Joseph Tawadros Takes on a New Direction with World Music

“Every album for me is a change in direction,” says musician and composer Joseph Tawadros. “That’s what I like to do. I like to challenge myself into creating something new every year. If I didn’t create something new I wouldn’t release an album.”

Tawadros’ latest, World Music, is the 13th in his highly awarded and prodigious line of albums, and undeniably unique compared to his records. In it, Joseph and his brother James play 63 different instruments from all over the world in a series of eclectic and experimental compositions. “This one’s definitely different,” he says. “It’s the first really multi-instrumental album that I’ve done, and one that I’m really happy with the result. I didn’t expect it to come out like that to be honest.” Now living in London, Tawadros is returning to Australia for a series of concerts around the country, and playing at Nexus Arts in Adelaide on Saturday, September 17. “We played there earlier in the year and we had such a good time,” he says “Such a great experience and a great turnout and we thought we’d put on another show there – I love playing in Adelaide.” Asked whether guests can expect the full 63-instrument-retinue from World Music, Tawadros concedes the concert will be pared back from that style. Indeed, the highly-produced nature of those compositions would mean that Tawadros might need an orchestra to play every instrument at once. Instead, he’ll be playing with his touring quartet. “I play a few different instruments while the quartet is going,” he says. “In the album it’s all over-dubbed. Essentially, my brother and I are doing everything and just multi-layering it, whereas in the concert we have a quartet: Matt McMahon on piano, Karl Dunnicliff on double bass and my brother on percussion. I move through some of the different instruments and they create the basis of the piece and I play over the top basically. It’s an interesting experience.” joseph-tawadros-world-music-adelaide-review World Music takes the listener on a veritable round-the-world-trip when it comes to the styles and instruments that make it up. With included instruments as diverse as the cello, charango, Cuban tres and hulusi flute, the compositions are like an auditory tasting plate – there’s something for everyone. Tawadros says World Music isn’t so much a homage to the cultures, countries and eras the myriad instruments come from, but his own “personal musical exploration”. “Some of the instruments take you to that region anyway,” he says. “They take you to a genre regardless of what you play on them. The sound just conjures up certain genres that they’re associated with.” As for the future, Tawadros is keen to get to work on more new work, but as is par for the course for the prolific musician, he doesn’t plan on replicating the musical mosaic of his latest piece. “I don’t think I’d do it again with me playing it,” explains Tawadros. “I mean little bits and pieces yes, but not a whole album of me playing the instruments.” “I think there are so many great players of those instruments. People that can find other ways of playing it and really pushing it to its limit, and I’d rather collaborate with people that are really amazing with the instrument and bring something that I can’t to it.” Joseph Tawadros Quartet Saturday, September 17 Nexus Arts

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