Spiritual music, books and films for those with inclusive hearts, enquiring minds, and are exploring spiritual realities.
Today's media feeds on, and feeds us, uncertainty, fear, exploitation, intolerance, and violence. But in order to grow to our potential as human beings, we need to develop tolerance, thoughtfulness, compassion, understanding and acceptance.
Accordingly, Attar Media's role is to be a conduit via which writers, musicians and filmmakers, from every religious and spiritual background, may present work that reflects their deepest concerns. In addition, presenting work made in different media side-by-side enables all to meet on the common ground of their creative and spiritual aspirations.
Just as importantly, we hope Attar Media will serve as a place where seekers may find refreshing, stimulating, and enjoyable ideas and experiences that they can use for their own inner growth.
Join Attar Media's e-mail list, stay informed about Attar's activities, and grow with us. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT ATTAR ARTISTS
ROSS HILLRoss started playing guitar in 1977, at the age 16. During the first ten years of playing he experimented with a wide range of influences and styles. These included school rock bands, classical guitar tuition, a song writing partnership with Auckland songstress Karen Hunter, instrumental composition, and a jazz guitar duo.
He then decided to embark on a serious study of classical guitar, studying, arranging and composition with Auckland teacher Barry McLaren and also with Gunter Herbig, then head of classical guitar at Auckland University. During these years Ross enjoyed a range of music, finding he had an affinity with Renaissance, Spanish and Middle Eastern music. Using what he had learned, he started seriously developing his own compositions in 1986.
This led to the release of his first CD, Atmospheric, in 1997, an EP-length recording of original material performed on solo guitar. Three years later, in 2000, came Origins, another EP-length CD of original compositions, with Nicole Leonard adding keyboards, percussion and woodwinds.
In 2006 Attar Music released The Garden, a full-length album that Ross considers contains his best compositions. The strongest pieces of the two EPs have been included, as well as a number of new compositions. The selection has been made to display to range of his music skills and interests.
Ross currently supports himself and his family by teaching guitar out of his home studio in Auckland.
PETER HAEDERPeter Haeder, originally from northern Germany, moved to New Zealand 23 years ago. He quickly established himself as a leading avant-garde guitarist and composer for film and television, with his outstanding sense of pop/jazz/blues/ melody and hooks. He has worked with New Zealand's top performance artists to wide acclaim, playing to standing ovations at Womad and Free Tibet.
He studied Performance Art with Prof. Harry Kramer at the prestigious Arts School in Kassel, Germany and played for Germany’s Cultural Minister on invitation. Peter is also a long-time Buddhist with a profound mastery of the esoteric one voice chord chant, now only taught at two monasteries in the world. Over the past five years, and much to the amusement of the Tibetan Lamas, he has married this with his German electronic roots with Flamenco and Jazz.
Visit Peter's website here
BESSER AND BRAVURABravura (It. bravery) ....A display of daring and skill in artistic execution: a piece of music that calls out all the powers of the performers.
Bravura was formed in 2000 and performed their first concert in October of that year. Jonathan is the principal composer, however ‘Bravura’ is really five musicians speaking with a single voice. Improvisation is fundamental to our approach. They all contribute musical ideas, personality and energy in fresh spontaneous ways. The gender mix, the group’s democracy, and its subtle Jewish spirit are all reflected in the music. The band has performed twice at WOMAD in New Zealand.
Jonathan Besser (composer & piano)
Jonathan is a composer for various ensembles, classical and world, for film, ballet and theatre. He has also written a number of large-scale works including commissions for The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal N.Z. Ballet, Auckland Philharmonia, the Wellington Symphonia, and the New Zealand String Quartet. He has long been leader of his own new music groups, most notably the Besser Ensemble (1987-1997) and Bravura (1999–). Visit Jonathan Besser's website here
Peter Scott (bass)
Peter has played acoustic and electric bass with every jazz group in Auckland, New Zealand. In England he was bass player for the 80’s group ‘Madness’. These days he plays regularly a number of bands in both New Zealand and Australia.
Nigel Gavin (guitar)
Without a doubt one of the best and most innovative guitarists in New Zealand. He has performed internationally with the likes of Robert Fripp, the Jews Brothers and the Nairobi Trio, and founded Gitbox Rebellion. His performances and recordings include collaborations with the following: Robert Fripp, Nairobi Trio, Bravura, Jews Brothers Band and Ross Mullins. His discography includes: solo recording Thrum; Kura Huna, Whirimako Black; Pesky Digits and Touch Wood, Gitbox Rebellion; Show of Hands, Robert Fripp & the League of Crafty Guitarists.
Miranda Adams (violin)
Miranda is Associate Concertmaster for the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. She is expert in many kinds of musical performance, from Gamelan to electric fuzz violin. She also records for Concert FM, performs with Vivo, Jade String Quartet, conducts chamber orchestras, and teaches.
Tatiana Lanchtchikova (accordion)
A recent arrival to New Zealand from Siberia, Tatiana is already in great demand in Auckland, performing in her own Tango band and with composer Don McGlashan. She is a Chamber Music New Zealand touring artist and appears on Concert F.M. Every two years she Judges International accordion competitions in Italy.
Yair Katz (percussion)
Since arriving in New Zealand from Israel two years ago he has regularly performed with many musicians in Auckland, including Whirimako Black, Mamuka Project (both playing NZ WOMAD in 2007), Ishta, Dan Sperber and Bravura, as well as free sessions at the Luxemburg Gardens.
Robert Ashworth (viola - guest artist)
Robert performs with both the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (principle viola), the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Jade String Quartet, and he has been assistant Principal violist with the Calgary Symphony orchestra and the Sydney Opera orchestra. He’s also been in mariachi bands.
NORMAN MEEHANNorman Meehan is a pianist and composer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He studied in New Zealand with Leigh Jackson, Paul Dyne and Anita van Dijk, and in the United States with Dave Hartl, Frank Carlberg and Paul Bley. He has recorded for a number of labels, written books on Paul Bley and Mike Nock, and published widely in the academic press. By day he is a senior lecturer in jazz Studies for the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington.
Hannah Griffin (vocals)
Hannah Griffin is a graduate of Massey University School of Music, and studied with Susan De Jong, Roger Stevenson, Brenda Boykin and Karen Grylls among others. She has recorded with Nick van Dijk, Rosie Langabeer's Zirkus and Kevin Clark (on his New Zealand Jazz Album of the Year, "Live at the Sandbar"). She has performed extensively including appearances in the Wellington International Jazz Festival as a featured vocalist. As well as performing with Norman's groups she has her own, The Hannah Griffin Quartet.
Colin Hemmingsen (reeds)
Colin has had a dual jazz/classical career for more than 20 years and until 1992 was New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s principal bassoonist. He won a coveted Downbeat magazine scholarship in 1970 to study jazz at Berklee College of Music and was subsequently awarded a scholarship to New England Conservatory. There he completed a Masters degree in bassoon and jazz. After teaching and performing in the United States he returned to New Zealand to work with the NZSO. Colin is currently working as a senior lecturer in Jazz Studies on the NZ School of Music Jazz Performance Degree programme.
Nick van Dijk (trumpet)
Nick van Dijk is a brass player, composer and educator from Wellington, where he teaches jazz at the New Zealand School of Music. He has performed with many New Zealand and international musicians throughout his 2 decades as a professional musician. Highlights include playing with master US soprano saxophonist and composer Steve Lacy, Kenny Wheeler (“the English Miles Davis”), Mike Nock and Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes, as well as working with orchestras such as the Vector Wellington Orchestra and Auckland Philharmonic, and bands such as Little Bushman, the Black Seeds and Rhombus. In 2008 he was runner-up in the APRA Big Band composers competition, conducting his piece Mind Out live on ABC radio with Sydney’s Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra. Visit Nick van Dijk's website here
KEITH HILLKeith is an award-winning filmmaker and writer. His spiritual search began with Christianity, which he was brought up in as a child. Seeking a spiritual teaching that would transform him, in 1975 he joined a New Zealand Fourth Way group led by Abdullah Dougan, a Naqshbandi Sufi shaikh who refined G.I. Gurdjieff's teaching. During the years since Keith has made extensive studies of the religious and spiritual traditions of the West and East. In addition to Fourth Way thought, Christian mysticism, Sufism, and Vedic philosophy and mediation practices have profoundly fed his spiritual understanding and experiences.
Keith's debut novel, Blue Kisses was published by HarperCollins (NZ) in 1998, while his debut feature film, This is Not a Love Story, was released in New Zealand and Australia. It was nominated for Best Screenplay in the 2004 New Zealand Film Awards, won Best Screenplay in LA's DancesWithFilms Film Festival in 2003, and screened in a number of festivals in the US and Europe. Short films Keith has produced have screened in Venice, Melbourne, Edinburgh, Los Angeles, Locarno, Manchester, Auckland, Hof, Mill Valley, and other international film festivals, and have won ten prizes.
In 1991 Keith founded Rattle Records with two other New Zealanders, dedicated to music by NZ musicians and composers working in the genres of world, contemporary classical, jazz, Maori, and art music. Visit Rattle's website here