Historians often speculate that percussion instruments were the first musical devices ever created. In the case of Alwan – meaning “colour” in Arabic – a tight, yet very cool three piece Middle Eastern ensemble, Matt Stonehouse and his mesmerising percussion were the heartbeat of the music and atmosphere at the sublime surrounds of Port Phillip Estate last week.


Beware the mesmerising hands of Matt Stonehouse.

If ever there was a perfect night to showcase the very best of the Mornington Peninsula’s architecture, arts, community, gourmet, panoramas and wine then Alwan’s performance at Port Phillip Estate – part of this years Peninsula Summer Music Festival’s After Hours series – is our #1 candidate.


Introducing Phil Carroll on the accordion, ney flute, duduk, zurna…kitchen sink? We wouldn’t put it past him.

Matt was equally supported by the silky skills of Phil Carroll (accordion, ney flute, duduk, zurna, vocals) – both Melbourne-born musicians trained in Turkey and Iran – and the flair of Israel-born Yuval Ashkar (oud, vocals, percussion). The band came together to entertain, inspire and play their brand of Turkish, Arabic, Persian and Sephardic music to what was a sell out crowd.


Worthy of being the centre of attention – Mr. Yuval Ashkar.

It can be said that the drums, accordion and oud of Alwan may be from a time that has passed, however they formed the backbone of music on the night that sweetly moved and caressed to the tune of our modern day lives. There was even a break away shoe tapping, hand clapping set of patrons that formed part of the rear guard in what was a very relaxed and informal evening of entertainment. All that was missing we’re a few Hookah’s (water pipes) to further authenticate the funky experience.


The sublime Port Phillip Estate was an ideal venue.

On a final note LTP we’re lucky to witness another mesmerising performance that formed part of this years Peninsula Summer Music Festival (PSMF). We take this opportunity to thank Russell, Jenny, Julia and the rest of the PSMF team for this wonderful event. We’re lucky to have access to so many world class acts and performances over the summer festive season in the Mornington Peninsula. Keep up the great work and we look forward to the launch of PSMF#7 in 2013. For those who missed out join the mailing list and keep in the loop with next years event.


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