Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Years Day! BACH meets BRADLEY - a concert and public discussion offered to all who love music!

BACH MEETS BRADLEY Concert (2009) will air on local television station Gayelle The Channel 8 PM New Years Day and at 9:30 PM on January 6th 2010. Don't Miss it!

BACH meets BRADLEY - a concert and public discussion offered to all who love music!


Christian Lumsden, Organ playing the music of J.S. Bach
Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, playing the music of Clive Bradley

On behalf of the Lydian Singers and Steel...celebrating their thirtieth music-making year, music lovers were invited to share in this once - in - a - lifetime musical experience, where OUR people played the music for the organ and pan by two of the best composers of music for these two kinds of instruments. The concert occurred on Saturday 15th August, 2009 at Tranquility Methodist Church, 7:30 pm. Gayelle The Channel did a live recording of the show and will air it this New Years Day and on January 6th on their station.

"Listen and learn the differences...Listen to the similarities and rejoice...Understand that good music is just that ... good! The notice is short but the cause is just! "
- Pat Bishop

Official Press release:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


The Lydians wishes to thank all concert attendees who shared with us in the experience of Handel's Messiah.

Thank you to all artistic Collaborators:
Guru Mondira Balkaransingh
Micheal Lucien and the Malick Folk Performers
All members of the The Lydian Steel Orchestra
Krishna Soogrim-Ram and The Soogrim-Ram Tassa
Xavier Phillips and the Lydian drummers
Gillian Bishop and her team
Bernard Beckles and the La Tropicale Flower shop

Thank you to all members of the media who gave us coverage!

Thank you to the entire management committee and technical crew including:
Sound: Victor Donowa
Lighting: Derek Gay

Thank you to the costuming genius of resident designer and seamstress Claudette Edwards and her entire team!

Thank you to the management and staff of the Queen's Hall Auditorium.

And Thank You to the Lydians management team, all Lydians and the Lydians extended family!

Visit to see the photos from our amazing show!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Imaging Messiah...Five days to show time…

Rehearsal Notes from Dr. Pat Bishop....

"So we have to be seen. We shall be heard – that’s for sure. But how will we look?!."

This is “Performance Art!! Sometimes, having more than one artistic core discipline puts one into transdiciplinarity –an intellectual position to which one is committed. How do I know what I hear until I see what I’m singing, playing, and all the rest?

But we have had the exhaustion of CHOGM and we are a week to show time and we can only now shape the visuals, the sounds, the movement and so on. I’m writing this at 3:00 a.m – 7 days to show time. (Thursday 3rd December 2009) Mondira, my friend, with the bells on her feet and that incredibly polite understanding of what movement is, “falls in”… and Michael Lucien’s Malick dancers arrive with their white skirts and the confidence that they can dance to anything which they hear. Malick understands what “show time” is. And so we put in Xavier’s drums, and the Soogrim Ram tassa boys and we let them loose.

Writing this at 3 in the morning and I am on a high because “Messiah” without changing a single note becomes a truly T & T tribute to the Baroque. Watch Eddie and Mondira plead “Comfort ye, my people” and you are reduced by the beauty and the intensity of the place by the sheer beauty of the voice, the dancer and the bells on her feet…and you begin to understand that this is no search for “impertinent vanities”.

This is not a process which lends itself to blue print. It’s like making a very large painting and trusting your paint!! Wish us luck because this is a HUGE picture!

Pat Bishop
Port of Spain
December, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Artistic Collaborations abound for the Lydians performance of Handel's Messiah!

The Lydians - Handel's Messiah, December 10th - 13th 2009
Rehearsal - Bishop Anstey High School Hall

6 Days to Opening Night...

The Lydians rehearsal for Handel's Messiah seemed an evening for the creative callaloo of artistic collaborations, with the additions of Guru Mondira Balkaransingh and Mr. Michael Lucien, and the Malick Folk Performers. The combination itself truly represents all that is Trinidad and Tobago culture, a mixture of varied influences and unique artistic expressions!

Indian-born Mondira Balkaransingh is the Artistic Director of the Nrityanjali Theatre, Institute for the Arts and Culture. The Nrityanjali Theatre was founded in 1977 by the Balkaransinghs ( Sat and Mondira) and has produced numerous ballets and stage productions. It has travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean, USA and UK. The theatre is noted for staging productions at the highest professional level and has always won accolades for its works.

The artistry and great tradition of the Kathak classical style of dance, usually includes rich musical accompaniments of the tabla, sitar sarangis and vocal renditions. However, with the Handel's Messiah, Dr. Pat Bishop has fused the sounds of classical baroque music, in the form of the harpsichord and organ instruments, along with the steelpan, the Tassa and African drums, and last evening, the rhythmic bells of Kathak dance to create an entirely new sound, which is wholly Caribbean and entirely new to any performance of Handel's Messiah before now!

The Malick Folk Performers, over 20 years in existence under the directorship of Michael Lucien, have been performing with the Lydians for the past 5-6 years. Out of the group's large ensemble, only an average of 6-8 perform during concerts on stage with the choir. The Malick Folk Performers have participated in the two operas by the Lydians, Koanga in 1995 and Elixir of Love in 1996, have performed with the choir at the Prime Minister's residence, and were also part o the choir's performance for the leaders of Cuba and The Netherlands in 1995. For Handel's Messiah, this Christmas, the Malick folk Performers joins the cast to bring several of the Messiah choruses alive with the jubilation of their unique dancing styles!

Tickets (TT$125.00, US$19.64 EU$13.03) for the Lydians performance of Handel's Messiah are available at the following locations:

Queen's Hall Box Office, Queen's Hall Auditorium, Port of Spain
La Tropicale Flower Shop, Patna Street, St. James
Signature 2000, The Marketplace, Normandie Hotel
And all Choir members!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On the journey to The Lydians performance of Handel's Messiah - rehearsal notes (Monday 30th November 2009, BAHS Hall Port of Spain)

The Lydians - Handel's Messiah,
December 10th - 13th 2009
Rehearsal - Bishop Anstey High School Hall

9 Days to Opening Night...

Handel is no stranger to the Lydians. Our rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah is often a piece that is done in jubilant celebration at the end of every concert we perform. This jubilation is heightened by Dr. Bishop's incorporation of rhythm and percussion, with thundering African drums and the rippling accompaniment of indigenous Tassa drums. The overall effect is a heavenly and joyful noise, a signature sound that is synonymous with the Lydians.

At Monday evening's rehearsal, Dr. Bishop revealed that people have asked why she intends to make rhythm and percussion instruments such an integral part of the upcoming performance of Handel's Messiah. She relayed that often times in paintings from that period of musicians, the percussionist would wear garments inclusive of a tiger skin. She told the group of gathered singers and instrumentalists that in the baroque period, there was an appreciation for rhythmic instruments, such as the Turkish drums. This she felt spoke to an attention to percussion nuance in baroque music, which she intended to make use of in the Lydians interpretation of the Messiah this Christmas.

The Lydians and Lydians Steel were joined by the Soogrim-Ram Tassa drummers at Bishop Anstey High School Hall, where several rhythms from the combination of instruments were tried, both with the Hallelujah Chorus as well as an experiment using drums and rhythm with the final chorus of the Messiah, Worthy is the Lamb!

More from our next rehearsal, Wednesday 2nd December 2009 as we countdown the final days before the performance of Handel's Messiah!