KATEI

Katei

I almost passed him by. He was just another busking artist, one of many that fill every block of Swanston Street in the centre of Melbourne. It was late on Friday night. I had a dinner on my own in Chinatown, sat down in a coffee shop with a book for a while, and just about ran out of ideas to kill any more time. I plugged in with something of my ‘walking’ heavy rotation through the in-ear Bose, volume turned up a bit high, pushing my way ahead of half drunken, half touristy crowd slowly moving down to Flinders Street station. First my eye caught the sight of the ‘cowboy photographer’ Kazu standing there, which made me stop to say hi, then I realised what he was there for. The sound of violin came in to my system as I pulled off the ear-plugs. It was not one of those amateur musicians.

At a break between songs, I walked up to him and asked if he would mind me photographing him at work. He was cool with that. I guess it is a matter of respect – many people just start snapping away, and maybe it was the way things are with many people with mobile phones. But I often get a lot more involved, moving around in their sight… and I would like them to be comfortable with it, and hopefully see the images and give me comment later. So it’s far better to just ask – all they can say is ‘no’. Then I would have just packed away my camera and enjoyed the music.

Katei

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Katei

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Katei

Even in Melbourne where people are generally appreciative of public art, a crowd around a musician is a sign of something real. People may be generous and paying attention to the performance around them, but they are also exposed to a lot of them and know the difference between something that is not worth their time and a few that they want to stick around while they last.

Katei

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Katei

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When the song finished, the applause rises from the crowd. He opens up his eyes wide and smiles. He almost looks like a totally different person – a craft man at work is not a friendly approachable young man! Not a few drops coins, some leave notes and grab a CD on the stand.

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Katei

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Katei

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Then he focuses his mind to the voice of his trusted instrument again…

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Katei

Are you now curious what his music sounds like? Well, as with many musicians, I find his live performance far better than what I hear on the CD or on YouTube. So make your way down to the city in the evening, when the sky is clear, and look out for a violin player with his own world about him…

… having said that, if you do not live in Melbourne, you may want to check out his YouTube and Facebook page to get started. Once he is back in touring, he may re-appear in Japan as well as other countries. So stay tuned!

Follow his performance schedules, send enquiries to
KATEI’s Facebook page

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Then again, it is Melbourne…

Another weekend, another outing on two-wheels. This time I did not go far from home. Up along the river one day, down towards the bay another.

Docklands

Docklands

"River Runs Though It, 2011, by Mark Stoner"

Starting off as a fine, warm morning, I would venture out in T-shirt and shorts. But then again, this is Melbourne. The city of ‘4 Seasons in One Day’ (yes, Crowded House must have written many of their songs here, on a weekend like this.)

The temperature would drop away, sun fading away replaced by cold wind… I pull on my 20-year-old LL Bean wind pullover, and still I cannot shake off the chill.

cloudy day in Marybinong

cloudy day in Marybinong

cloudy day in Marybinong

cloudy day in Marybinong

Oh well, before you know it it would be real warm, and we can really put away our winter clothings… but not just yet here.

Docklands

Docklands

"River Runs Though It, 2011, by Mark Stoner"

Arrival of the Spring

So the spring was here. The air felt much more ‘loose’ or ‘soft’. Hay fever and skin cancer are back on conversation again. My friend and I dusted the bike and went out to make the best of the beautiful sunny weekend.

sakura

sakura

sakura

We even drove down to my favourite ‘quick trip’ destination down on the Great Ocean Road.

Great Ocean Road drive Sun 31 Aug 2013

Great Ocean Road drive Sun 31 Aug 2013

Great Ocean Road drive Sun 31 Aug 2013

Great Ocean Road drive Sun 31 Aug 2013

I even spotted a griffin venturing out in the sun!

Great Ocean Road drive Sun 31 Aug 2013

Great Ocean Road drive Sun 31 Aug 2013

Great Ocean Road drive Sun 31 Aug 2013

We just knew we had to make the best of the weather… because we know what they call this city we live in…

Great Ocean Road drive Sun 31 Aug 2013

End of winter

wet evening at the end of winter

Little did I know it at the time, but a couple of weeks ago I was walking in the last week of winter in Melbourne.

wet evening at the end of winter

It was dark, heavy and wet.

wet evening at the end of winter

20 August 2013

Some days, the cloud seem so heavy. You could see the spots of heavy rain across the horizon.

Altona Beach

Monet's Pond

I realised that the art-filled winter is coming to an end. I jumped in to NGV to have a quick look at their Monet’s Garden exhibition. They are rather good. I’m hoping to check out again this weekend, before it closes on Sunday.

dusk in early spring

And one day, we woke up, to see the soft light shining through.

dusk in early spring

No more harsh cold wind. It’s just soft, hazy air out there.

dusk in early spring

People are starting to dress in shorter clothes.

dusk in early spring

Even the arrival of the night is not as depressing…

And we know…

Melbourne

The winter is gone.