East of West is a world music project led by Bosnian-born composer Goran Gajić (Double Bass), with Philip Griffin on Oud and Malindi Morris on Percussion. The trio formed in 2018 in order to explore new compositions that spring from the rich musical influences of the Balkans and the Mediterranean. East of West’s intricate story-telling compositions are spun over rich traditional rhythms, entwining elements of jazz and allowing space for open solos and improvisation.
Goran Gajić (Double Bass) is a Bosnian-born double bass player and composer. Brisbane based, he plays with jazz and world music acts and leads the project ‘East of West’. Goran has performed nationally and internationally, some highlights of which include two European tours, the Woodford Folk Festival, Mona Foma and the Blue Mountains Music Festival.
Philip Griffin (Oud, Laouto) is a musician, arranger and composer working across a wide range of styles. He has written music for the Royal Shakespeare Company; been a Young Artist for Opera Australia; directed the Fire Event Choir at Woodford Festival; played with Balkan bands including Makedonski Bop, Ssassa, Xenos and The Balkanics; toured and recorded with Ross Daly, Linsey Pollak, Frankie Armstrong and many others; created operatic roles in new opera performances; and played plucked strings with period instrument groups in New Zealand and Australia. In July 2018, he took the Senior New Zealand Ukulele Squad (a group he music directs comprising fifteen 14-17-year-old musicians) to perform at the Hawaiian Ukulele Festival.
Malindi Morris (Percussion) is a hand percussionist and composer drawing on influences from the Mediterranean, Balkans, Turkey and Iran. She specialises in Tapan, Darbuka and frame drums. She has studied and performed in both Australia and Europe, composing for the five-piece band, Lastovka, with performances at festivals such as Plavajoči Grad (Floating Castle) and other venues across Slovenia. Past projects in Australia include The Transbalkan Express, Dastan Sufi group and the Hikayat Ensemble, with performances at folk and multicultural festivals such as the Woodford Folk Festival, Scheherazade Festival, and the Queensland Multicultural Festival.
"East of West’s second album Moving Home balances spirited improvisation with measured and emotive solo outings to create mesmerising soundscapes. Their technical virtuosity is evident but the intuitive interplay between band members delivers a special touch of magic."
- Chris Lambie, Rhythms Music Magazine
"This debut release by Brisbane trio East of West evokes, as the title promises, the experience of meandering through the back streets and alleys of a Mediterranean port city, where a moment of solitude and tranquillity can suddenly be replaced, as one turns a corner, by bustle, debauchery and danger.
Bosnian-born bandleader, bassist and composer Goran Gajic, with oud player Philip Griffin and percussionist Malindi Morris, have crafted an album brimming with subtle touches and details, and replete with storytelling and imagery that's effective both mentally and viscerally."
- Eugene Ulman, The Sydney Morning Herald (★★★★)
'Beguiling', 'enchanting' and 'mesmerising' were some of the comments, and the applause after each piece and call for encore at the end showed how deeply appreciative the audience were."
- Robert Lachowicz
"You could hear a pin drop as everyone was enthralled by the performance which was totally acoustic and unplugged."
- Mama Juju