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Genre-bending music from The Raah Project


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It is essential that an event such as the Adelaide Cabaret Festival encourages and promotes new works and emerging artists in addition to the one-man, one-woman tribute shows to cabaret and music theatre stars. Kate Ceberano, who has now completed a very successful three years as festival director, should be very proud of her achievements in this area.

The Raah Project was formed by vocalist Ryan Ritchie and violinist and composer Tamil Rogeon to create what they describe as “genre-bending modern orchestral music”. The music performed in The New Score at the Festival Theatre was varied, fascinating, absorbing and uplifting.

The Raah Project was very fortunate to be accompanied by the superb Adelaide Art Orchestra. The orchestra adapts to the many different styles of music, and certainly seemed to be enjoying the antics and unpredictability of The Raah Project’s approach to orchestral music.

They were also joined by Kate Ceberano, The Bamboos lead singer Kylie Auldist and cabaret performer iOTA singing back-up vocals and, occasionally, solo. IOTA’s vocal range and control were incredible; Auldist’s performance of her own song, “Changes”, was impressive, and Ceberano was entertaining whenever she was on the stage.

The promotional material claimed the company would “perform some of the world’s greatest songs as you’ve never heard them before”; that may have been because the songs were arranged in such a way that they were unrecognisable or because they were original works – it didn’t matter much, because each song was intriguing.

From the first chords played by the Art Orchestra, The Raah Project’s cool jazz feel was evident, but that sound was soon fused with a big orchestral sound, soul, rhythm and blues, and hip-hop. Their desire to defy categorisation and limitation by not playing just one style of music was fulfilled throughout the night.

Darlene Love appeared and sang “Lean On Me’ and “River Deep Mountain High”, much to the delight of the audience. Ryan Ritchie then played around with the creation of a hip-hop song by using words suggested by the audience; the process was fun, offering an insight into the process of musicians improvising around a theme until a new song is born.

The concert finished with “Jazz Bar 2025”, which was essentially the whole evening rolled into one, with Tamil Rogeon able to show his abilities on violin and the Art Orchestra finishing powerfully. The New Score  was new, refreshing, always interesting, and inspirational.

The New Score was part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, which finished on the weekend. See all InDaily’s reviews at the 2014 Adelaide Cabaret Festival hub.


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