Euphony Groove Trio is a collective of musicians that perform original and improvised music on instruments from the near and far east, combining their individual traditional studies with influences from modern music to create a sound that is both compelling and energized. Developing a local following, the group performs at the Loft in Brattleboro Vermont on a regular basis and gives concerts at the Zeitgeist Gallery in Cambridge Massachusetts and as well as on the air with the radio stations WMUA and WMBR.
Frederick Stubbs is a musician, teacher, and a craftsman based in Lexington, Massachusetts. Fred has a doctorate in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and plays the Turkish ney. He was a Fulbright-Hays scholar in Istanbul in 1991 where he studied with Niyazi Sayin and Ihsan Ozgen. He is a founding member of the EurAsia Ensemble, and appears regularly with El Arte Flamenco, and other groups in the Boston Area. He is a Lecturer in World Music at the University of Massachussetts-Boston, and a music teacher at the Lexington Montessori School.
Shanteri Baliga began her studies of Makam (mode) at Tufts University in 1997. She has appeared with many Boston area groups including the Eurasia Ensemble, The Cambridge Turk Musigi Cemiyeti, Dunya, Euphony Groove and El Arte Flamenco.
Kevin Germain is a sufi musician, composer, poet & father. He has performed as a solo musician as well as with the Springfield Accordion Orchestra, the Boston noise band Kudgel, the Pioneer Valley Fiddlers, and the Cambridge Muziki Cemeyeti. Kevin also studies Sufism under the direction of Shaykh Taner Ansari.
Frederick Stubbs Turkish Ney
Shanteri Baliga Ney and Bendir
Kevin Germain Turkish Oud, Guitar & Bowed Tanbur
Interview with Ken Field
[+ Show ]
Ken Field: Can you tell me about the name (Euphony Groove)? Fred Stubbs: Well, we understand the ...Ken Field: Can you tell me about the name (Euphony Groove)?
Fred Stubbs: Well, we understand the idea of euphony to mean the wellness of sounds or good sound, sounds that go together. Tom explains groove usually as a rythym that repeats over and over.
The idea of Euphony Groove is to take back for ourselves and to inspire others. Especially those people who think of themselves as not musicians to have a try and put something together. To enjoy and delight in that process, because making sound free is a great activity and very good for the soul.
Ken Field: When you do this are there any rules that you set for yourselves?
Fred Stubbs: We're evolving principles over the years. We've wondered that, are there any rules? Or what separates this from a self righteous rant or simply a mindless jam? Sometimes there is no separation. But the two things I've learned as a ethnomusicologist over the years is that music is about unison sounding together, its about coincidence sounding at the same time. These principles of social teamwork are useful outside of music, too...
So those are our starting points for our ideas in Euphony Groove,
stay tuned for the book and theme tour...
Ken Field: Fred I'd like to ask you, you are some what well known in the area as far as your work and your music. Can you talk a little bit about other things you have done here in the Boston area and else where? You have done a lot of interesting things, lots of cross cultural things and collaborations with David Maxwell and other things.
Fred Stubbs: Sure I'd be glad to. I have been fortunate to play with a lot of great musicians everywhere, the great blues pianist David Maxwell is one of my musical companions. We have worked together in several sordid ensembles, usually playing at the Zeitgeist in Cambridge, but sometimes other places. David seems to follow Eastern music very very carefully and we study together sometimes. We trade lessons on blues and makam. So I have very much enjoyed that in him and his introducing me to other musicians.
Another person I should mention is Katharine Hernandez who is no
longer in the area and she plays violin in an avant guard style. I
also play some other traditional musics, I am very happy to be an instrumentalist for a group called El Arte Flamenco run by Roberto Rios. It is a flamenco band, we have two dancers, two guitars, a singer and two ney flute players. One other traditional combinations I'd like to mention is my son Frank who's playing jazz piano and has inspired me to play bass. I didn't bring that, though today, there's no room for it here the studio.
Ken Field: I saw you perform with a very large ensemble, maybe it was at the MFA, does that sound familar?
Fred Stubbs: Was that this winter?
Ken Field: Yes, I believe it was.
Fred Stubbs: Oh, yes, thank you for mentioning that. That was the Cambridge Muziki Cemeyeti run by Feridun Ozgoren, a wonderful musician, instrument maker and artist who leads a Turkish chorus here at MIT about once a week. That concert was at the MFA and I was pleased that my teacher Niyazi Sayin could be here from Istanbul to accompany. Feridun, very kindly, invites me now and then to sit in with his group. I've known him for many years now and he's been important in assisting me in learning the art of luthery.
Interview with WMUA
[+ Show ]
Interview with Idris's show streamsbecoming & WMUA Fred Stubbs: Lets start with Tom, Tom can you...Interview with Idris's show streamsbecoming & WMUA
Fred Stubbs: Lets start with Tom, Tom can you explain that thing you have there?
Tom: Its a Chinese Hammered Dulcimer called a Yang Chin. Its played with small bamboo mallets and it is a folk instrument.
Todd: I play a variety of percussion from the Middle East, the dumbec or darbuka, a number of tambourines and frame drums as well - all from North Africa, Middle East and Turkey.
Kevin: I brought a Turkish Oud, which is the grandfather to what we here in the West know as a lute, except that it doesn't have frets, the wires on the neck which determine where the performer positions his fingers.
Fred: Stuart can you rap that thing so we can hear it?
(Stu plays the drum set for a bit.)
Fred: Stuart is the only legitimate musician in our group. (Laughs)
WMUA: Can you tell us a little history of the group? And I am also interested, you say the group is a collective, so do you have some other musicians that show up sometime?
Fred: Well, we've going along for about six years now. We've worked with a few people, I'll just mention their names because they're out there. A great Didgeridoo player Matthew Burton of Montreal, we've played with also the percussionist Junior "Gabu" Wedderburn of New York City and we've worked with John Hughes, a Kora player from Vermont. Who am I leaving out?
Todd: We've played with the vocalist Molly Malone from Brattleboro, Vermont.
Fred: Idris you want to know, when did the group start? Tom can you help me out here?
Tom: We started out as a duo I think. And Fred & I played a show... Todd is vigorously shaking his head..
WMUA: There is obviously a story here...
Tom: Ya, stories within stories... we played a concert in Boston as a duet that began as a completely improvised affair. Since then we've developed repertoire and played with various musicians as a trio or quartet the whole time.
Fred: And the general idea behind the whole thing is to try to mix some timbres that don't ordinarily find their ways together. To bring some of the theories that they project into central space and try to synthesize them with other theories, hopefully out comes a new music.
WMUA: Do you play all improvised?
Fred: Well, our most composed pieces are hugely improvised, we are very good at making it up, occasionally we are able to remember a few lines together or bits of form. So when the chaos yields to order that must be one of our composed moments...
WMUA: Well ok, thanks for coming, we look forward to hearing your music.
Euphony Groove creates loosely composed music that plays each musician's traditional skills upon or against certain principles of improvisation. While we do have certain specific songs, melodies and/or forms that we draw from and return to for concert purposes, at times much of our set is composed on the stage by direct improvisational interplay.
If the venue you wish Euphony Groove to perform in has certain requirements as far as audience, time, and or 'mood', you will find we can most certainly adjust the music to fit your audience and needs.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.