perth for 4 weeks in November to present their program ‘Global Song and Dance’ for schools throughout Perth metropolitan region and the south-western region of Western Australia around Margaret River.

They were delighted to have Loretta Palmeiro join Tim Clarkson on woodwinds, and to have Steve Elphick back in the line-up, sharing the bass chair with Brendan Clarke.

Mara at Foundry 616

Mara!'s September 2016 performance at Foundry 616 was reviewed by John Shand for the Sydney Morning Herald:

Read the full review here


Mara and Llew's collaborations in 2016 included:

A Kitbag of Memories

with Peta Williams, Jarnie Birmingham and Paul Cutlan

Mara Music and the Lower Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, in conjunction with the Blue Mountains Theatre and Community Hub presented A Kitbag of Memories, at the new Springwood Theatre, as a tribute to the men and women who saw active service in the First World War, and to those who worked at home during the war years.
Narrated by Christopher Smith, A Kitbag of Memories includes a host of well-known songs from the period, stories collected from descendants of Blue Mountains servicemen and women, and dozens of images from at home and abroad.
Originally conceived through the initiative of Peta Williams from the Lower Mountains Neighbourhood Centre for the centenary of ANZAC, the show features music performed by Mara and Llew Kiek, Jarnie Birmingham, Paul Cutlan and Peta herself.
In 2017 the LMNC published a volume of the stories and poems collected for this project. 


Andrew Robson's Child Ballads

with Andrew Robson and Steve Elphick

"The Child Ballads" was released on CD in December 2015 and launched at a SIMA concert at the Seymour Centre Sound Lounge. In March 2016 it was presented at the Blue Mountains Music Festival.
The texts were collected from Scottish singers in the late 19th century by Francis Child, and in most cases songs were also collected. Andrew has set 8 of the (approx) 70 texts that previously had no melodies.
This program of stirring songs were composed by Andrew Robson as part of his recent PhD research. The songs are tales of love, lust, death, life, treachery and revenge - the usual topics of the bulk of the works in the Child collection.
Read the full live review here

Across The Top CD Launch  

with Paul Cutlan, Brett Hirst and the Noise

Paul launched his new CD "Across the Top" at the Seymour Centre Sound Lounge. Llew produced the album, and Mara features on Tapan on one track. "Across the Top" is a stunning series ofclassical/jazz/improvised compositions, written by Paul with inspirations drawn from his travels with the Mara! group in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia and the Northern Territory over two lengthy tours for MusicViva.


Collaborative performances

with Martenitsa and Malka Sestra

Llew and Mara performed a selection of traditional songs from around the globe as part of this year’s Harmony Day celebration at the Lower Mountains Neighbourhood Centre Blaxland, on Saturday 12 March (2 – 4pm).

Llew and Mara also performed with percussionist Andy Busuttil at the Windsor Mall Harmony Day celebrations on Sunday March 19. They were joined by members of both the Martenitsa choir and their ‘Little Sisters’, Blue Mountains choir MalkaSestra, for a finale of Balkan songs and dances.
with Sandy Evans and Ellen Kirkwood at 505

Ellen and her ensemble presented her "Mieville Project" at 505, and Llew, Mara and Sandy presented the opening set, joined by Ellen for the finale. 

with Chaika at Camelot Lounge

This great double bill featured the wonderful young world music group Chaika. Llew is working with Chaika and engineer Bob Scott in 2018 on Chaika's next album.


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