Meetings at the Table of Time is a musical trilogy for Sruthi Laya, a Carnatic (South Indian) ensemble from Chennai, India, and four members of the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO).
It was created as part of a practice-based PhD research project in the field of Carnatic jazz intercultural music.
The rationale was to explore the integration of ideas and aesthetics from jazz and Carnatic music into a unified whole with depth and integrity, while encouraging freedom of expression. An innovative musical platform for dialogue between Carnatic and jazz improvisers was created.
The work featured collaborative composition between Sandy Evans and South Indian mridangam virtuoso Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani. It was premiered in South India for the Hindu Friday Review November Fest 2012.
The AAO musicians were Adrian Sherriff (bass trombone, MD), Sandy Evans (saxophone), Scott Tinkler (trumpet), and Adam King (drums).
The members of Sruthi Laya were Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani (mridangam, MD), B.V. Balasai (flute), U.P. Raju (mandolin), and V. Suresh (ghatam).
Intercultural musical dialogue can be a powerful signifier for human interaction and the building of community. Over 3000 people heard the performances. For the musicians in this project, and audiences in Australia and India, intercultural musical dialogue was a bridge for building understanding and cooperation between cultures.
The work was awarded Performance of the Year at the 2013 Art Music Awards presented by APRA and The Australian Music Centre.