Kavisha Mazzella is an ARIA award winning singer-songwriter with a very unique twist. A meditator, chanter, sufi poem lover and singer of love songs in Italian, she presents two very different styles of performance.
Appearing at the Drill Hall in Mullumbimby this week, Kavisha presents two nights, at the first she will be performing songs from her new album Returnella along with some favourites from her long career and on Saturday she presents Empty Sky, Singing and Chanting Meditation.
‘I have just made a new album,’ said Kavisha, a singer/songwriter with Asian, Burmese, Scottish and Italian heritage.
‘For the last 30 years I have been exploring Italian folk music. I have a new album – Returnella (or Little Swallow) – it is just so exquisite – all Italian songs of love and betrayal from the 14th century until now.
‘We all long for love and we all experience betrayal, they are archetypal songs and from all different regions of Italy and I present them as well as tell their story.’
When recording her latest album Kavisha wanted to keep it simple.
‘This new album was interesting because I decided to do it myself – I think recording is always dramatic and last time I did a record it was so intense working with everybody, I had Nano Stern produce my last album, and it was fantastic with what came out, but it was hard and intense and this time I wanted to make a super intimate album, something you can put on late at night or early in the morning, not something that will clobber you over the head!
‘I don’t want to do a dance track, I want to take you into a quiet place, so this is a good album for dining and seduction!
‘So far it’s paid off – it feels really rewarding that the aesthetic I envisaged for it is working. People are suffering from over-stimulation all the time and they want that sense of intimacy and gentleness, and the beauty of the songs is just gorgeous.’
It is Kavisha’s passion to lead her audience into the quiet places of the heart.
‘I have been interested in meditation for a long time, I did my first Vipassana at 17 and I have done quite a bit of chanting in my time, and the thing for me as a performer is that I love it when people join in and sing, there is a lot of audience participation in my show.
‘Empty Sky grew out of my noticing that certain songs when you finish the last note there is this silence and we have a convention to break it with applause. I thought, what happens if we kept this dedicated space where music and silence meet?
‘I love how music opens your heart and when your heart is open you don’t want to say anything. What I wanted to do was to bring chanting, meditation and vipassana together – that’s why I call it the Empty Sky – it’s just simple songs and chants, some of the traditional ones and some of the mystical sufi and zen poets as well – and I brought together little songs that have been created around their lyrics and then stuff I have composed as well – basically it’s exploring the sacred and mystical realm through song and the inspiration that takes us into our heart.’
Kavisha presents her first concert on Friday at 7pm for $20 at the Drill Hall in Mullumbimby and then on Saturday night at 7.30pm she presents Empty Sky for $15 at the same venue.
On Friday night she will be supported by young guitar virtuoso, Tullara Connors, whose made a name for herself as one half of the sister duo act, Siskin River. This is her first solo show in NNSW.