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Frick, Helbock and Temsü to jazz Nagaland up

L-R Lanu Temsü, David Helbock and Simon Frick will perform at Hotel Saramati today from 6:30 P.M (Morung Photo
Simon Frick and David Helbock have been playing together for three years now. From the west and east of Austria respectively, Frick and Helbock have known each other since school, and playing together followed naturally. “There are a number of cultural forums in Austria, and we are privileged to have come together in this way, playing all over the world,” says David Helbock of what they call the Frick /Helbock Duo, which is all set to introduce electronic jazz to its audience in Nagaland. In a first of performances in South Asia, they will collaborate with local percussionist Lanu Temsü to perform at Hotel Saramati in Dimapur on December 12 (today), 6.30 pm onwards.
“Improvisation is the most important element of our music. We have composed several hundred pieces individually and arranged them together over the past three years,” says 28 years old Simon Frick, his locks tied up rather humbly. Photos on their website,, shows a more prolific, albeit quiet, personality that he comes across as in person. His music trend followed from classical to rock to jazz. Even now, the electronic violin he plays throws up a mix of metal, rock and blues. A five-stringed instrument that combines a violin and a viola, the electronic violin will be the first of its kind played in Nagaland.
David Helbock, just as tall as his counterpart, has, among others, gone through a phase of listening to Brazilian music. With a classical concert pianist diploma, Helbock, 29 years of age, composed a piece a year in 2009. For him, the practice of music is not as simple as learning to read notes. “Half of your practice as a musician can be in classical but the other half has to come naturally, with the mind kept out of the equation,” says Helbock, who has played in South America, New York and all over Europe. Nagas can look forward to Helbock on his piano/keyboard, apart from the other electronic sounds he is set to produce through percussions.
For both Frick and Helbock, the secret of jazz is not so much learning classical music and its re-construction, but a process that deploys a mixture of free will and analysis (notes) while also keeping them separate. Neither of them, however, has heard any Naga music yet and both are open to being introduced to new forms.
The interesting addition to the duo is local percussionist Lanu Temsü who has been playing for gospel based contemporary band Testify, and also teaches music at the Hope Centre for Excellence, Dimapur.  Temü has been playing the drums and the Bongo for nearly ten years now, and has performed with Lucia Panicker of the Phoenix Anthology last year. He is the co-owner of Pro Music Academy in Khermahal, Dimapur, and an extremely quiet person who is looking forward to experimenting with new styles. “The Frick/Helbock Duo is a great opportunity for this,” says Temsü.
Their performance will be followed up with a workshop with musicians here on December 13 at the Nagaland Conservatory of Music, Darogapattar, Dimapur, ending with a jam session with them. The event is a collaboration of ‘Jazz Nagaland’, formed last year by jazz enthusiasts here, and the Austrian Cultural Forum (Austrian Embassy). Both events are free for all to attend and participate in.

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