The gorgeous new collabaration of a unique trio melds finely crafted, fresh and intriguing compositions grounded in the traditions of Indian, Javanese and Western classical music.
Since their sold-out debut performance at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, FINE BLUE THREAD have been surprising audiences with a sound that is haunting, uplifting and breathtakingly intimate, traditionally rooted, but integrating a distinctive modernity.
Improvisationally based, their music has a spacious simplicity, belying the complexity of its underlying richness. Longer meandering structures sit alongside short, precise Haiku like pieces. Ornamented eastern melodies are vocalized in English, while cello and tabla interweave and take turns to provide rhythmic and melodic content, blending sounds and timbres within the music.
Helen Mountfortis a classically trained cellist and composer originally from New Zealand. Helen moved to Melbourne Australia in 1986 where she joined well-known art rock band Not Drowning, Waving, touring and recording for the next 10 years. In 1989 with singer/pianist David Bridie Helen formed the chamber pop act My Friend the Chocolate Cake, and is currently a member of Gypsy/tango band Cosmo Cosmolino and the David Chesworth Ensemble. Helen has peformed with indigenous musicians from Australia and the region, including Archie Roach, Frank Yamma, Kutcha Edwards, and George Telek. She also writes music for film, television and dance and is in demand as a session musician.
Sam Evans has established himself as a rare modern voice in the world of tabla. Following a decade of study in India and studies with Pandit Anindo Chatterjee in India and Ustad Zakir Hussain in America, Sam’s approach reflects both the spaciousness of his rural Australian background and the vibrant sophistication of the Indian tabla tradition.
Sam has toured throughout India and Australia with Indian classical guitarist Debasis Chakroborty and performed live on Indian and Australian TV. He was a member of the eclectic Machine Translations and has performed with a variety of bands at international jazz and world music festivals. Sam has composed for documentaries and television, written for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Music, teaches Indian and World Music at Monash University, holds a Masters degree in tabla performance, and runs his own tabla school in Melbourne.
Ria Soemardjo Born in Melbourne of Australian/Indonesian descent, Ria’s song writing and collaborative projects are inspired by the Javanese musical tradition. Ria studied traditional Javanese vocals with teachers including Soedarti and Wahluyo in Central Java, Indonesia, and traditional dhrupad vocals in India with the renowned Gundecha Brothers. After initial training in classical violin Ria has developed her own viola style that is strongly influenced by her studies in Indonesia and India. Recent performances include The Singapore Performing Arts Showcase, The Biwako Biennale in Japan, The Melbourne International Arts Festival and live recordings forABC Radio National.
“Their music is not about blurring boundaries but rather a snapshot of their local high street…an expression of the world we live in. Their musical prowess and passion for improvisation has produced a perfect backdrop for what is simply, really good music!”
- Lopa Kothari, BBC Radio 3
“Fine Blue Thread’s debut CD shows a trio melding atmospheres, grooves and world music threads in a refreshingly unique way.”
- David Bridie, renowned Australian producer & musician