Tok Pan Tok
"Eyes Of A Child"

The Music..... Original world music - The haunting sounds of the pan pipe interweaves with the soaring improvisations of vocalist Subhan, the innovative guitar of Simon Nield, Dave Hyams/Kelly Bennett on bass guitar with the driving drumming of Paul Barrett..... all music written over the past twelve years, resulting from Peter Keelan's sojourns to Bolivia, Rumania, Solomon Islands, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

The Focus..... is a story of the people, their lives, traditions and environments, from countries where the pan pipe still thrives (Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Romanina, Solomon Islands) plus songs which reflect on life in Australia

  The Musicians / Instruments.......
~ Peter Keelan....... pan pipes, didgeridoo, flutes and odd instruments 
~ Subhan............... soaring vocals 
~ Simon Nield............ guitar and vocals
~ Paul Barrett............. surdo and tambour drums
~ Kelly Bennett.............. bass guitar
~ Dave Hyams................... mandolin and bass guitar
~ Paul Tanner.................... marimba
~ Andrew McKay-Simm................ saxophone
~ Russell Burrows.................... congas and percussion
~ Russell Johnson..................... hurdy gurdy
~ Optamus and Dynamikes................. rapping
~ Leigh Caddy............................. piano
~ Dipaunka Macrides........................ drum kit
~ Josh Hogan................................. udu drum
~ Clayton Chipper.............................. drum kit
~ Sally Maer..................................... cello

The Songs

  • Plank For A Hat (Williams, Keelan)

    Russell Johnson: hurdy gurdy Subhan: vocals
    Simon Nield: guitar, vocals Paul Barrett: surdo and tambour drums
    Peter Keelan: maltapans, lekolilo flute, vocals, cabasa, woodblock, feet rattles, cowbell
    Kelly Bennett: bass guitar

    Snippets of life, as seen from the backs of trucks and bus windows, whilst travelling from Zimbabwe to Tanzania. Whilst walking up Mt. Mhalange, in Malawi, I came upon a man half my size, carrying two five metre planks atop his head, they must have weighed over 60 kilograms.

    Before leaving Harare, Zimbabwe, a well known mbira player gave Cecile and me some lessons to learn mbira (African thumb piano). When I returned three months later I heard that he had died of AIDS. He left behind a wife and thirteen children. Two weeks after his death his brother also died of AIDS.

    The second last line of the song is also the album title.... Eyes Of A Child. The idea is that I remind myself to try and observe things as if I were a child, as I say to myself that it is only then that I will really start to see.

    ....Yazi Bulla... original language, made up by Cecile Williams, who travelled with me. Cecile also embroidered the cover to this album, a beautiful piece (about 250mm square in real life) which now exists up on my wall to remind me of our many wonderful journeys together. This song resulted from many 'jams' that Cecile and I had, me playing piano and singing , Cecile playing her double flute and singing.

  • Juan The Maker (Keelan)

    Peter Keelan: quenas Subhan: vocals Sally Maer: cello
    Simon Nield: guitar, vocals Paul Barrett: surdo, tambour, chimes
    Kelly Bennett: bass guitar Dave Hyams: mandolin

    In 1993 I travelled to Bolivia to learn more about their culture, and to learn how to make zamponia (pan pipes) and quena (end blown flute). I knocked on many doors before I was 'taken in' by Juan Vera. Living in the poor suburb of Alto La Paz (high La Paz) he welcomed me into his life in the most uncomplicated and generous way.

    We worked together every day for three weeks as he showed me his craft and told me occasional stories. He was a simple man, of no formal education, who taught me about things far more important than instrument making. This is my love song to him.

  • Rarest Beauty (Keelan)

    Leigh Caddy: piano Subhan: vocals Sally Maer: cello
    Simon Nield: guitar, vocals Peter Keelan: vocal, didgeridoo
    Paul Barrett: surdo, bells Dave Hyams: bass guitar, crying guitar

    A friend dies of a heroin overdose. A time of great pain for many.

  • Blankets of Dust (Keelan,Chambers)

    Subhan: vocals Peter Keelan: chromopans, vocals
    Simon Nield: guitar, vocals Kelly Bennett: bass guitar
    Sally Maer: cello Paul Barrett: surdo and tambour drums, shaker

    Sheets of white noise, thin beds of cardboard and blankets of dust. Whilst living in Bucharest, Romania, for six months to study nai (traditional Romanian pan pipe), I was disturbed by the plight of the street children.

    I also stayed a couple of nights in an orphan childrens home and could finally understand why children would rather escape such institutions and live on the streets.

  • Old Man Paoni (Keelan, Tanner)

    Paul Tanner: marimbas Subhan: vocals Simon Nield: guitar, vocals
    Kelly Bennett: bass guitar Sally Maer: cello
    Peter Keelan: chromopans, surdo drum, guiro, agogo bells, bongos, congas, mouthbow, taped sounds of water, birds and walking

    In the remote northern Solomon Islands is a place known as the Marovo Lagoon. Some believe it to be the ninth wonder of the world.... I know it to be a place of immense serenity and natural beauty.

    It is here that I met Mr. Paoni and his wife whilst looking for a secluded place to write poetry, stories, music and to think. I spent time walking and talking with this old man who had fought the Japanese in the war and who would gleefully laugh in a high pitched voice and tell me about his life.

    I eventually rented an isolated island from Mr. Paoni and lived there for over three weeks with a newly met friend, Richard Cormier. It is on his traditional land, his island, that this song was written, along with Solomon Samba and Pelevo Outer Space (from the Ma Fren CD)..... Pelevo being the name of that island.

    Paul Tanner of WASO / Magnetic Pig Ensemble, and a good friend, wrote the chords to this song.

  • Mr Cappo Shoes (Keelan, Nield)

    Subhan: vocals Simon Nield: guitar, vocals
    Paul Barrett: surdo and tambour drums, woodblock, shaker, rainmaker
    Kelly Bennett: bass guitar Peter Keelan: maltapans, clave
    Andrew McKay-Simm: saxophone

    In Romania I would travel daily on the underground railway to the music school where virtuoso nai player Cornel Pana taught. I started to realise that people were very aware that I was on the train. Some days I was sure the whole train was staring at me.... at my feet. I started to feel the effects of the securitate (secret police) system and wonder how they knew I was an outsider.

    Then I realised that my brand new Nike sandshoes cost more than the average annual salary of most of those people. That night I tore off the Nike symbols, scuffed my shoes in the dirt and wrote the words to this song. I then collaborated with Simon Nield (known as the man with the slashing red pen) and we came up with this song.

  • Can't See The Light (Nield, Keelan)

    Simon Nield: guitar, vocals Sally Maer: cello Subhan: vocals
    Kelly Bennett: bass guitar Peter Keelan: chromopans Paul Barrett: shaker, chimes

    In Malawi, Africa, I heard that there existed a place where some old traditional pan pipers had kept alive an obscure tradition of music and dance. Two buses and an epic bush taxi ride landed Cecile and me in the middle of nowhere. In this case it was also the start of a walk to the home of Mr. Basket, the leader of the group.

    Drought had ravaged once fertile lands and left eight of his group too weak to make the kilometres of foot travel to pick up United Nations food handouts. They had died.

    A year later I received a letter from the guide who had taken me there and he told me that Mr. Basket had also died. Sadness created this piece of music, with great help and editing from singer / guitarist / friend Simon Nield.

  • Olivias Dance (Keelan)

    Peter Keelan: maltapans, plaspans, toyos, drop tubes, udu and bombo drums, karimba, shaker , blowbottles

    Inspired by pan pipe traditions of the Tenaru pan pipers from the Solomon Islands. I have tried to recapture that feeling of the first time I sat and heard the mesmerising sound of twenty pan pipers and several thong-o-phone players. I was elated and overwhelmed by such unusual and beautiful music.

    Originally this piece was commissioned for a solo dancer with a local contemporary dance ensemble... for the album I reworked it, added several instruments such as the karimba and.... walllah!

  • The Babies No Cry (Keelan)

    Subhan: vocals Simon Nield: guitar, vocals
    Paul Barrett: tambour drum Kelly Bennett: bass guitar
    Peter Keelan: maltapans, cowbell, tin-tin, vocals, surdodrum

    Why do babies, wrapped in kanga cloths (traditional African cloth), and mounted on the hips of African women, smothered in dust and heat, with hunger added... why do they not cry? Song written while I was in Zimbabwe.

  • Reflections (Keelan)

    Sally Maer: cello Kelly Bennett: bass guitar Subhan: vocals
    Simon Nield: guitar, vocals Peter Keelan: Chinese flute
    Paul Barrett: surdo and tambour drums

    Romania was a lonely experience. The first three months in Bucharest (whilst taking intensive language lessons) was an isolated and difficult time. I was kept buoyant by the letters and memories of my friends back home. This song was written after picking up some letters from the British Consulate.... the faithful letter writing friends, the jokes, silly banter, poems, stories and news.

  • Solomon Samba (Tanner, Keelan)

    Andrew McKay-Simm: saxophone Russell Burrows: congas
    Paul Barrett: surdo, snare, log and tambour drums
    Dave McKinney: drum kit, triangle Kelly Bennett: bass guitar
    Peter Keelan: malta, zanka, thong-o-phones, vocal percussion, quenacho, bottlesagogo, tamborim, shakers, botbira

    Captures the life and moods of the Marovo Lagoon, in the Solomon Islands. Tranquillity and serenity broken into by occasional tropical downpours, visits by dolphins or sharks, or nighttime lightning displays of unbelievable proportions.

  • Hippo Me Hippo (Keelan)

    Andrew McKay-Simm: saxophone Optamus (Scott Griffiths): rap
    Dynamikes (Shahbaz Rind): rap Clayton Chipper: drum kit,timbale
    Paul Barrett: surdo and tambour drums Kelly Bennett: bass guitar
    Subhan: vocals Simon Nield: guitar, vocals
    Russell Burrows: congas, timbalitos, cowbell
    Peter Keelan: maltapans, toyos, didgeridoo, vuuta vuuta,

    The melody came whilst watching hippos, while camping on the edge of the Zambezi River, in Zimbabwe. The words came from an inspired spell of creativity while living on a deserted island, Pelevo Island, in remote Solomon Islands.

  • Flying Fish Chorus (Keelan)

    Peter Keelan: plaspans, wobble boards, gongs, vocals, karimba
    Josh Hogan: udu drum Paul Barrett: drumcasedrum Subhan: vocals

    One hundred feet under the ocean's surface, in the Solomon Islands, is an alternate and wondrous world of sea life known as Grand Central Station. This is a musical description of that world, including a visit from a large shark who looked at us (learner scuba divers), circled and I'm sure said "ho hum", and left in a display of the most pure power and speed.

  • The Gypsy (Keelan)

    Peter Keelan: kazoopans, thong-o-phones (blown and struck!), tube drums, cardboard case drums, kettledrum, rondrum, woodblock, karimba, plaspans, vocals
    Ron Reeves: kendang drums, shaker Kelly Bennett: bass guitar
    Paul Barrett: surdo and tambour drums
    Subhan: vocals Simon Nield: guitar, vocals

    Questions, answers and mysteries. The words resulted from a conversation that I had with an old man on a plane, whilst returning after a trip to Cuba. He was one of the most interesting people I had ever met.... he said he had been a university professor, of what faculty I don't know, but after a four hour intensive discussion on the world and the universe, love, politics, pollution, etc. etc etc. we stood up to leave the plane at Perth airport. He tapped me on the shoulder and with a big smile said "but don't take it all too seriously". I try to give a feeling of the timelessness and passion, the questioning, that I believe exists in us all.

  • Gypsy Dance (Keelan)

    Peter Keelan: malta, zanka, toyo, plaspans, vocals, snare and bombo drums
    Kelly Bennett: bass guitar Subhan: vocals Simon Nield: guitar, vocals

    A celebration, wild dancing and candle lit faces. The way forward is to take one step after another.... just as those gypsies in Romania seem to do. So despised and oppressed... yet surviving. Walking. Dancing. Celebrating what they have.

    In a sense, this song is like the type of reminder note you leave to yourself at the front door.... "before leaving turn on answering machine".... in this case it says... keep walking, dancing, learning, celebrating,.... record another CD!!

    The musical style is based on an "arca / ira" (male / female) tradition called a sikuri from Bolivia. A simple melody played as both the on and off beats by two separate players.