The band's debut performance at Hanoi Social Club last month saw them perform to a packed crowd, who came to hear a fusion of poetic sensibilities and traditional folk, inspired by the band members' experiences drawn from travelling the globe.
Despite being heavily involved in the Hanoi music scene for some years, this is the first time the members have performed in an outfit of their own. Front man Scott explains: "We had often talked about playing together, but never did so until recently when we had the catalyst of a gig at Hanoi Social Club. We wanted to play a set of 'naked' acoustic music, with no amplification, in order to have a more direct connection with an audience".
The band has since collaborated with the likes of Thai dub act Sticky Rice, and also joined forces with a Jew's harp virtuoso for a special one off. Check them out as soon as you can.
2011 was a great year for classical music at the Hanoi Opera House, and with an already packed programme at the start of 2012 it looks like we're in for another great year.
On Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra will perform two works by the late German composer and pianist Johannes Brahms. Grouped with the likes of Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the Three Bs, Brahms was known to be an uncompromising perfectionist who destroyed many of his own works and left some of them unpublished. This special concert, as part of the VNSOs ongoing subscription series, will see performances of Piano Concerto No1. D minor op.15 and Symphony No.1 C minor op.68, featuring conductor Honna Tetsuji and French guest piano soloist Michael Bourdoncle.
Brahms spent five years perfecting Piano Concerto No. 1, and finally completed it in 1859. It is now considered to be one of the great monuments of the concerto repertoire — powerful, tranquil, spirited and grand. Brahms' Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68, is rumoured to have taken 21 years to complete, from 1855 to 1876, and is scored for the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, horns, trumpets, trombones, timpani and strings.
The concerts start at 8pm on both nights and tickets go from VND200,000. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings.
Another live music venue has sprung up in the form of ATK — a bar cum speakeasy cum performance space managed by Team CAMA. Bravely located 'on the other side of town' in the French Quarter, the venue is set to welcome through its doors local and international acts of critical acclaim.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, DJ, composer, noise musician and music lecturer Vu Nhat Tan will be spinning records accompanied by a live bassist. Expect unusual sounds from around the world set to beats. With all live music performances being done and dusted by midnight, ATK is a great place to kick-start your evening.
Cocktails, art and live music in a bohemian underground setting, ATK can be found at 73 Mai Hac De, Hai Ba Trung and is currently in its soft opening phase.
24-year-old, Saigon-based American songwriter Brett Newski recently spent five months travelling throughout Asia, writing and recording his road album In Between Exits.
Brett has played with a plethora of well-known acts including OK GO, Third Eye Blind and Cage the Elephant (to name a few), and this self-penned album was recorded in makeshift studios and couch-surfer apartments from Bangkok to Hong Kong to the Philippines and everywhere in between.
Armed with just a guitar and a laptop, Newski's album captures the liberating highs and loneliest lows of solo travel and wanderlust. The record around took 365 days to complete and cost less than US$1,000 to make. If you're a fan of Elliot Smith, Bob Dylan, Cake and Weezer, this will probably be your cup of tea.
Check out www.brettnewski.com to hear more.