UNDER THE BIMBA BLOSSOMS
A WORLD BEAT POP OPERA
Under the Bimba Blossoms was inspired by a poem by Jayadeva written in the 1100's in India that is absolutely stunning in its freshness and beauty. It describes a spring day in the love relationship between a god and a human in mythical India. The lyrics to the music are all adapted from English translations of the the original sanskrit and kept as accurate as possible.
Alpha Tango first produced a stage show based on this music utilizing two dancers, from Indian traditions, four from western modern dance, projected slides, a narrator and live musicians. Then we decided to produce an audio CD of the same material expanded, with new songs and rerecorded in the studio with the best musicians we could find.
The album tells the original story using a great range of styles, moving from Indian Raga, to blues, jazz, rap, early music and other difficult-to-qualify combinations. Some songs are serious and some are outrageous. Throughout all, the haunting and powerful nature of the music and the lyrics entices and surrounds the listener. This is a complex song cycle that is neither academic nor pop and both intellectually interesting and sensually satisfying. Material covered is sometimes sacred and reverent and at other times profane and irrereverent, just like its creators.The musicians recorded are world class and include Indian classical artists, klezmer, classical, jazz and ethnic performers playing together for the first time.
If you have an open mind to new cultures and sounds and like to explore, we think you will enjoy this journey.
ALPHA TANGO: TOM FALLAT / HEIDI DRUCKER
based on "Gita Govinda" by Jayadeva, 12th Century Indian poet
lyrics adapted from the English translations of the Sanskrit by George Keyt; Barbara Miller, with permission of Columbia University Press; and Sir Edwin Arnold
Concept, direction and lyrics by Heidi Drucker and Tom Fallat
Music composed by Tom Fallat and Heidi Drucker
Graphic Design by Steve Miller
Original painting: "She desired to Triumph," collection of Anupan and Rajika Puri used by gracious permission of the owners
Additional Artwork: Carl Smool
The story of Under the Bimba Blossoms and Gita Govinda
In a forest on an island where two rivers meet, spring brings a riot of activity. Krishna has come to earth to cavort with the female cowherds, or gopis. As he seduces the women with his flute playing, Radha, Krishna's true love, wanders the forest searching for him, longing to join with him. Her friend and confidante, or Sakhi, sings to her, to heighten the mood. When Radha comes upon Krishna in his love play and speaks to him, Krishna forgets what he's doing, and can think only of Radha. Radha is hurt and angry but still wants him, and she runs off to hide in the forest. Her Sahki acts as go between, embellishing messages, elaborately telling each what the other is going through, and giving the lovers advice. Krishna is remorseful. He implores Radha to forgive him. She refuses. While they are apart, Radha imagines Krishna making love to another very beautiful woman. Krishna finally charms Radha with submissive words, placing her foot upon his head. Heightened by the experience of separation and jealousy, they make up and make love. In the morning, Krishna gently helps Radha put on her clothes and makeup before she returns to her household.
Tracking Engineers: Jon Sage, Aleah Ventura, Bo Anderson, Korby Sears, Shane Russell, Mollie Platt, Steve Miller, Tom Fallat, Heidi Drucker
Digital Editing and Premixing: Korby Sears, Aleah Ventura, Tom Fallat
Mixing Engineers: Tom Fallat, Aleah Ventura and Heidi Drucker
Project Coordination: Evan Konecky, Aleah Ventura, Tom Fallat, Heidi Drucker
Vocals: Heidi Drucker, Tom Fallat, Vishal Nagar
Bimba Lips Chorus: Greg Powers, Michael Nicolella, Heidi Drucker, Tom
Fallat, Lisa Lewis, Liz Dreisbach, Richard Middleton, Maria Mälksoo
Guitars: Michael Nicolella, Jim Madara, Tom Fallat
Upright and electric Bass: Todd Gowers
Violin: Michael White, Jim Madara
Flute: Sura Charlier
Tenor and Soprano Sax: Tony Chapman
Piano: Richard Middleton, Tom Fallat
Sitar: Larry Ludwig
Clarinet: Liz Dreisbach
Drum Set, Drumkat, Marimba, Synthesizers , Samplers, Harmonic voice sample: Tom Fallat
Tabla: Vishal Nagar
Hand percussion: Shankar, Tom Fallat
Accordion: Michael Lawson
Harpsichord: Lisa Lewis
Trombone: Greg Powers
Tamboura, Didgeridoo sample: Heidi Drucker and Tom Fallat
Handclaps: Korby Sears, Jim Madara, Heidi Drucker, Tom Fallat
Bimba mamordica coccinia - a climber with bright red fruit
About the Composers
Tom Fallat began performing as a percussionist at age five. He has appeared as percussionist, singer, keyboardist and performance artist throughout the US. He has been composing since age six and has directed and appeared in many multimedia performances in the Seattle Area, including Five Dances, Summer of Barking, Danses Sacree et Profane, and Gita Govinda. He was a member of the Cornish Percussion Ensemble and member of Gamelan Pacifica for eight years. He toured to Chicago and Minnesota with the international collaboration Visible Religion . Tom received Seattle Arts Commission Individual Artist Awards for music composition in 1987, 1992 and 1994. He has appeared four times at On the Board's Northwest New works festival.
He is also the manager of Sound Sound Recording and Savage Fruitarian Productions, where he has recently completed a score for the film "Spree, " which has been distributed internationally in twenty countries. He arranged, recorded and performed on Old Fashioned Marriage , the CD release by Guillermo Castaneda; his first string quartet was premiered by the Salieri Quartet in 1996. He is a member of BMI and has been invited to collaborate with Estonian choreographer Rene Nommik in his home country. He is president and treasurer of the non-profit arts organization Alpha Tango and a performing member of the group of the same name. He has worked as a DJ, music director and station manager in radio and has produced a collection of guided meditations and a collection of erotic limericks.
In addition to singing, Tom plays keyboards, mallets, tympani, Indonesian gamelan instruments, tabla, and drumset. He has played in concert bands, orchestras, gamelan orchestras, experimental performances of many types and has composed and directed numerous full evening performances. He has especially enjoyed creating music for dance, multimedia, and film, including the feature length film 'Spree," by director Rustin Thompson, which has been shown in over 21 countries.
Heidi Drucker is a singer and performance artist known for her innovative vocal work and movement theater pieces. She has created, directed and performed in her own work and collaborative work for over thirty years. Her vocals have contributed to the work of many local musicians, including Mark Barreca, Steve Fisk, and Kenny Mandell. She has created vocal compositions for choreographers including Pat Graney, Joanna Shaw, and Kris Wheeler. Her work has been featured in Earshot Jazz festival, On The Boards Northwest New Works, Bumbershoot, Allegro, Open Marley, etc. She is founder and curator of the Seattle Festival of Alternative Dance and Improvisation (SFADI), now in its 11th year. With Tom Fallat she is founder of the arts organization Alpha Tango. She teaches voice and movement, and has several recordings to her credit.