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Australian musician takes his time to enrich local music scene

Update: July, 30/2015 - 09:41

Dynamic duo: Tass Petridis performs with pop star Hong Nhung during the final round of the Vietnam Idol 2015 contest at the end of May this year. — Photos thegioivanhoa.com.vn

by Nguyen Hoai Luong

The music industry in HCM City has developed recently with not only domestic but also international musicians contributing to the pheno-menon.

Tass Petridis, a Greek Australian guitar bassist and musician, is one such a person, who settled down here a few years earlier but has helped stir up the city's music life.

Before moving to Viet Nam, he worked as a teacher of music at the University of Melbourne for nearly 20 years and had been an active musician in Australia with 22 years of experience, working in studio, TV shows and giving live performances.

He has performed with various popular artists including Disco Metego band, singer Julie O'Hara and singer-songwriter, guitarist Ross Wilson. He has co-produced 86 albums of music of various genres including jazz, R&B, rock and pop and a solo album.

Petridis said he first came to Viet Nam in 2010 and was quite surprised by the similarities between Viet Nam and Greece, his homeland. His connection to the country [Viet Nam] has grown stronger, which, three years later, made him decide to settle down here.

Noted singer couple Cam Van and Khac Trieu were among his first acquaintances here, who then soon bridged him with many local music workers [composers, singers, producers…].

"I think Petridis is a talented composer and musician, who has reached an advanced level of performance that is at par with international level. His creativity is now at its peak," commented popular musician Huy Tuan, a close friend of Petridis, adding, "He is the best gift for any music lover."

Patridis runs his own studio at his home in District 7, where he deals with all the procedures involved in music production.

"When I decided to settle down in VietNam, it was because I wanted to work with Vietnamese artists as I know I will become a part of the local music world," he said.

Tran Thien Nam Huong, a piano teacher in HCM City's MPU Music school and one of Petridis's students, said he was the first person to recognise her potential to compose songs and encouraged her.

"He is very open and shared with me his abundant knowledge of different kinds of music that are not popular in VietNam," Huong said, adding, "I learnt many things from him."

Hitting the right note: Tass Petridis, a Greek Australian guitar bassist and musician, settled here just a few years ago, but has helped stir up the music scene in HCM City.

Petridis practises with his instruments up to 8 hours a day ever since he was 19 and moved from Greece to Melbourne.

He possesses a collection of instruments of various kinds, ranging from Vintage violins and mandolins to Vietnamese zithers. Among them is a 1978 Fender Jazz bass, his most favourite that he first played in 1984, and which has been his main instrument ever since.

Petridis has been invited to appear as a guest judge at various music prog-rammes recently, including Vietnam Television's Bai Hat Yeu Thich (Favourite Songs) series, where he often gives sharp comments on artists' performance.

He is also working as a teacher of guitar at the ERATO Music School, where he has influenced many students.

"His teaching is quite simple and easy to understand," said Vincent Yu, a Vietnamese Taiwan student, who practiced with Petridis for a year.

Pham Hai Long, a music teacher at the MPU Music School, highly appreciated Petridis's professional way of performing and teaching.

"I have met a lot of talents here," said Petridis.

"When I first came here, I thought I might encounter a language barrier. But many people speak English here, so it was not a barrier at all. Music is the international language."

Petridis is working as a teacher at the HCM City's Symphony Orchestra. He also works via Skype for his Australian students.

In 2013, he found another reason to settle down more stably in Viet Nam: his DaNang-born wife Vu Hong Phuong shares all the happiness and sorrows with him everyday and also serves as his assistant at work.

Petridis admitted that he loved everything here. From simple things like the fatty taste of a cup of hot coffee mixed with egg and easy-going chats with friends at cafes on Sunday mornings, to family happiness.

"I found home here in Viet Nam," he said. — VNS

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