DecaDance is a celebration of ten years of Mixed Beans multicultural choir. The album takes the listener on an uplifting journey through a myriad of cultures, languages, landscapes and emotions, sung by a diverse community of voices.
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DecaDance is the choir’s second album and presents twelve tracks in a mixture of original songs, covers and traditional folk-songs. Reflecting Mixed Beans’ richly diverse multi-lingual repertoire, there are songs in nine languages, including Japanese, Romanian, Maori, Bislama (Vanuatu) and English.
The album opens with two pieces written by Cath Mundy, Mixed Beans’ conductor of ten years. The upbeat Jingeri!, greets the listener in the Yugambeh language of the traditional custodians of the choir’s local region, followed by an “Acknowledgement of Country” in Welcome – It’s Time To Sing.
Long-term Mixed Beans member Cathy Korzeniewski contributes an original song to the album – the kooky children’s song Mad Monkeys. Two more children’s songs, Inanay and Ahakama, one Aboriginal and one Maori, add to the delightfully playful elements of the album.
The album also takes a voyage to the beautiful islands of the South Pacific with the laid-back Aelan Dress from Vanuatu and the dynamic We Know The Way from Disney film Moana, sung in Tokelauan, the Polynesian language of Moana songwriter Opetaia Foa’i.
Peace is observed in modern-day hymn Let It Go, the wise words of Australian poet and cartoonist Michael Leunig set to beautiful music by Suzann Frisk, whilst the wistful Japanese folk-song Sakura celebrates the famous cherry blossoms of that land, heralding the spring.
The emotional tumult of unrequited love is expressed with great verve in Romanian folk-song, Dragoste, Buruiană Rea (Oh Love, You Bad Weed), taught to the choir by renowned Romanian folk-singer Sirma Granzulea.
All Around The World by Australian singer-songwriter Fay White speaks of the power of song to bring people together and to heal “the hardened heart”. Featuring the darambuka rhythms of musician Alyssa Maughan, this track evokes a stirring Middle-Eastern flavour.
Indian-fusion artist Menaka Thomas features as guest vocalist on the track Ubuntu / DecaDance (The Story of Mixed Beans). This original piece, written for the album by John Rodriquez, Jay Turner and Cath Mundy to celebrate the choir’s first decade, combines a mesmeric dance groove with polyphonic choral chanting and spoken word.
The African term ‘Ubuntu‘ means ‘I Am, Because We Are’ while Menaka Thomas offers the equivalent phrase in Sanskrit; “Yo Ahamasmi brahmaahamasmi” meaning “that which is the whole, that I am.” This philosophy is fully embraced and embodied in Mixed Beans multicultural choir.
The choir were recorded live at Alchemix Studios, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, on 15 June 2019.
Recording Engineers: Marly Lüske, Mitchell Jay
Mixing and Mastering: Marly Lüske
Produced by Singclusion Inc (John Rodriquez, Jay Turner, Cath Mundy & Kerrie Rodriquez)
Conductor, Musical Director & Choral Arranger: Cath Mundy
Backing Tracks produced by Jay Turner (Track 2, 3, 6) at Skyline Studio, Waterford
We Know The Way backing track produced by Karaoke Version (used with permission)
Song Translation & Pronunciation: Sirma Granzulea and Vasi Romanescu (Track 9), Rosie Weqas (Track 8), Yugambeh Museum (Track 1), Jo Bolger (Track 10).
All repertoire on this album was licenced by APRA-AMCOS.
Guest Vocalist: Menaka Thomas (Track 9)
Photography: Vincent Swift
Album Graphic Design: Jay Turner
Videography/Video Editing: Pascal Burger
Camera-Operators: Mael Burger, Vali Wood, Michael O’Brien
Choir Scarves Maintenance: Robyn Martin
Tracks 1 & 2: Catherine Mundy
Track 3: Cathy Korzeniewski
Track 4: Fay White
Track 5: Lou Bennett of Tiddas
Tracks 8, 9, 10 & 11: Traditional arranged by Catherine Mundy
Track 6: John Rodriquez, Jay Turner & Catherine Mundy
Track 7: Michael Leunig and Suzann Frisk
Track 12: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Opetaia Tavita Foa’i
Guitars & Ukuleles: Jay Turner
Bass Guitar: Chris Powell
Darambuka, Clapsticks, Ukulele: Alyssa Maughan
Ukulele, Violin, Keyboard: Cath Mundy
Piano: David Chivers
Ukulele: Lee-Anne Dobson
Extra Percussion: Kerrie Rodriquez, Helen Romanescu, Robyn Martin, Mei Har Rundle, John Rodriquez, Johanna Mountier, Christine Brightman, Cathy Korzeniewski
Track 3: Cathy Korzeniewski. Monkey Vocals: Christine Woods, Chloe Mackie
Track 4: Cath Mundy
Track 6: (in order of entry) John Rodriquez, Cath Mundy, Menaka Thomas. Spoken Word: Jay Turner
Track 9: Ion (John) Romanescu with Johanna Mountier, Adrianna van Stiphout, Helen Romanescu
Choristers who sang on the album
Ae Sook Mankiewicz
Mei Har Rundle
Ion (John) Romanescu
Adrianna Van Stiphout