Derek Beres, creator of the national Flow Play program at Equinox Fitness, will be presenting at the 2015 IDEA World Fitness Convention in Los Angeles, which will be held from July 15-19. Flow Play, which he developed with music producer Philip Steir, explores the intersection of music, neuroscience and yoga. In 2015, Beres and Steir will be launching their new program, Mosaic Method, deepening their years of research as music and movement professionals in applying it to all aspects of fitness.

Beres will be presenting a workshop and lecture based on his work with Flow Play, as well as exploring how this applies in Mosaic Method. This unique approach not only looks at how music and movement affects our brains on a chemical and hormonal level, but also dives into the importance of storytelling in the fitness domain, as well as how constructing classes with an larger awareness of story and music offers participants the best possible experience in exercise.

With a 30-year long history, IDEA continues to set the standard for the industry by providing the world’s best practical fitness education, newest programs, trends and research. It is the world’s largest association for fitness and wellness professionals. Through its fitness events and conventions, IDEA reaches thousands of personal trainers, group fitness and mind-body instructors, program/fitness directors and business owners.

Nobel Peace Prize Concert organizers announced that Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan will perform at the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway on December 10 as well as the Nobel Peace Prize Concert on December 11.

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, chosen by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for “their struggle against the oppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education.”

It is a particular honor to have Amjad Ali Kham performing in both the Prize Ceremony as well as the Concert at the specific request of Kailash Satyarthi. Each of this year’s laureates will participate in both events, which are attended by the Norwegian Royal Family, the Norwegian Nobel Committee and figures of global importance.

“We are thrilled to have these great artists,” said Geir Lundestad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute. “This year we will focus more than ever before on the Prize winners and will showcase music from their home countries.”  The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony is held each year on December 10 and includes speeches and artistic performances, in addition to the awarding of the Nobel diploma and Nobel medal. This is followed the next evening by the Nobel Peace Prize Concert which is a musical celebration featuring artists from around the globe.

The Nobel Peace Prize is the most prestigious award in the world, honoring icons such as Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Barack Obama, Kofi Annan, Al Gore and other prominent individuals and organizations.

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Huun-Hurr-Tu Live in Toronto, Nov 20, 2014

By Allister Thompson

I have a thing for Central Asian music, which I wrote about in this piece, so I won’t recap here why it’s so appealing to me. This year, me and the wife were looking for a concert because we buy tickets every year to some event around the holiday season, instead of buying each other Christmas presents. Past experiences have been varied, from okay to horrible … from a fun Queen tribute band to awesome Kodo drummers to Shen Yun, which we unfortunately were not aware is a thinly (very thinly) veiled propaganda show and not an actual accurate representation of Chinese traditional culture.

So, searching carefully around this year, I got lucky when I visited Small World Musics site for the first time; I’m not entirely unfamiliar with this group’s promotions but had not attended any of its events. Well, didn’t my eyes just pop out of my head! Huun-Huur-Tu, the kings of Tuvan music, or actually, maybe the kings of Central Asian music as a whole, were coming to play two shows in an intimate venue. Finally, a chance to hear and see khoomei, kargyraa and sygyt throat singing up close and personal, as well as the fabulous instruments the band plays. It was a bit like how a normal dude feels when he scores a Stones ticket or something; I was pretty damn excited. I listen to Mongol and Tuvan music all the time — a bit of a mainstay around here.

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Susheela Raman at the LIAF Festival

If a band gets up and says “We are only going to be playing songs from our new album, not actually released here yet” normally most audiences would groan mightily. But somehow Susheela Raman has educated her audience to expect the unexpected. Her somewhat wayward musical path has included Indo-jazz, rock covers, Tamil voodoo music and introspective songs. It has not been one that a manager or record company would have recommended. They tend to like more of the same.

Susheela and her band did all the songs from the new album The Queen Between, only officially released in France I believe so far (although it was temporarily available through Songlines Magazine in this country) a powerful and varied selection. The strongest song on immediate impact being the title track and an Afrobeat-tinged work-out “Sharabi”, which means “alcoholic , one of those ambiguous Sufi words which could be about intoxication of the divine or simply getting drunk. Susheela dedicated the song to anyone who has an addiction – thus appealing to nearly everyone in the audience.

Continue reading on The Arts Desk.