Maree Laffan Photography

Confluence (2018) is the second CD release by Eastwinds and reveals the band in its current six-piece lineup. The album comprises primarily compositions written within the group. Categorising Eastwinds is difficult, nigh impossible. Their mix of cultural influences and instruments has no parallel. An Estonian singer, an Iranian flautist/percussionist and a Japanese didge player gives just an inkling of their musical range. Add woodwinds (and world winds), guitar and double bass and the tapestry they create is akin to a Persian carpet of sound. It’s an enthralling and powerful journey! 

"Persian music brings a spacious, sonic quality to the music, while the Balkans provides its drive and energy. The success of this recording is that it has so skilfully drawn from these traditions to create something new and fresh. It has an energy and beauty that owes to these music forms and to the skilful musicianship of the band. There are an enormous variety of ideas here that takes the listener on a journey through unchartered waters. Sometimes sublime, sometimes surprising, but always engaging."

David Walker
, former President, Australian Institute of Eastern Music, Sydney

 Alma Sarhan Photography

Eastwinds released its eponymously-titled debut recording in 2015. They have played at two of the country’s most prestigious folk festivals: Fairbridge Festival in WA, and the National Folk Festival in Canberra. Their song Blame Lulu Peanuts won the World Music category of the WAM Song of the Year for 2016. The following year, they were nominated for Best Band in the same category.                                          

Eastwinds: Kristiina Malaaps (Voice & jaw harp - Estonia), Esfandiar Shahmir (ney & daf - Iran), Sanshi (didgeridoo & percussion), Steve Barnes (guitar & guizouki - UK), Mark Cain (saxophones & winds - Aus.) 

www.eastwindsmusic.com                                http://artistecard.com/eastwinds


Born in Pune, India, sarod maestro, Praashekh Borkar, is considered one of India's leading younger generation musicians. He is an outstanding sarod player, who has invented his own Esarod. This is the debut recording of the Praashekh Quartet and features guest tabla player, Siva Balakrishnan, the fine bass work of Roy Martinez and the diverse percussion skills of Jamie David.

The Praashekh Quartet EPK, including recordings, video, downloadable photos & bio:   http://artistecard.com/praashekhquartet



Daramad traverse the terrain between music of the Middle East, Iran and improvised jazz. Drawing on their different cultural backgrounds and improvisational skills, they perform original compositions as well as arrangements of tunes by composers of the Islamic world. 

In 2012 Daramad won the Songlines/World Network Medien international competition, Battle of the Bands.

"Singly, Daramad's many fine qualities are not so very rare; but you rarely find them all within one band. On the one hand, they offer serious musicianship, integrity, well-informed respect for various traditions. On the other, they are very playful, conversational, in-the-moment, fun, inventive. Composition and improvisation, eastern and western elements, tradition and innovation, quietude and jubilation are equally integral. Daramad's music is vital and substantial; it is worldly, but blessedly free of the crassness and/or tedious 'worthiness' that cripples rather too much so-called 'world' music". Doug Spencer (producer-presenter, 'The Weekend Planet', ABC Radio National)

“The group dynamics and improvisations in that rich Middle Eastern context, colour this authentic fusion, rewarding the close listener with jubilant exoticism". Peter WocknerJazz and Beyond   

"The band blends traditional Middle Eastern influences with the improvised energy of jazz. This it achieves with no small measure of sophistication, subtlety and skill on an interesting selection of instruments". Tony Hillier, Rhythms 

“You might like them for the musicianship, for the intriguing conceptual endeavour or exploring the junctions of styles that are worlds apart, for the near-psychedelic soundscapes that emerge or for the remarkable composition that has gone into this project.” Lyndon Blue, Cool Perth Nights          

“It’s difficult to imagine this music hailing from anywhere in particular, but with it’s fluid rhythms, sinewy melodies and exceptional musicianship it’s great that we can claim such an original musical creation as our own.” Adam Trainor, Music Director RTRFM 

"I've spent a few days listening to this and it really is a very special album thank you Mark CainReza Mirzaei, Mike Zolkier and Saeed Danesh and I so enjoyed the concert with Kate Pass and Tara Tiba adding not only the glamour but also fantastic passion and energy".  Alma Sarhan, Editor, Bellydance Oasis

“Working around a veritable snakepit of stealthy Middle Eastern rhythms, it operates like some kind of deadly tango noir as various guitar-like instruments encircle one another in a fevered embrace. Hunters for something a bit different will no doubt be salivating with anticipation for the upcoming album launch.” Drum Media



2006. NM126. distributed thru planet/mgm

Ozmosis are a duo comprising guitarist, Tim Chambers, who is well known for his passionate interest in hispanic string instruments and Mark Cain.

Intrepid boundary riders, they play a mix of Hispanic, Balkan and original music, all laced with liberal doses of improvisation.  Masters of a surprising array of woodwinds, strings and percussion, their debut recording takes a free-range intercontinental journey beyond time and place.

"We regularly play tracks from Ozmosis on Classic Drive, ABC Classic FM. Virtuoso performers, guitarist, Tim Chambers and reedman, Mark Cain, were drawn to the sounds emerging with the birth of World Music in the 1980's. One had dived into music of the  Balkans, the other into the enchanting music from the Andes. And now, 20 years on, they have released their first self-titled cd OZMOSIS.  And that's precisely what it is. And Ozmosis take on all they've played and made and consumed in that 20 yrs, gently tinged with a jazz feel at times. So this is neither Balkan not Andean, but is international Perthean.  And they're such fine musicians, that the appeal is immediate. Between them, they excel on countless instruments, some of which you'll recognize, some you will never have heard of. A one-off sound."  Julia Lester, Presenter, ABC FM Classic Drive


contact: citizencainm@bigpond.com 

Fourth Friday Freilach (Steve Barnes)
Bi Hamegaan (Esfandiar Shahmir/lyrics by Rumi)
The Gift (Mark Cain/Kristiina Maalaps/Lea Tabur)

Aeti mu mõtsa (trad. Estonian)
Blame Lulu Peanuts 
by Steve Barnes
Maalaps Marjuke by Kristiina  
Maalaps and lyrics by Lea Tabur 
                             7 For Esi by Mark  Cain 

Zornery by Mark Cain
Tigris Eye by Mark Cain
Isfahan by Reza Mirzaei 
Galactica by Michael Zolker

Includes Cain's Tune, Tigris Eye
Includes Cain's tune, Zornery

Santiago by Tim Chambers

 Celtic Bazaar by Mark Cain

Quentin's Taragotino Mark Cain

Decameron (trad. Italian)



2004. NM125. distributed thru planet/mgm

REEDS is a solo multi-layered recording featuring many of the wind and reed  instruments made and played by Cain. On some of the tracks he is joined by percussionist, Paul Tanner.

It's hard when multi-tracking yourself not to emerge with an unsparky thick lifelessness. But Australian, Cain, experienced in several traditions and master of a wide range of conventional, ethnic and unlikely reeds and flutes with gorgeous rich tone, joined by percussionist, Paul Tanner, makes clear-cut melodies with and interplay and wit that sounds like a finely attuned group. 
Andrew Cronshaw, Froots (FolkRoots Magazine), UK

REEDS is a new CD by West Austalian composer and improvising multi-instrumentalist, Mark Cain. As its name suggests, this album features a wonderfully diverse and exotic variety of wind instruments ranging from saxophones and clarinets to ancient, ethnic and newly-invented instruments, all played by a “one-man wind orchestra” with occasional percussion support.

In surprising and imaginative ways this richly textured music traverses jazz, non-western and early music influences. Its a venturesome and very listenable recording that takes the listener on a journey beyond maps and boundaries. As Cain puts it: “Since my teenage years, I’ve listened to ‘music from the other side of the fence’. It’s been a rich vein of inspiration that’s taken me into Balkan, klezmer, jazz, folk and beyond, as well as inspiring me to make my own instruments”.

Adventurous, highly diverse and readily accessible, Reeds is an apt title for Cain’s cornucopia of winds, which include lesser known instruments such as the gralla, a folk oboe from Catalonia; the taragotino, a small wooden saxophone; the gemshorn, a medieval bullhorn recorder and a range of self-made instruments, including the surgical glove bagpipe, a PVC chalumeaux and the slide ‘didgeriloo’. Some of the tracks also include some superb percussion courtesy of Paul Tanner.

The many instruments on this album serve the music masterfully. Reeds is a breath of fresh air from a musician for whom the next breath is just a sound away.                                                                                     Doug Spencer, Producer, The Planet, ABC Radio National

"Thank you, I am already attempting to convert my office-mate to Reeds!! (she's only heard half of the first song, and on a PC cd player so she's been told to imagine a better quality sound!!)   And now.... Smiles!!! Yes... this is the piece that just haunted me, I was walking past a cemetary with my 7 month old who was finally asleep and everything was peaceful and there was the view out over Cornellian Bay in Hobart and Classic FM played this piece and I didn't have a pen to write down what it was and and and and..... weeks later I heard it again in the car, pulled over and scrawled the details in lipstick on the back of a catalogue which was doubling as car flotsam... Thank you, if you come back to Hobart please make sure there is heaps of PR leading up to the concert so I can arrange a babysitter.....                                                                                Cheers,A very hooked southern groupie??"    Melanie Abbott (Tasmania)


contact: citizencainm@bigpond.com


Recorded live outside at a house party, this album captures the spirit of the band in concert. A magic carpet ride embroidered by klezmer, Balkan, Carpathian and gypsy musical threads, this is music for another present era, where life is a dance and tradition never stands still long enough for the dust to truly settle. 

Voted best World Music Act at the 2008 WAMI Awards, The Flying Carpathians play a contagiously energetic fusion of music from central and eastern Europe with a uniquely Australian touch. A dazzling array of instruments at their fingertips and influences from the Balkan dance floors and beyond, theirs is an unstoppable flying carpet ride of exuberant roots music! This versatile quartet features violin, cello, guitar, saxophone, as well as electric bass, mandolin and percussion.  They also introduce traditional instruments such as the Macedonian gaida (bagpipe) and Turkish zurna (oboe).

Meet the The Flying Carpathians at the crossroads, where village music meets Rom gypsy and jazz.  And, yes, we also get down and dirty to teach dances in traditional style – this is music where your feet do the talking!So hold tight to that flying carpet... you're in for quite a ride.

The Flying Carpathians are: Tony Lane: fiddle & mandolin; Danielle Pender: guitar,percussion; Sarah Peet: cello & electric bass. Mark Cain: saxophones & ethnic reeds.

      Shlomo's Dance by Mark Cain

Gralla by Mark Cain

Funtashlikh by Naftule Brandwein
African Marketplace 
by Abdullah Ibrahim


2001. NOVA CD004. available via the nova ensemble website

POCKETS is a testament to musical invention. It's recorded by one of Western Australia’s most respected and long standing groups, Nova Ensemble, whose use of industrial and recyclable materials is their unmistakable onstage trademark. Featuring a unique ingenue of eye-catching and wondrous sounding instruments, Nova’s music overflows with amazing percussion and woodwind rhythms that make this recording a gem - a tapestry of influences and traditions informed by our proximity to the neighbouring Indian Ocean region, yet unmistakably Australian. A mainstay of the national Musica Viva in Schools programme for the past decade, Nova was a hit at the 2001 JakArt Festival [Jakarta], performed to sell-out audiences at the 2002 Perth International Festival [“Drummers of Gilgamesh”] and inspired Singaporean schools on their 2003 Musica Viva Tour. Enjoy the soundbites!

Nova Ensemble: David Pye, Paul Tanner, Amanda Dean & Mark Cain


contact: citizencainm@bigpond.com

Below are my two marimba quartet pieces

2000. NOVA CD002. available via the nova ensemble website

JUNKELAN takes place in a bleak, apocalyptic future, where wandering cyber minstrels sift through aftermath debris creating in turns shuddering, eerie and evocatively lyrical sounds from cold steel and industrial plastics. Scrap metal and hi-tech converge in an orchestra of ingenius found and reconstructed objects. Phoenix-like, out of post-holocaustal embers, music evolves using whatever resources can be found.. Sonic imagination transforms corroded industrial fragments into a soundscape of considerable power and intensity. The performance and subsequent recording integrate primitive and new technologies with cultural influences from Indonesia and SE Asia. Oil drum taiko, cog bonangs, contra pvc clarinet, frog tubes, stop-sign-a-phone, megadidge, chainmakers and heckle'n'jeckle are just a few of the instruments comprising the otherwordly.

contact: citizencainm@bigpond.com


listen to 1 minute sample MP3

11. Ritual Fragments: Drumming

NOVA ENSEMBLE: SAMPLER                                                                    

A panorama of Nova Ensemble's music for concert, dance and theatre. The music is performed in or for various settings: Junkelan, Rock Sing by Moonlight, Orchestra of the Global Nomads, Trash, The Cave and Inventions. Composer credits include: David Pye, Gary Ridge, Lee Buddle, Warick Bone & myself.

MP3 sample: 
Celtic Bazaar: [Mark Cain] was recorded in Mammouth Cave, Margret River, WA in 1994


listen to 1 minute sample MP3

4. Celtic Bazaar