Jiva Mukti (1994)

Posted By thawallah On Sunday, August 31, 2008 5 comments

Bruce BecVar, an extraordinarily gifted multi-instrumentalist and composer has just released his most masterful work to date: River of Gold. On this, his 12th album, the master guitarist has reached a new pinnacle of artistic achievement in songwriting, musicianship and production values. Listeners will be swept away by the albums fluid guitar, melodic keyboards, and subtle percussive accents. The albums New Age Fusion sound and glimmer of exotic vocals makes it a natural for both New Age and smooth jazz fans. A seeker and healer as well as an artist, BecVar makes music for its effect on peoples lives. Listeners report feeling uplifted, soothed and joyful on hearing his music. Composing and recording is for me a very spiritual practice, says BecVar. It is an exacting process of listening to the creative impulses of Spirit and being diligent about translating what I hear into a finished recording that captures that original essence in its most undiluted form.

In the tradition of musical prodigies, BecVar records primarily in his own custom home studio, plays a variety of instruments, and produces and engineers all his own albums. Doing the engineering and production is important to me for a number of reasons, but most of all, so I can make certain the sound I have in my head is what eventually ends up on the CD. I like to put the same love and attention into production that I do into composing and playing.

BecVars relationship with music began at an early age. When he was 8, he picked up his fathers ukulele and promptly began producing chords and harmony on it. At 9, he picked up the guitar. I put my ear next to it and began playing, composing. I had an almost innate knowingness of the instrument, almost any instrument - violin, cello, percussion, recorder, flute and piano. I rejected formal music training and Im glad for it. My path was clearly geared toward the intuitive approach.

His affinity for woodworking, combined with his love of music, naturally led BecVar to the fine art of building instruments. At the age of 11, he crafted a dulcimer from materials and plans given to him by his father, and by 12 had built his first acoustic guitar. He subsequently became apprentice to the town guitar repairman, working on everything from guitars to kazoos.

BecVars art and skill in the making and embellishing of instruments, along with growing recognition for his guitar compositions, brought him to Northern California in the early 70s. He set up shop in Sonoma where he became well-known as a Luthier, making one-of-a-kind electric guitars for such world-class rock n roll bands as The Who, The Peter Frampton Band, Led Zeppelin, The Jackson Five, Earth, Wind & Fire and Carlos Santana. One of his guitars, ornate with exotic inlay and carving, now resides in the permanent collection of New Yorks Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Meanwhile, he continued playing and composing. Aided by the after-hours use of a recording studio in the music shop where he worked, BecVar began production of his first album. In 1986, he released Take It To Heart on his own label, Shining Star Productions, and began working as a musician full time. The album met with outstanding critical acclaim as well as commercial success, validating Bruces uncommon approach to music. Windham Hill founder, Will Ackerman discovered Take It To Heart, invited BecVar to perform with him in the Windham Hill Summer Concert Series in 1987, and included an original cut of BecVars on the Windham Hill Guitar Sampler.

When he was preparing to record his second album, The Nature of Things (1989), BecVar couldnt find an instrument that produced the kind of sound he was seeking. Not surprising then that the former professional luthier decided to design one himself. I was looking for a new, versatile instrument that produced an ethereal but still resonant tone. So I designed the Shakti harp. A custom 28 - string acoustic/electric instrument, the Shakti harp combines the sounds of guitar, harp, koto and zither, giving BecVars music an even more unique sound.

BecVars third release, Forever Blue Sky (1990) was his breakout album, residing on Billboards New Age chart for over a year. Then his career took a turn to the East. Early influences of Ravi Shankar, explorations of Eastern religions, and divine synchronicity led BecVar to vocalist-yoga instructor-healer Nada Shakti. Their synergy gave birth to Samadhi, an intriguing collection of Hindu Vedic hymns and chants, accompanied by original instrumentation. BecVar and Shakti also combined forces with a group of Tibetan Lamas for the production of one of the most popular of the Tibetan overtone chant recordings, Tibetan Sacred Temple Music (1990), and later, Shakti and BecVar released Jiva Mukti (1994).

In 1992, BecVar released the more contemporary-sounding Rhythms of Life (1992), co-produced by Don Camardello (Ottmar Liebert) in his Santa Barbara studio. For the project, BecVar teamed with Paul McCandless (Windham Hill), Alex Acuna (Weather Report) and younger brother Brian BecVar (Kitaro band). The album, available through Higher Octave Music, is enjoyed by New Age and smooth jazz fans alike. Later that year, BecVars mood turned spicy and bold, inspiring him to record the nuevo flamenco-flavored Arriba (1992). The genre turned out to be perfect for guitar whiz BecVar, Arriba is fiery and romantic, with that silky BecVar touch. Indeed, it is so well loved that one cut, Istanbul, is included on the top-selling Narada Collection Gypsy Passion, alongside songs by such artists as Ottmar Liebert and Strunz & Farah.

BecVars most recent musical project before River of Gold was his immensely popular three-album series, The Magic of Healing Music, created for Deepak Chopra. The series, based on ancient Ayurvedic principles popularized by Dr. Chopra, consists of Vata, Pitta and Kapha, each intended to balance the particular dosha for which it was named. BecVar worked closely with Dr. Chopra and with Dr. David Simon, director of The Chopra Center, on the project. The series was later released as one double album, which continues to be a top seller.


River of Gold (1998) Arriba (1992)
The Magic of Healing (1997/95) Samadhi (1990)
Time Dreams (1994) Forever Blue Sky (1990)
Jiva Mukti (1994) The Nature of Things (1989)
Rhythms of Life (1992) Take it to Heart (1986)

Band members: Nada Shakti: vocals
Bruce BecVar: acoustic guitar, Shakti Harp, keyboards, recorder flutes & percussion

Jiva Mukti (1994) Tracklist

1. Praise to Tara
2. Atmalingam
3. Guru Brahma
4. Tathagata
5. Heart Sutra
6. Jiva Mukti
7. Narayanaya
8. Omkaram
9. Isha Vasyam
10. Kalachakra

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Musica Medieval [02]. Las tres culturas de la música medieval española

Posted By MiOd On Sunday, August 31, 2008 6 comments
Musica Medieval [01]. Calamus - Medieval Women's Songs

La música de PNEUMA
Las tres culturas de la música medieval española - Three Cultures in the Medieval Spanish Music
Various artists


    Alfonso el Sabio (attr.): Cantigas de Santa Maria
  1. Cantiga 142: La Garza del rio Henares (Ena gran coita sempr' acorrer ven) (instrumental)
  2. Cantiga 282: Par Deus, muit' à gran vertude na paravla comual (Segovia)
  3. Cantiga 69: Santa Maria os enfermos sãa
  4. Cantiga 315: Espiga de Trigo de Atocha (Tant' aos peccadores a Virgen val de grado)
  5. Cantiga 382: La heredad (Verdad' este a paravoa que disse Rey Salamon)
  6. Anon.
  7. La Fuente. Arte efimero-Arte eterno (Melodia sobre original andalusí. Modo: Hidyaz. oriental. Ritmo: Qaim wa nisf)
  8. Tunisian song, Maluf 18, al-Rizqi
  9. Uaddaáuni - ¡Consoladme niñas al alba!
  10. Anon., Núba Al-Istihlal
  11. Twisya 1 y 2
  12. Anon., Inscripciones árabes del Alcázar de Sevilla, siglos XI-XIV
  13. La Gloria
  14. Ibn Zamrak, Tázon de la Fuente de los Leones
  15. ¿No aquí hay prodigios mil?
  16. Ibn al-Jatib (melody from: "Escandiadme, Bawakir al Maya")
  17. Ese es mi rito
  18. Anon., Núba Al-Hiyaz Al-Mashirqi
  19. Twishya 6 Al-Hiyaz Al-Mashirqi
  20. al-Harráq
  21. Muwwal, Buh bi-I-Garámi "Revela tu pasíon"
  22. Anon.
  23. Muwashshah, Badaytu bi-Dhikri l-Habíb (He comenzado por invocar al Amado)
  24. Anon., Mizaán Qa'im wa nisf aj Isthlal
  25. Qualbí wa sadrí
  26. Al-Shushtari
  27. Yá 'aybí fi man
  28. Ibrahim Al-Aryan
  29. Samai bayati
  30. Raimbaut de Vaqueiras:
  31. Oi! Altas undas que venetz sus la mar ...
  32. Anon.: Maluf
  33. Sana (Para la fiesta de la circuncisión)
  34. Dunash ibn Labrat (t) / Trad., Judeo-Yemeni
  35. Dror Yiqra
  36. Abraham Ibn Ezra
  37. Canción de Shabat: Ki eshmerá shabat
  38. Martin y Soler
  39. Canzonette Italiane: XII. La Volubile
  40. Abbot Peter (text) / J. Díaz's melodies
  41. Rodrigo venga a su padre
  42. Pascal Lefeuvre & Luis Delgado
  43. Gyromax
  44. Luis Paniagua
  45. Por el interés
  46. Trad., sephardic adaptation
  47. Ija mia, mi Kerida
  48. Gregorian
  49. Lumen. Antifona 8° tono
Playing time: 77' 28"

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Terry Riley & Stefano Scodanibbio - Diamond Fiddle Language

Posted By MiOd On Sunday, August 31, 2008 9 comments

Recorded over a period of a year and a half in three separate locations around the globe, this album highlights a pair of musicians at the height of their powers. Terry Riley and Stefano Scodanibbio have mastered their instruments to the point of transcending them, so that it would be simplistic to define their work together as duets for contrabass and keyboard. Each of them coaxes such a complex range of timbres and hues and textures from their instruments that it's hard to believe such a variety of sounds is created by only two men. In each of the three pieces on this album, their sound begins as one, in an uncanny intermingling, until it diverges, as if the sound is one cell gradually splitting into two, and then multiplies into what you might hear as a large eclectic ensemble, but is in fact just two players. This is their first album together since their 1997 Lazy Afternoon the Crocodiles, which they made soon after forming a duo, and it distills seven years of concertizing, touring, and refining the intricacies of their collaboration.

On this album, the European avant-garde meets American minimalism; an 18th-century double bass teams up with a 21st-century synthesizer; jazz and Indian raga and extended techniques are inextricably linked. Riley and Socdanibbio each bring a wealth of diverse experiences from their very separate back grounds. Scodanibbio's aesthetic emerged from the rigors of postwar European modernism, and his work with composers like Nono, Scelsi, and Xenakis led to his own explorations of sonic possibilities on the double bass, many of which were before considered impossible. Riley began his career a generation earlier, and one could say that his groundbreaking piece In C, which launched the mini-malist movement, as well as his extensive study of Indian classical music, were direct reactions against the European modernist tradition which dominated American music. Hearing him play a state-of-the-art synthesizer on this album, one can't help but recall that he was one of the earliest composers to use electronic keyboards, dating from before his pioneering albums A Rainbow In Curved Air and Shri Camel, so his magical powers here are no surprise. But despite their different careers, much connects these two composer-musicians: both are equally comfortable with improvisation and classical notated music; both enjoy the exploration of tuning systems, harmonics, and the world at overtones, and use them to create new worlds of sound. Bass becomes tabla and violin, synthesizer becomes harmonium and bass, and together they take us beyond our perceptions of instrumental boundaries.

Often it's impossible to tell which instrument is which, within the transforming, shape-shifting, continually renewing musical landscape. In all three pieces, Scodanibbio incorporates his trademark innovations: a dynamic technique which allows him an independence of his two hands, so that he can, for instance, bow with his right hand while plucking strings with his left; the capacity to play simultaneous melodies and accompaniments comprised purely of harmonics; the use of metal clip which he straps to the strings, creating a virtual percussion instrument. Riley meanwhile employs an Ensoniq TS 12 and Ensoniq MR rack which allow him a kaleidoscope of colors and tuning possibilities. He can create an entire orchestra, with reeds, percussion, and strings all emanating at once from the synthesizer (this is a tribute not only to technology, but to Riley's own virtuosity as a keyboard player).

Questions of temperament are crucial to both musicians, and even more so when they collaborate. With the Ensoniq TS 12, says Riley. "I can tune to the open strings on Stefano's bass very precisely, and also tune scales to the harmonics of each of his open strings." Tuning is vital to the sense of intimacy and responsiveness between the two instruments:  it is an essential ingredient for their musical alchemy. Of the genesis of Diamond Fiddle Language, Riley explains: "We begin with the scordatura tuning on Stefano's bass - that is, to what notes he tunes his open strings. Then the harmonics on those strings supply the other notes of the scale. Both Diamond Fiddle language and Tritono have different scordaturas and this sets up the general modality of the piece. There are certain patterns in Diamond Fiddle Language and we generally follow an overall form in that the beginning, middle and end sections are fairly consistent. You can hear from the two performances of Diamond on the CD that the overall result can be quite different and this has been true in all the many performances we have done of this pie

Tritono is named for the tritone interval (in this case D-A), known in the late Middle Ages as diabolus in musica because it was considered the "most dangerous" interval. Indeed, piece is characterized by a sense of dark edginess and harmonic instability. Also fascinating here is the brilliant interplay of tour de force passagework between the two, almost reminiscent of the amicable contests between 19th-century virbut with a far more multi-dimensional vocabulary. Listen to Tritono and remember that all the sounds are produced by only two people. This is the kind of exchange that can only come from the most experienced and inventive improvisers.

Geographical locations also play a significant role in this album. Different concert halls inspire Scodanibbio and Riley in substantive ways, so that the two versions here of Diamond Fiddle Language were affected not only by the of the moment, but also by surroundings. the first is from the Huddersfield festival, in the Yorkshire town renowned for its Victorian architecture. The second version is at Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, where volcanic eruptions five thousand years ago created underground volcanic galleries. the concert hall is in one of the gigantic volcanic tubes underground, where the audience sits leather-covered around a natural lava amphitheater.

Diamond Fiddle Language, says Riley, is based on a tonality that initially follows the pentatonic tuning of raga malkauns in the bass (for those interested, Riley points out that the scale is "D-F-G-B-C-D, but details of the tuning vary greatly from performance to performance and I sometimes play simultaneously in an other mode, say, G-A-B-C-D-F-G which, although it has most notes in common, sets up a tension between my F and Stefano's F natural"). Raga malkauns is one of the most popular and ancient in Hindustani classical music, usually sung late at night. Riley, who has studied Indian music for more than thirty years, explains that while Scodanibbio hasn't studied Indian music formally, "I have shown him a lot about the ragas and he has a great intuitive feel for it. What is great is that he is able to convey the emotion of the raga whithout having to know all the details. This is because in his own improvisation he has a strong relationship to the ways that ragas work."

Hearing the two versions of Diamond Fiddle Language provides a kind of instruction in how a piece can evolve over a year's time, from place to place. It also shows how two of the world's foremost musicians can approach the same material and continually achieve entirely new world of sound

Alt text
Sarah Cahill
Composer Terry Riley is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the minimalist movement. His landmark composition In C established minimalism as a vital force in contemporary music, and his work continues to be a major influence today. His career, spanning five decades, far from being confined to the minimalist category, has always crossed boundaries and been marked by its effortless transformations and morphing from one strata of thought to another. Highly developed elements of Indian music, jazz, African and middle eastern music can be heard in intricate melding in much of his work.

A gifted pianist, singer and improviser he has performed worldwide since 1955. He is a senior disciple of the late legendary North Indian vocalist, Pandit Pran Nath, and appeared in numerous concerts as the masters accompanist both on tabla and vocal. He has received numerous awards including a John Simon Guggenheim, a Gerbode foundation grant and two NEA grants. He has written for chamber, orchestral, jazz, rock and world music ensembles. Most notable is his twenty-five-year association with Kronos Quartet. For kronos he has produced fifteen major works, including thirteen string quartets and The Sands, a Concerto for string quartet orchestra.

Terry's list of collaborators includes La Monte Young. Chet Baker, John Cale, Don Cherry, Krishna Bhatt, Stefano Scodanibbio, Kronos Quartet, artist Bruce Conner and poet Michael McClure.
The London Times Listed Terry as one of the "1000 makers of the 20th century." Further information: www.terryriley.com

Stefano Scodanibbio, contrabass soloist and composer, was born in Macerata, Italy, on June 18, 1956. In the 1980s and 1990s his name has been prominently linked to the renaissance of the double bass, playing dozens of works written especially for him by such composers as Bussotti, Donatoni, Estrada, Ferney-hough, Frith, Globokar, Sciarrino, and Xenakis at major festivals throughout the world. In 1987 in Rome he performed a four-hour nonstop marathon of twenty eight pieces by twenty-five composers.

He has created new techniques to extending the timbres and range of the double bass to an extent not previously considered possible. he collaborated over a long period with Luigi Nono ("arco mobile a la Stefano Scodanibbio" is written on the score of Prometeo) and with Giacinto Scelsi. In 1996 he has been teaching contrabass at the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music. He regularly plays in a duo with Rohan de Saram and also with Markus Stockhausen.

Active as a composer his catalog consists of more than forty works principally written for strings (Sei Studi for solo contrabass; six duos for all the possible combinations of four strings; three String Quartets; Concertale for contrabass, strings, and percussion, etc.) and he was selected three times for the ISCM, International Society of Contemporary Music (Oslo 1990, Mexico City 1993, Hong Kong 2002). Of particular importance are his collaborations with Terry Riley and with the poet Edoardo Sanguineti. In 1983 he founded the Rassegna di Nuova Musica, a festival for New Music held every year in Macerata, Italy.

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Tianjin Buddhist Music Ensemble - Buddhist Music of Tianjin

Posted By MiOd On Saturday, August 30, 2008 7 comments
Credits to AmbroseBierce
Tianjin Buddhist Music Ensemble
Buddhist Music of Tianjin
Nimbus NI 5416, 1994
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1. Lanhua Mei (Blue-Blossomed Plum) 9:43
2. Dao Ti Jindeng (Cleaning The Golden Lantern) 10:30
3. Kaitan Bo (Cymbals To Inaugurate The Altar) 3:16
4. Xingdao Zhang (Movement For Practising The Way) 21:15
5. Shifan-Yichuan Yu 9:57
6. Elangzi 7:00
7. Yan Guo Nanlou (Geese Crossing Over The Southern Mansion - Pt. 1) 1:31
8. Yan Guo Nanlou (Geese Crossing Over The Southern Mansion - Pt. 2) 8:02
If you've never heard the sacred music of Buddhist China, prepared to be seduced by its simple charms. On compositions anchored by the understated rhythms of a variety of drums, cymbals, and gongs, hypnotic webs of melody are spun by the powerful guanzi (a double reed pipe), which rides atop the chords produced by the sheng (mouth organ) as the playful flute fills in the space with its darting bumblebee scale gymnastics. Highly spiritual and deeply moving, Buddhist Music of Tianjin may not be for everyone, but it is a welcome introduction to the ancient traditions of a rich musical culture. - Bret Love
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Kulanjan - Taj Mahal, Toumani Diabate

Posted By thawallah On Thursday, August 28, 2008 6 comments

Taj Mahal is no purist. His recordings, which cherry-pick influences from Jamaica to India, suggest that Mississippi mud is just one of the blues' many ingredients. And Toumani Diabate, a modern master of the twenty-one-string kora -- Mali's ax of choice -- has expanded the reach of West African music in jam sessions with classical and flamenco virtuosos. So maybe it was only a matter of time before these two cultural ambassadors found each other to further muddy the world-music gene pool.Globe-trotting fusion albums can have an almost academic gravity, if not the awkwardness of a blind date. Kulanjan has neither. During a weeklong session in an Athens, Georgia, home, Mahal and Diabate, plus a small Malian string band, achieved an unusually relaxed collaboration. Mahal's finger-picking acoustic guitar, thick rust-bucket vocals and simmering sense of tempo bring a languid, sensual air. Diabate dials down his lightning-quick, aggressive tone slightly, so that he embroiders the songs -- a mix of Malian and blues traditionals - rather than running away with them. A jam-session informality prevails, from the quiet trio intimacy of "Mississippi-Mali Blues" to the jovial, Cajun-style "Fanta Sacko," with Lasana Diabate prancing on the xylophone-like balafon. Cultural exchanges don't sound more organic or revelatory than "Ol' Georgie Buck," which melts a spirited Southern dance tune into a hand-clapping thirteenth-century Malian groove; Mahal grunts along to a driving six-string hunter's harp and mutters approval as Diabate does a little dancing of his own on the kora. The West African vocalists nearly steal the show, particularly Ramata Diakite, whose voice just about breaks Mahal's heart as she floats through "Queen Bee" and "Take This Hammer." Who says the blues aren't from Mali? ... GREG KOT (Rolling Stone)

01. Queen Bee
02. Tunkaranke
03. Ol' Georgia Buck
04. Kulanjan
05. Fanta
06. Guede Man Na
07. Catfish Blues
08. K'an Ben
09. Take This Hammer
10. Atlanta Kaira
11. Mississippi-Mali Blues
12. Sahara

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Dalida [03]. Les années Orlando Vol. 3 - Des Gens Qu'on Aimerait Connaitre

Posted By MiOd On Thursday, August 28, 2008 5 comments
Les années Orlando Vol. 1, La rose que j'aimais
Les années Orlando Vol. 2, Une Vie

Dalida - Eternelle

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(01) [Dalida] Il venait d'avoir dix-huit ans
(02) [Dalida] Anima mia
(03) [Dalida] Julien
(04) [Dalida] Non ce n'est pas pour moi
(05) [Dalida] Mais il y a l'accordeon
(06) [Dalida] Je suis malade
(07) [Dalida] Vado via
(08) [Dalida] Manuel
(09) [Dalida] Ta femme
(10) [Dalida] Des gens qu'on aimerait connaitre
(11) [Dalida] Et puis... c'est toi
(12) [Dalida] Soleil d'un nouveau monde
(13) [Dalida] Rien qu'un homme de plus
(14) [Dalida] O' Seineur Dieu
(15) [Dalida] Gigi l'amoroso
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Viktor Romanko - Espressivo

Posted By MiOd On Thursday, August 28, 2008 6 comments
Viktor Romanko
Espressivo, 2005
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ESPRESSIVO - this is the world which best describes the playing of the renowned Russian artist Viktor Romanko.

Whatever he plays in his successiful concerts - from Bach, Vivaldi, Liszt, Solotarjov, Gershwin, Piazzolla to improvisations (one of this artist's great talents) - with his expressive style and mastery of his instrument, he captivates and fascinates his auiences.

On this CD, in addition to solos, there are also compositions where he is accompanied by different orchestras:

from the town of Ekaterinburg (Russia), conductor and director Azat Maksutov

from the town of Nishni Tagil (Russia) conductor and director Vladimir kapkan

from Hilchenbach (Germany) director Jutta Schreiber-Menn

Listen to someone really special - a virtuoso of the bayan (button accordion) - Viktor Romanko.

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born in 1953 in Gukowo / Rostow on the Don area
Professor at the Ural Conservatory in Ekaterinburg/Russia
Prize-winner of the International Competition in Klingenthal (1983)

Prize-winner for the Art of Improvisation in Russia (1992)

Multiple winner of numerous competitions in the former Soviet Union

"Distinguished Russian Artist" (1994)
"People's Artist of Russia" (2004)


Belgium, Germany, England, France, Italy, Kazakstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldowa, Norway, Austria, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Czechia, Turkey, Ukrania, White Russi

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The Habibis - Intoxication

Posted By thawallah On Wednesday, August 27, 2008 2 comments

The music is predominantly Greek, and the ancestry of three of four of the haBiBis includes a Greek component. They like to stress, however, that "Australian" is the appropriate adjective for their approach to the music, as well as for themselves (all were born in Melbourne). That approach is direct, uncluttered and free of any gimmickry. The haBiBis may not be "authentic" in any pedantic sense, but their album is certainly authentic in the sense that really matters: this is music performed with passion and intelligence, which can move a listener of whatever ancestry. The bands most striking aspect is their vocal sound. Two very different lead voices are used, both singly and together. Achilleas Yiangoulli is the male singer, with a richly-textured, yearning-filled voice and Racheal Cogan's is the sweeter, female voice, and she's also the recorder player. Each is a very fine singer - he has more of an Islamic quality, she has a more "Celtic" flavour - and they work together beautifully. The instruments are all acoustic, and the playing is non-flasherso and good - of the "don't waste notes" kind rather than the "look how fast my fingers are" school. Irine Vela mostly plays mandola and Mulaim Vela the guitar. Generally the instrumentation includes a guitar or two, mandola, recorder and hand-drum...by Doug Spencer

Some of these songs were featured in the movie Head On. But Melbourne group, the haBiBis, have been resurrecting and reworking Greek and eastern Mediterranean music for a while and this is their second album. The cover pic says they're youngish and cool-ish (leather and sunglasses abound) and the sound says they're paying homage to their roots while filtering them through contemporary Australian sensibilities. It's demanding music for the players, requiring a high level of dexterity and the ability to make these swirling, heady rhythms and melodies non-demanding for us, the listener.

The five haBiBis weave the guitar, oud and bouzouki with consummate ease, in wide, chiming choruses and intricate dances over which boy/girl voices cast seductive spells, mostly on the theme of love lost, found or unrequited.
Pass the ouzo please!
...by Lesley Sly

The Artists

Irine Vela - laouto, mandola, mandolin, guitar, bouzouki
Racheal Cogan - recorders, vocals
(Michael Grinter Ganassis in G and C)
Mulaim Vela - guitar
Achilles Yiangoulli - vocals, toubeleki, bouzouki, guitar
Pascal Latras - vocals
Zois Tsikas - toubeleki
Wendy Rowlands - violin
Christos Balzidis - outi

01. Milo Mou Kokkino - My Red Apple (trad.Greek)
02. Oli Nihkta Perpatouse - She Walked All Night Long (trad. Greek)
03. O Monahos Yios - The Only Son (trad. Greek) .MP3: Sigathistos (Dance in 9)
04. Thrash 5 - (trad Bulgarian)
05. Thio Thio - Together (Rain Or Shine) (trad. Greek)
06. Tha Spasso Koupes - I'll Break Cups (trad. Greek)
07. Yenithika Yia Na Pono - I Was Born To Suffer (by Vassilis Tsitsanis)
08. Thalassa - The Sea (trad. Greek)
09. Yialitissa - The Girl From The Shore (trad. Greek)
10. Th'Anastenaxo Mana - How I'll Sigh (trad. Greek)
11. Aspra Mou Peristeria - White Doves (trad. Greek)
12. Mou Parigile to Aithoni - The Nightingales Message (trad. Greek)
13. Ta Enteka - The Eleven (trad. Greek)

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Ernesto Jodos Trio

Posted By MiOd On Wednesday, August 27, 2008 4 comments
Ernesto Jodos Trio

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01. Subconscious-Lee
02. Dreams
03. Background Music
04. Two, not one
05. No necesariamente una linea - Ablution
06. Lennie-Bird
07. Marionette
08. Kary's Trance
09. 317 E 32nd st.
10. Wow
11. Baby

Hernلn Merlo (Bass) und Eloy Michelini (Drums)

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Alexander Dmitriev - Paganiniana. Stars of Russian Bayan

Posted By MiOd On Tuesday, August 26, 2008 4 comments
Credits to AmbroseBierce

Alexander Dmitriev
Paganiniana. Stars of Russian Bayan
AD ALDM 001, 1994

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Alexander Dmitriev
 The name of this ST.-Petersburg bayanist and winner of the international contest is well known to friends of the art of the bayan, on the one hand because of his numerous concert tours in Soviet towns and abroad, on the other hand from radio and TV broadcasts and LP recordings.
His musical talent manifested itself early: at the age of 7 he begins to study the bayan - first at school of musics, later at the Mussorgskij- Institute for music ) class of V.A.Maksimov ).
At last A. Dmitriev becomes a student at the National St. - Petersburg Rimskij - Korsakov - Conservatory in the class of Prof. P.I.Govoruschko.
At the time the 19-year-old Dmitriev was already holding a prize of the "All-Russian Contest" for musicians playing folk instruments (1969 in Ivanovo).
In 1972 A.Dmitriev was given the 1st prize of the International contest "Days of the Accordion" in Klingenthal, GDR, Even the foreign press highly acknowledged the musicians's talents.
In November 1972 the journal "Music Accord" wrote as follows:
"...a young artist who'll doubtlessly be well known in future; a musician who is to follow the examples of a great number of Soviet virtuosi. (England)
In Berlin A.Dmitriev produced some records.
In 1974 A.Dmitriev finished the conservatory and his training as assistant teacher in 1997. Today he is a soloist at the St.-Petersburg chamber-philarmony and combines his active concert-career with his teaching at the conservatory.
Some of his highly artistic qualities are stylistic accuracy, manifold variety of repertory, a brilliant technique and a clear sound volume range which is based on a impeccable metric rythme.
The bayanist's repertory is vast and manifold: there are transcriptions of classical music, original music as well as a great variety of transcriptions of folk music and popular pieces of music.
His creative abilities are numerous: concerts with various ensembles,pedagogics, ingenious oeuvres, organization of the St.-Petersburg music festivals for bayan and accordion which have become international.
Since the beginning of his artistic career this bayanist has given approximately 1000 solo-concerts, recorded 8 LP's (one in the GDR), done radio and TV broadcasts in many Russia towns and been to a lot of European countries.
Recently he has often been playing duets with his son Vitalij - first prize winner of International contests in Tschirpan (Bulgary) and Mutzig (France, 1989) and Castelfidardo (Italy, 1993) and trios together with his wife Elena.
Since 1968 A.Dmitriev has been directing a broadcast about international stars of the bayan and accordion world for the Leningrad radio corporation.
Albums with pedagogical repertories made up and revised by the artists are being presented regularly by "Sovjetskij Kompositor" and "Muzika" publishers.
A. Dmitriev's popular transcriptions are edited in great numbers by western publishers.
In the course of the last years A.Dmitriev participated in many European seminaries and was member of the jury at international contests.
In 1992 Alexander Dmitriev was awarded the title- Honoured Artist of Russia.
Author-compiler of the series
A. Tolmachev

Bulgarian Brass - Military and Civil Brass Bands

Posted By MiOd On Tuesday, August 26, 2008 4 comments
Credits to AmbroseBierce

Bulgarian Brass - Military and Civil Brass Bands
PAN Records PAN 153CD, 1995

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Military and Civil brass bands

Type of brass bands

The hundreds of brass bands in Bulgaria can be divided four categories:
VILLAGE BRASS BANDS (selskata duhova muzika) are small bands consisting of autodidact musicians. The village band is in essence an amateur band although today retired professional military musicians do participate.
MILITARY BRASS BANDS consist of professionally trained musicians and students led by professional conductors. The concept of a muzikantski uchenik (student-musician) was widely used in the Bulgarian army. Mainly poor boys who showed an inclination to music used to enter the military bands doing all kinds of jobs; they were often paid in food and clothes only. However, they were given the opportunity to learn to play the different musical instruments. The most talented and diligent ones became musicians in military brass bands. Many well-known composers, conductors, and professional bands (with retired musicians from military bands), in the town municipalities. Often musicians of higher education participate in these bands.
School brass bands consist of high school students and some secondary school pupils. These bands are led by music teachers.
This Cd contains recordings of professional brass bands: three military and two civil ones.

Military brass bands

One year after the liberation from the Turkish occupation (1878) the leaders of the Bulgarian army signed a contract with Jan Pavlis, director of a private military music school in Prague. A complete Czech brass band was invited to play in Bulgaria and every member of the band was obliged to teach Bulgarian military musicians.
The first professional Bulgarian brass band-in Sofia- was conducted by the Czech Josef Hohola (1845 - 1918). He graduated at the Private Musical Military Conservatory in Prague, majoring in double-bass, and after that played with different bands all over Europe.
Hohola was band leader of several military brass bands until his retirement in 1904. he stayed in Bulgaria to become a propagator of brass music.
This first brass band consisted of 20 musicians (one flute in D flat, one clarinet in E flat, four clarinets in B, two French horns, one baritone horn, one brass in E flat, one bass in B, small drums and big drums).
For a relatively short period the Czech band leaders trained young Bulgarian musicians, who participated in the newly established brass bands. Professional brass bands with Czech conductors were formed in Olovdiv, Radomir, Varna, and lovech. In 1881 there were three such leaders. In 1884 ten, and in 1889 there were 24 brass bands. By 1891 the Bulgarian army had 31 professional brass bands. Like the Czech bands, they consisted of two flutes, one oboe, one clarinet in E flat, three clarinets in B, one bassoon, two french horns, one trumpet in B, one trumpet in E flat, two trombones, two flugelhorns, two tenor horns, one baritone horn, one bass in E flat, one bass in B, small drums and big drums.
Since the 1890s Bulgarians became band leaders as well. At that time it was the only alternative profession for a musician, besides being a teacher.

School brass bands
The years 1901-1902 are considered to be the period of birth of the "school brass bands"/ The (poor) Bulgarian state had no funds to purchase musical instruments for schools, but several bands were already formed in the period before 1920.
After 1920 school brass bands were established everywhere, due to the impetus given by the number of Bulgarian musicians of higher and academic education that became music teachers. In the 1930s there was almost no high school without its own brass band. Such bands were established in many secondary schools as well.
At that time the repertoire of those bands-beside marches-include some lighter pieces of music, as well as overtures and arrangements of folk songs and dances. Most of the future professional musicians of Bulgaria started their career in school brass bands. In later periods some of them, as well as music graduates from abroad, became teachers or conductors of bands. Besides servicing the school rituals, those bands participated in the annual concerts for the general public that used to turn into real feasts for both school and town.

Initially, besides martial marches, the repertoire of brass bands includes polkas, waltzes, overtures, arias and excerpts from popular operas and operettas, as well as various small pieces from foreign composers. many of the Czech band leaders wrote small pieces and transcribed and rearranged pieces for brass bands, They tried to recreate Bulgarian folk songs and dances in some of their works, although the specific rhythmic structure of Bulgarian folk song remained foreign to them in its essence. In the 1890s the medleys of folk songs for brass band by Emanuel Manolov became popular. Dobri Hristov, Maestro Georgi Atanassov, Panayot Pipkov, and others followed his example and wrote pieces for brass bands as well.

Folk dances
The major features of the Bulgarian folk music are diversity in genres, irregular metres, complicated rhythms and intonations, a relatively restricted range of pitches, ancients moods and ornamentation. The folk musical practice of the individual geographic and ethnographic regions is distinguished by specific features. In general, Bulgaria can be separated into several areas which have a different music folklore.
Bulgarian folk dances are works of choreography that were created collectively in the past. The most popular folk dance is the horo, a dance performed in all areas of the country by groups of dancers, The horo may be sklyucheno (closed), when all dancers hold hands and the "chain" is closed, vodeno (led), with an open chain of dancers, na lessa (a row), when several dancers hold each other's waist-bands or lock their arms together to dance in a row, or na prut (straight), in a pole formation.
The ruchenitsa is another popular folk dance. Its name comes from the word ruchenik, a long linen or silk fringed scarf that the bride ties on her head before the wedding.
Both in choreography and music of horo and ruchenitso the specific features of the original region can be recognized as follows:
-South-western Bulgaria, the region around the Pirin Mountains: The folk dances of Pirin are slower, smooth, and abound in undulating steps on the same spot. Famous Pirin horos are "kirifino" (kirifina's). "Ihchiysko", "Dramsko" (from Drama) in 2/4 meter: "komitsko" (rebels) and "Petruno" in 7/8 meter.
- Mid-western Bulgaria: the so-called Shopp Region between Pirin and the Balkan Mountains. The Shopp dances are more dynamic and versatile, with numerous steps and agile and plastic movements. The more famous among them are: "Sinto Shoppsko horo" (horo with tiny steps of Shopp region), "Pletena" (interwined horo). "Chetvorno" (four time horo) in 2/4 meter; "Bistrishka Ruchenitsa" (ruchenitsa from Bistritsa) in 7/16 meter; "krivo horo" (curved horo) and "kopanitsa" [14] in 11/16 meter.
- North-western Bulgaria, the lowlands among the rivers Timok, Iskur, Yantra, and Danube: The severnyashky horo and ruchenitsa are characterized by their great versatility in rhythm. They are performed in a lively, playful, and easy way, and the dancers themselves compare them to flying. The best-known are "Prez Krak" (over one's foot) and "Vartelezkha" (merry-go-round) in 2/4 meter, "Eleno Mome" in 7/8 meter; "Daichovo horo" [7], [18], [19] in 9/8 meter; "Paidushko" [6] in 5/8 meter; "Lomska Ruchenitsa" (ruchenitsa from Lom); and "Yakovata" in 7/16 meter.
- The folk dances of Dobrudja are performed with agile body and arms; sometimes the gestures are almost "programmed". The alternation of quick and slow movements is typical for horos of Dobrudja. The most famous are "Danits" (dance), "Ruka", and Sborenka" (assembly) in 2/4 meter; "Dobroudjanska Ruchenitsa" [22] (ruchenitsa from Dobrudja) in 7/8 meter; and "Izhvarli Kondak" in 9/16 meter.

- In region of Trakia (Thrace) the moderate, gentle horos coexist with tempestuous wild horos and ruchenitsas. From this area originate "Mudro Horo" (sage men's horo), "Trite Pati" (three times), and "Chopraz" in 2/4 meter; Boninata Ruchenitsa" (Bona's ruchenitsa) in 7/16 meter; and "Slyadno Horo" in 5/16 meter. The specific "Thracian tapdance" occurs only in Trakia and is very close to the European and American tapdance.

- The horos of the Rhodopes are mainly in 2/4 meter, slower, smooth, and easy. Although-according to the legend-the Rhodopes are the native place of Orpheus, the folk dances are less developed in this region. The predominant population, the pomaks preserved Bulgarian folk songs, but not so much folk dances.

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Napoleon Damos - Greek Traditional Music

Posted By MiOd On Monday, August 25, 2008 13 comments
Credits to AmbroseBierce

Napoleon Damos
Greek Traditional Music
Music Corner M.C. 1967, 2002

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01. Skaros
02. Papdia
03. Arta
04. Frasa Prevezaniki
05. Genovefa
06. Helios
07. Klamata
08. Kremmydas
09. Miroloi
10. Palia Itia
11. Paramythia
12. Pogonisio
13. Zaravina
14. Himariotiko

Napoleon Damos was born in Kourenta village, close to loannina city, that stands at the territory of Epirus, Greece. As a child he had a direct contact with greek tradition. His father was a violin player and his aunt a tambourine one. The numerous local festivities, their melodies and rhythms had a strong influence on him.

Growing in such as an environment he entered the world of greek traditional music in the most immediate and easy way. At the age of 12 he earned money by playing the tambourine with his father. He continued playing with his father in Kostas Mandzios', Nikos Kalivas' and the Harisiadis' family bands. At the same time he started studying the lute and afterwards, as he was inspired by the well-known clarinetist Kitsos Haridiadis, he started to experiment on the clarinet. Being pationate with his clarinet, he composed his first melodies.

The difficulty of rural life and his unique talent made him a well-known traditional musician very quickly. Then, he cooperated with the famous clarinet Vassilis Badzis for five creative years. After that period he continued playing the clarinet with other famous traditional musicians in various places around Greece and abroad. In the 80's he cooperated with composer Yiannis Markopoulos and recently he made a number of concerts with Ross Daly and the Hunn-Huur band, from Tuva.

Napoleon Damos is a self-taught clarinet player, a truly authentic traditional musician. His talent and his continiously efforts made him a unique musician with strong personal style and identity. He expresses successfully all his experiences, all his feelings through the sound of his clarinet.

Hossein Behrouzi-Nia - Kohestan

Posted By Fido On Sunday, August 24, 2008 4 comments
Hossein Behrouzi-Nia - Kohestan

Hossein Behroozinia was born in 1962 in Tehran, Iran. He studied Tar with Reza Vohdaney, Barbat with Mansour Nariman and the Radif with Mohammad Reza Lotfi. He was a student at the Conservatory of Persian Music, and later the Music Director of Ensemble Khaleghi as well as the Director of Music Education at the Center of the Preservation Persian Music. He has performed and collaborated with many of the prominent music ensembles in Iran including Aref and Mowlana and joined Dastan Ensemble in 1992. Hossein Behroozi-Nia has played a key role in restoring a Persian musical identity to the instrument which has been under the influence of Arabic music for hundreds of years. He is currently resides in Vancouver, Canada where he teaches the Barbat.

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Dastan Trio - Journey to Persia

Posted By Fido On Sunday, August 24, 2008 9 comments
Dastan Trio - Journey to Persia 2003 Hossein Behroozina: Barbat Hamid Motebassem: Tar, Setar Pejman Hadadi: Tombak

Founded in 1991, "the almighty Dastan is perhaps the most forward-thinking group of its kind, re-establishing a repertoire of Persian classical music while using its fundamentals of melodic, rhythmic and dynamic variation to develop new forms and combined sonorities. The ensemble's structured improvisations are performed by several of the very best of the contemporary Persian musicians including Hamid Motebassem on Tar and Setar, Hossein Behroozi-Nia on barbat, and Pejman Hadadi on tombak" (John Payne, LA Weekly) Saeed Farajpoury on Kamancheh and Behnam Samani on Daf. Dastan Ensemble toured Europe and Canada with the famed Persian singer, Sima Bina in the early part of 2002 and in the latter part of the year they toured in Europe with the acclaimed Persian singer, Parissa. The ensemble toured Europe with the well known Persian singer, Shahram Nazeri and virtuoso daf player, Bijan Kamkar in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1998 and 2000. The ensemble's US tour with Shahram Nazeri and Bijan Kamkar was in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001. Dastan Ensemble toured Iran in 1993 and 1999 with Shahram Nazeri and Iraj Bastami. Dastan Ensemble is known for its collaboration with the finest musicians in the Persian musical tradition. These musicians have included Kayhan Kalhor, Mohammad Ali Kiani Nejad and Morteza Ayan as the first wave of performers with Dastan, and Ardeshir Kamkar, Pashang Kamkar, Reza Ghasemi and Siyamak Nemat Nasser as guest artists over the years. Le groupe DASTAN est l’un des groupes les plus célèbres de musique classique iranienne. Fondé en 1991, le groupe s’est rapidement fait un nom en tant qu’accompagnateur de chanteurs iraniens tels que Sharam NAZERI, Iraj BASTAMI, Sima BINA et PARISSA. Il joue soit en formation élargie ou, comme dans ce cas, en trio. Le travail du groupe est basé en grande partie sur l’improvisation en partant parfois d’œuvres anciennes pour en utiliser les thèmes. Ce qui caractérise surtout leur œuvre c’est la répétition et le renouvellement des modulations. Les trois musiciens qui composent le groupe figurent parmi les meilleurs de la musique iranienne : Hossein BEHROOZINIA a joué et travaillé avec la plupart des grands orchestres d’Iran. Il a composé beaucoup de mélodies pour le barbat cet instrument qu’il nous donne à apprécier ici et qui est un ancien luth persan (appelé en arabe oud). Hamid MOTEBASSEM joue ici de son instrument fétiche, le tar et le setar, instrument à quatre cordes, muni de touches et de vingt-cinq ou vingt-six frettes en boyau ajustables. Il exploite cet instrument dans toute sa sensualité, jusqu’à le faire «chanter». Quant à Pejman HADADI, il accompagne à merveille ces sonorités des roulements du tombak, cet instrument de percussion iranien en forme de calice recouvert d'une peau d’agneau ou de chèvre. Il utilise toute la richesse des sonorités de cet instrument avec une grande finesse dans les tom et bak, respectivement les frappes graves et sèches au centre ou sur le bord de l'instrument. Si, par le titre, le groupe avait l’intention de susciter l’envie d’un voyage en Perse, la musique certainement nous y invite. L’aventure musicale, en tout cas, est bien tentante. Marie-Paule Bonné

01. Prelude to Dastgah-E Mahur
02. Seven-Beat Rhythm
03. Gousheh Daad
04. Gousheh Khosravani
05. Gousheh Neyriz and Shekasteh
06. Modulation to Maqaam-E Afshari
07. Shirazi Song
08. Shurideh
09. Modulation to Dastgah-E Homayoon
10. Midnight Sun
11. Finale in Dastagh-E Mahur

FLAC (EAC Rip): 260 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 110 MB | Covers

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Oum Kalsoum - Hob Eah - Gadedt Hobek - Gamal El Donia

Posted By MiOd On Saturday, August 23, 2008 5 comments
More Info @ bolingo.org

Oum Kalsoum - Anthologie De La Musique Arabe [7CD set]
Oum Kalsoum - Anthologie [Best of] [5 CD set]
Oum Kalsoum - Diva of Arab Music - The Gold Collection [2CD set]
Oum Kalsoum - Lumière sur le désert
Oum Kalsoum - ANTA OUMRI
Oum Kalsoum - Robayat El Khayam, Chams El Assil
Oum Kalsoum - LAILET HOB

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[01]. 1960 - Hubb eeh (Anta fenn wel hobb fenn)
[¿Qué es el amor (Dónde estás y dónde el amor)?
What then is love? (Where are you and where the love?)]

Composer: Baligh Hamdi
Lyrics: 'Abd al-Wahhab Muhammad
Genre: Ughniyah
Maqaam: Bayati
Dialect: Egyptian colloquial
Recorded: Live
First Performance: 1960
First recording: Sono Cairo?
alt. transcriptions: Hubb eeh, Hobb Eih, Anta fenn wel hob fenn

By common knowledge in the music milieu of Egypt, the first couplet and the refrain were composed by Zakariyya Ahmad before his death. first sung 1/12/1960. (According to Frederic Lagrange)

[02]. 1952 - Jaddidta hubbak leeh
[Renovaste tu amor, ¿por qué?
You have renewed your love, whay?]

Composer: Riad al Soumbati
Lyrics: Ahmed Rami
Genre: Ughniyah
Maqaam: Nahawand
Recorded: Live
First Performance: 1952
First recording: Sonocairo?
alt. transcriptions: Jaddidta hubbak leeh
duration: 39:19 [4:32 intro]

[03]. 1947 - Jamal il-dunya
[La belleza del mundo
Beauty of the World]

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Isan Slété - Songs and Music from North-East Thailand

Posted By MiOd On Saturday, August 23, 2008 3 comments
Credits to AmbroseBierce

Isan Slété (The Flower of Isan)
Songs and Music from North-East Thailand
Globestyle CDORBD 051, 1989

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01. Lai Lam Toei Sam Jangwa
02. Hua Ngawk Yawk Sao
03. Sutsanaen-Noeng Mode
04. Lam Phloen
05. Lai Pu Pa Lan
06. Toei Khong
07. Lam Doeng Dong
08. Lai-Yai Mode
09. Lam Toei Thammada
10. Lai Ngua Khuen Phu
11. Lam Kio
12. Lai Phu Thai
13. Sutsanaen Mode
14. Kawn Lawng La
15. Lai an Nang-Sue
16. Imae, Imae

I was very pleasantly surprised at the crystal clarity of this collection, recorded and digitally mastered in London some years ago. The alternating instrumental and vocal selections demonstrate several styles of the haunting and folksy style of music which has always attracted any foreign student of the Thai and Lao languages. The only thing more that I could have hoped for would have been the accompanying verse written in Lao. What a great language learning tool that would be! This is difficult and time-consuming material for most foreigners to study strictly by ear. While the accompanying brochure notes that the words are traditionally written down for the record, I have never been able to find any such thing. Understandably not included in this collection are the many rather "racy" versions of Mo-Lam songs [like Mao-Lam Khen Dao Lao's unforgettable Teng Sanghan Saow] from the era when the American military presence in Northeastern Thailand was a
sometimes troubling but mostly well-tolerated aspect of life for the natives of the Northeast. None of that quaint and humorous social commentary has yet been made available to the foreign public. Anyone who ever stayed late into the night at the Mo-Lam shows at the "Thung Sri Muang" in the heart of Ubon knows what a treasure that work is.

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Thai Classical Music performed by The Prasit thawon

Posted By MiOd On Saturday, August 23, 2008 7 comments
Credits to AmbroseBierce

The Prasit Thawon Ensemble
Thai Classical Music
Nimbus Records NI 5412, 1994

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1. Piphat Ensemble - Homrong Sornthong
2. Piphat Ensemble - Sumran Dontri Klong
3. Pi & Klong Ensemble - Sarama
4. Piphat Ensemble - Cherd Chin

The Ensemble
Master Prasit Thawon, now 73 years old, is one of the finest musicians and composers in Thailand. ('Master' is the honorific title accorded those teachers who have made a unique contribution to the preservation and continuation of the country's musical life.) The ensemble was founded in 1985, when it was known as the Ensemble of the Dramatic School in Bagkok. This was the institution where Master Prasit taught and was responsible for its musical activities. The Ensemble appeared regularly in the concert hall and on the radio and T.V. In 1984, Master Prasit retired from the Dramatic School. But his Ensemble, re-named "Sithi Thawon', remained active.

Rim Banna - Seasons Of Violet - Lovesongs From Palestine

Posted By MiOd On Friday, August 22, 2008 7 comments
Palestinian vocalist Rim Banna performs a selection of new Palestinian love songs with a fine international ensemble featuring Eivind Aarseth (guitar), Gjermund Silset (bass), Rune Arnesen (drums) and David Wallumr?d (keyboards), in addition to her husband Leonid Aleixenco (acoustic guitar). The title refers to the lilac, a violet flower which in Palestine is a symbol of love. All the songs have been composed by Rim Banna together with Leonid Aleixenco, while her mother has written some of the lyrics.

Palestinian artist Rim Banna is now releasing "Seasons of Violet", her second solo CD on the KKV label. Her previous release, "Mirrors of My Soul" (2005), has been well-received around the globe, opening doors for Rim Banna to the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, India, the Arabic world and Scandinavia Her collaboration with KKV started with "Lullabies from the Axis of Evil" (2004). The impression she made on producer Erik Hillestad when she sang a lullaby for him in her house in Nazareth had such an impact that it landed her a recording contract. Her many fans have been eagerly awaiting her new record, and now it is finally here. She performs with the same band, featuring Eivind Aarseth (guitar), Gjermund Silset (bass), Rune Arnesen (drums) and David Wallumrød (keyboards), in addition to her husband Leonid Aleixenco (acoustic guitar). This time Rim gives us a selection of new Palestinian love songs. The title, "Seasons of Violet", reflects the lilac, a violet flower which in Palestine is a symbol of love. All the songs have been composed by Rim together with Leonid Aleixenco, while Rims mother has written some of the lyrics.

The songs:

* 1. The hymn of the sea 4.36
* 2. The night has fallen down 5.08
* 3. The light gown of soul 4.24
* 4. Seasons of violet 4.25
* 5. The first rain 4.59
* 6. Beit Allah 3.47
* 7. I'll come to you daisy like 4.44
* 8. After you left 3.48
* 9. The dream 4.38
* 10. A prayer 5.58
* 11. The weeping of the rose 5.20

Ape(EAC Rip): 285 MB | MP3 - 320 kbs: 130 MB | Scans

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Music from the Shrines of Ajmer and Mundra

Posted By thawallah On Thursday, August 21, 2008 4 comments
These Live Recordings were made between 1952 and 1962 in North India, by John Levy.
These important recordings of North Indian music, made by the well-known collector and broadcaster John Levy, document classical naubat, traditionally played by musicians in courtyards or over gateways in palaces and temples to mark the hours of the day, using shahnai (oboe) and naqqara (kettledrums). Also included are examples of popular naubat, Kacchi Kafi devotional song and a rare mashak bagpipe solo. The plaintive shenai, a double-reed chanter most closely resembling the Western oboe, was brought out of Indian temples by the legendary Bismillah Khan and introduced into the Hindustani classical canon. The album initially issued by the French Tangent label, affords the curious glimpse of the instrument in its original context.

Anyone who has attended a recital by Khan or Ali Ahmed Hussain knows that the shehnai projects as no other woodwind can. Visiting the temples of Ajmer ( Ragasthan) and Mundra (Gujarat) one learns why: it was meant to be played in the open, in galleries above gateways or in courtyards. Much of this disc, now enhanced by CD mastering, contains what poultrymen might regard as free-range classical music. As a change of pace, a devotional song based on “Raga Darbari Kanada”, a late night raga, is offered with both dholak (spike fiddle) and shehnai accompaniment, a rare event in itself. The acoustic context is a fascinating sidebar to any field recording, especially so for this set, as the report of the taut-skinned tabal kettle drum skitters around the courtyard walls of the Ajmer temple.


1.: Classical Naubat Shahnai (Mundra)

2.: Classical Naubat Shahnai (Ajmer)

3.: Kacchi Kafi

4.: Popular Naubat Shahnai (Jabbalpur)

5.: Mashak (Indian Bagpipes)

6.: Popular Naubat Shahnai (Bhopal)

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The Music of Mali

Posted By thawallah On Thursday, August 21, 2008 3 comments
Owner of one of Africa's oldest musical traditions, Mali is thought by some to be the true birthplace of the blues, and its kora and guitar players are legendary.
This bright and varied collection has many highlights, including the blues-like "Jaman Moro," by Afel Bocoum, the trance building "Hilly Yoro" by Ali Farka Toure, and the truly marvelous group vocalizations on Rokia Traore's "Wanita." The album closes with the beautiful and haunting "Tekere (A Cappella Remix)" by Salif Keita. ~ Steve Leggett, All Music Guide.

01.Ko Be Na Touma Do - Mariam, Amadou & Mariam (4:25)
02.Jaman Moro - Afel Bocoum Afel Bocoum (4:14)
03.Mansa - Djelimady Tounkara, Super Rail Band (6:30)
04.Bi Lamban - Toumani Diabaté, Ballaké Sissoko (4:53)
05.Ayamafelé - Kandia Kouyate (5:55)
06.Hilly Yoro - Ali Farka Touré (3:36)
07.Batrou Bolo - Fode Kouyate (4:34)
08.Wanita - Rokia Traoré (5:34)
09.Sanka Nyonkon - Fantani Toure (4:23)
10.Mississippi-Mali Blues -Taj Mahal, Toumani Diabaté (3:15)
11.Kar Kar Madison - Boubacar Traoré (5:38)
12.Hoga - Sidi Toure (4:45)
13.Kun Fè Ko - Oumou Sangare (4:03)
14.Wassiye - Habib Koité (4:42)
15.Tekere - Salif Keita[A Cappella Remix] (1:58)

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Alan Stivell - Harpes du Nouvell Age

Posted By thawallah On Thursday, August 21, 2008 2 comments
Alan Stivell calls this 1986 Rounder collection "the sequel to Renaissance of the Celtic Harp"--the 1972 release that breathed new life into the harp's global popularity.

Playing what he calls an "electro-acoustic" harp, outfitted with a pickup system not unlike that on an electric guitar, Stivell intersperses short experimental segments (some with backwards tape effects) around a series of adaptations of ancient themes from Stivell's native Brittany, as well as arrangements of Scottish bagpipe standards, with nods to historic harp figures like O'Carolan and Rory Dall. From the spirited "Spered Santel" to the lively "Dans Fanch Mitt" to the glittering "Dor II," Stivell's performances, and the sharp digital recordings, are dreamlike and soulfully soothing, with the irresistible flavor of ages past; the crisp, aquatic flavor of the harp's tone makes the word "heavenly" almost unavoidable. --James Rotondi If there is a single savior of Celtic music, Alan Stivell is probably it. Since the end of the 1960s, he has done more to revive interest in the Celtic (specifically Breton) harp than anyone in the world and, in the process, almost singlehandedly made the world aware of native Breton Celtic music. Since 1971, he has been recording albums of extraordinary beauty and diversity, ranging from ancient Breton and Irish material to modern folk-rock and progressive rock Track Listings
01. Musique Sacree: All Things Pass (1)/Prayer For Brittany/All Things Pass (2)/The Spirit
02. Door 1: Experimental Music
3. Piberezh: Adaption Of Three 'Piobaireached' (Classical Bagpipe Music) - Cumh Chlaibhers
04. Door II: Improvisation
05. Rory Dall's Love Tune
06. Kervalan: Brief Excerpt From A Portion Of O'Caralan
07. Luskellerezh (Lullaby, Swing)
08. Dihun'ta (Awaken!) Traditional March Of My Region
09. En Dro Inis'Arzh (Around The Isle Of Arzh )
10. Dans Fanch Mitt
11. Suite Ecossaise
12. Dor III: Harp' Noun! (Help Me!)

EAC-320kbps mp3 l 77 mbs l front and rear scans


Shamsuddin Faridi - The Tradition of Dhrupad on Been

Posted By MiOd On Wednesday, August 20, 2008 0 comments
Credits to AmbroseBierce

Shamsuddin Faridi
The Tradition of Dhrupad on Been - Khandarbani
Makar Records MAKCD040, 2002

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1. Rag Yaman - Alap
2. Rag Yaman - Jor
3. Rag Yaman - Jhala
4. Rag Komal Rishabh Asavari - Alap
5. Rag Komal Rishabh Asavari - Jor & Jhala

Shamsuddin Faridi - been
Nasir Khan Faridi - sitar

Ustad Shamsuddin Faridi is one of the last musicians of the famous Beenkar maestro Ustad Bande Ali Khan's direct line of disciples. For his first time on CD, the unmatched musician gives a glimpse of his virtuosity and his fantastic mastery of raga and alap.


Ustad Shamsuddin Faridi was born in 1937 in Bhavnagar (Gujerat), in a family of musicians. He has learnt Dhrupad on Been and Khyal on Sitar from his father, Ustad Mohammad Khan Desai Faridi, a Master of the Indore gharana.
His family tradition is closely linked with Ustad Bande Ali Khan, the greatest been player of the 19th century.
Court musician for the Maharaja of Indore, and then settled in Kirana, Ustad Bande Ali Khan was one of the most prestigious musicians of the Nizam of hyderabad and the Maharaja of Mysore.
He has trained an impressive list of disciples : Ustad Wahid Khan, Ustad Rajab Aki Khan, Ustad Murad Khan (Indore gharana), Imdad Khan and Ratna Khan. He is the founder of the Kirana Gharana.

Ustad Shamsuddin Faridi is the grand-grand son of Ustad Wahid Khan, and he is most certainly the musician who has best preserved this tradition. His knowledge of ragas, of alap development and of been techniques has made him one of the greatest been players in India.

Nasir Khan Faridi, is the son of Ustad Shamsuddin Faridi.

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Viñales Cuba Band

Posted By MorrisJesup On Wednesday, August 20, 2008 5 comments
Viñales Cuba Band

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(click to enlarge picture)

Imagine yourself with me back a few years in another place... 2004 in western Cuba, the town centre in beautiful Viñales valley. By day, the initial attraction is rock climbing with the Cubans on the mogotes, which are the limestone cliffs. By night, attention turns to street fairs, the local bars, cheap rum, live music, romance, salsa dancing and no point in worrying. The bar we are in seems packed with all townsfolk keen on a social night, the band is getting started, and mojitos abundant. A mother presses her daughter into my foreign hands, but alas my spanish and salsa lack the necessities to take her into another life. A buxom Aussie woman is seeking her night's lover, and the whole place has the pleasant warmth of Carribean sweat from dancing. The band is marvelous, name forgotten, some Buena Visa Social Club covers, and their music comes home to you here.
01 El cuarto de Tula
02 El chanchan
03 Sabroso
04 Queiro Hacerte el Amor
05 La Rumba Soy Yo
06 El carnaval
07 Nosotros
08 Maria Christina
09 No Hay No Hay
10 La Guantanamera
EAC-FLAC Viñales-1 (200MB)
EAC-FLAC Viñales-2 (31MB)

Salamat nubiana

Posted By MiOd On Wednesday, August 20, 2008 4 comments
Salamat nubiana

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More new treasures from the Nubian culture vaults presented by Berlin-based Mahmoud Fadl and his group Salamat. A wealth of delicacies from the voluptuous garden of North African tradition - earthy rhythms and oriental melodies, recorded in Cairo with the stars of the Nubian New Wave scene. A modern tribute to the glorious past of a lost civilisation which nonetheless remains vibrant through its music. Shake your roots!


[01]. Marinthod
[02]. Yanas Baridouh
[03]. Noura
[04]. Zikraati (greetings from Cairo)
[05]. Elleyl Elhadi
[06]. El Zekra, Pt. 1
[07]. El Zekra, Pt. 2
[08]. Howa Sahih
[09]. Ashry
[10]. Sabreh
[11]. Nuba Noutou

| EAC WAV 1411 kbps (580 MB)| Covers | MP3 320 Kbps (140 MB)|

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

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ALGERIE - Anthologie de la Musique Arabo-Andalouse

Posted By MiOd On Tuesday, August 19, 2008 0 comments
ALGERIE - Anthologie de la Musique Arabo-Andalouse 1

Hadj Mohamed Tahar FERGANI - La Nuba Maya

Track Listings
01. Bacheraf: Instrumental
02. Istîkhbar: Joys of the Early Morning
03. M'Cedder: My Nights of Joy
04. M'Cedder: O Friend, It's Time to Relax
05. M'Cedder: It's Dawn
06. M'Cedder: The Sparkle of Early Morning Has Spread
07. M'Cedder: O Friend, Rejoice the Good News
08. M'Cedder: Don't Sleep!
09. Darj: The Sparkle of Early Morning
10. Inklab: A Gazelle's Glance
11. B'tayhi: O Steward!
12. B'tayhi: O Friends, Night Is Back Again!
13. Insraf: Plaintive Ballads
14. Khlaç: The Sky Has Cleared
15. Khlaç: The Girls Have Left...

Hadj Tahar Fergani is a living master of the Malouf (Andaloussian music of the Eastern Algeria). His voice and the way he brings this music back to life will stay unique and legendary. In this CD he presents what's called "Noubet El Maya" which is one of the famous classical Andaloussian music structures. Each instrument plays a distinctive role around the principal singer violeen and voice.The words in this kind of classical music and the understanding of the poems is essential. The way Hadj Tahar Fergani together with his orchestra {most of them are from his family members)executes this Noubat with his strong, deep and worm voice makes him the leader without contest of the Malouf.

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ALGERIE - Anthologie de la Musique Arabo-Andalouse 2

Mohamed KHAZNADJI - La Nuba Ghrib

Track Listings
01. Istîkhbar [Solo de Kwithra]
02. Touchia [Overture Instrumentale]
03. Mode Ghrib [Solo de Kânun/Ud/Ney]
04. Kûrsi [Instrumental]
05. M'Cedder 1er Mouvement [Khadam Li Saadi]
06. Solo Alto/Mandoline/Kwithra+Voix
07. Introduction Instrumentale
08. B'tayhi 2e Mouvement ['Aliya' Uhûd]
09. Introduction Instrumentale
10. Darj 3e Mouvement [Doumou'i Rasaîl]
11. Introduction Instrumentale
12. Insraf 4e Mouvement [Zarni el Malih Wahdou]
13. Insraf 4e Mouvement [Ya Saat el Hanya]
14. Khlaç 5e Mouvement [Kaliftou Bil Badri]

Historically up until the beginning of the 20th century, the Algerian Çana'a was heard mainly in the great cafes of Alger. While traders were making their trades, they were entertained by musicians and singers. At the beginning of the 20e century, that music was taken out of cafes and brought to the concert halls; guilds and school were created. The word "çana'a" refers as much to the repertory as to the singer of the "Nûbat"; while "Nûbat" refers to a type of long pieces in which alternate instrumental with vocal pieces. Mohamed Khaznazdji is one of today's greatest Algerian Çana'a singer. A music that has its own unique character. ~ Bruno Deschênes, All Music Guide

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320 kbps including full booklet scans


Oliver Mtukudzi - Zimbabwe

Posted By MorrisJesup On Monday, August 18, 2008 3 comments

Tuku Music (1999): Several songs about AIDS

01 Rirongere 05:57

02 Todii 06:52

03 Mabasa 07:18

04 Dzoka Uyamwe 06:04

05 Mai Varamba 06:26

06 Tsika Dzedu 06:30

07 Tapindwa Nei 06:35

08 Wake Up 06:12

09 Ndima Ndapedza 06:29

EAC-FLAC Part 1 (200MB)

EAC-FLAC Part 2 (175MB)

Paivepo (2000):

01 Mkuru Mkuru 05:55

02 Kunze Kwadoka 05:29

03 Mutserendende 06:10

04 Chiri Nani 05:49

05 Ndagarwa Nhaka 04:52

06 Pindurai Mambo 06:17

07 Muranda Kumwe 04:51

08 Sandi Bonde 05:17

09 Ndine Mubvunzo 05:40

10 Ngoma Nehosho 06:31

EAC-FLAC Part 1 (200MB)

EAC-FLAC Part 2 (11MB)

Vhunze Moto (2002):

01 Ndakuvara 04:58

02 Gondo 04:56

03 Ziva Nguva 05:00

04 Kusekana Kwanakamba 04:56

05 Wongororo 07:14

06 Magumo 05:37

07 Kucheneka 06:59

08 Moto Moto 06:57

09 Tapera 07:30

EAC-FLAC Part 1 (200MB)

EAC-FLAC Part 2 (159MB)

Azerbaïjan - Alim Qasimov

Posted By MiOd On Sunday, August 17, 2008 2 comments
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Alim Qasïmov, born in 1957 in Shamakha in the Republic of Azerbaidjan, came from a modest family where music, while not being performed, was greatly appreciated. Before devoting himself with assiduity to studying the art-music repertoire (Mugham) with the greatest singing teachers of the day, people like Haji Baba Huseynov, Aqa Khan Abdulayev and Näriman Aliev, he had worked at different trades: as a shepherd and a chauffeur to name a few. With such an exceptional voice, he could have rocketed to stardom in no time but, never one to indulge in facility, he always aimed for the high standards of his masters, constantly broadening his knowledge of the repertoire and the classical modes.
Winning the Jabbar Qaryaghdi-oghlu Singing Competition crowned him, at the age of twenty-five, top of his field, the best classical singer of his generation. Highly renowned in Azerbaidjan, he benefitted from the support and esteem of the most demanding teachers, like Bahram Mänsurov. He excels in all the genres: improvised mugham, mugham in strict time, songs, the ashïq bard songs and also in daf (tambourine) playing.
Alim Qasïmov's fame spread rapidly beyond his own country. First he toured Central Asia, then the United States, Europe (France especially), and later Japan. Finally, in Teheran -the bastion of maqam (or radif) -he had an unprecedented triumph, sweeping away once and for all the Persian public's jealously guarded but preconceived ideas about the music of Azerbaidjan. He made several recordings in his own country and two compact discs at the time of his first concert in France.

It's always rather brash to go proclaiming an artist to be the best, but there has been no doubt in some people's minds that Alim Qasïmov is the greatest present-day singer in any field. While this is debatable and depends on each musical culture's particular aesthetic criteria, it is perhaps arguably the case when one considers factors like the science of modal composition and improvisation, the virtuosity of the vocalises, the choice of texts, the clarity of their enunciation and their melodic marrying, the variety, spontaneity and impact of the expressive sound-colouring palette, and especially the art of communicating with the public, of moving it, bewitching it over and over again with the most varied effects without ever falling into affectation, mannerism or showmanship. With Alim Qasïmov and his two colleagues, the Greek concept of musical ethos becomes clear, or the ancient Arab concept of tathir, an"effect" arousing strong fundamental emotions, in particular that of tarab, aesthetic rapture, concepts which were attempts at accounting for the marvels that music could produce.

After having performed alongside the greatest tar and kamancha masters, Alim Qasïmov teamed up with two highly talented young artists, Malik Mänsurov (tar) and his brother Elshan (kamancha). Born respectively in 1962 and 1963 in Oazakh in the north-west of Azerbaidjan, they distinguished themselves, each in his own field, by graduating from Baku Music Conservatory with top honours and then winning the "Uzeyir Hajibayov Prize". awarded every four years to promising young talents.

Unites by their deep friendship and complicity, all three have been able to develop, each exploiting his own artistry to unexpected heights. The numerous concerts given in the last four years have led them to evolve even more. Early on, concerts had a professional stamp and a freshness; they were a sublimation, a sort of magic celebration where each musician, letting the thread of his inspiration unravel, wove his own progressive framework in a total, perfect symbiosis. Despite the unfolding ideas and the density of the dialogue, each blended into the ensemble and although Alim Qasïmov is visibly always up front, Malik and Elshan Mänsurov are no less present and indispensable. Only rarely are we given to understand to such a degree, the principle upheld by traditional masters whereby three or four accomplished, creative performers should manage to surpass in force and richness a whole orchestra of capable musicians.

Alim Qasïmov's genius lies largely in the artisty of his performance, in his enunciation of a work (text and music), in the way he unfolds it in real time, an elaboration in which he public participates through their expectancy, response and reactions. While he also sings extremely well in small gatherings, in studio or in a family context, the full measure of his art and charisma is only grasped on stage before a vast public. that's when he gives himself totally, galvanized by his two companions and public feedback. Anyone who has followed him on tour will admit that he is always excellent, no matter where,whether at home in Azerbaidjan or in nearby countries of Central Asia, whether before connoisseurs or neophytes discovering his music for the first time. However, like any artist, from time to time he surpasses himself and the effect is miraculous. This is what happened in May 1992 in the Theatre de la Ville, before a public of compatriots and people from Eastern nations but also, and this more importantly, of admirers from diverse origins. After this memorable concert, he admitted, with his usual modesty, that he had been particulary inspired.
For some time now we had been considering making a definitive recording of this artist indeed of the trio at the height of their powers: this disc represents the very best of Qasïmov before an enthralled quality audience. The different stages of the performance are reproduced in order with the exception, for purely technical reasons, of a song of a light nature which concluded the first part of the concert.

The musical culture of Azerbaidjan

Azerbaidjan is situated in the western part of Transcaucasia, to the north-west of the Iranian plateau. The northern part constitutes the Republic of Azerbaidjan, the southern being a province of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In pre-islamic times, Azerbaidjan (in the large sense) was inhabited by Indo-Europeans of the Zoroastrian faith, certain of whom later adopted Christianity, and still later Islam. For almost all their Islamic history, Iran and Azerbaidjan (which was one of its great provinces) were governed by the Turk, Azeri or Mongol dynasties. At the close of the 10th century, an AZERI branch of Türk Oghuz began to control the region. In the 11th century, other Turks from Central Asia, the Seldjukides conquered Persia, Irak and the Caucasus, while in the 13th century the Ilkhanide Mongols - and later a Turkoman dynasty - elected Tabriz capital of their empire. In the 16th century, under the yoke of the Safavides (of Azeri origin), the shiite faith became the official religion and Ispahan the new capital. All these conquerors rapidly adopted Persian and Arabic and their own tongue spread only progressively during large-scale migration not only in Azerbaidjan, but also in the ast and north of Iran.

At the dawn of the 19th century. the Qadjars (Iranian Turks too) took power, but in 1828, they lost Caucasian Azerbaidjan which then became a nation with its own destiny, first controlled by the Russians, and later organized into a Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1991, after a revolt severely repressed by Moscow, Azerbaidjan won its total independance, its southern part remaining an Iranian province. Each part has over six million inhabitants, and maintains close relations with the other.
Just as the Turkish-speaking population is scattered well beyond the two parts of Azerbaidjan, popular and artistic Azeri musics are related, in form, to a much vaster musical area, stretching south to Kurdistan, and east to Zanjan or Qasvin. Many elements of Azeri music are to be found in Persian music and most Azeris believe their music to be related to that great tradition rather than to the Turkish or Central Asian one. (Most melodies and modes have Persian names and exist in similar or close forms in Iran. Of course, besides its particular style, Mugham has many unique specific characteristics, especially its intervals and modes). An important fact regarding Azeri art-music is also that it was for a long time almost entirely appropriated by Armenians. numerous in Ispahan and the Caucasus. Many instrumentalists of "Azeri" nationality, and the best instrument-makers were Armenians. Due to the rise of ethnic political conflicts, Armenians either tended to neglect this inheritance, with its Islamist, "Iranist" or "Azerist" connotations, or to readapt it.

While differing greatly from other musics of Central Asia, the popular music of the cities of Azerbaidjan, with its characteristic rapid rhythms, has spread to Uzbekistan, first to the Khorzem, then to Boukhara and Tashkent, and even as far as Tadjikistan and Chinese Turkestan.

The musics of Azebaidjan lie on different strata probably corresponding to the cultural influences undergone by the region in the course of its history: Greek influence was followed by that of a brilliant dynasty, completely Iranian, the Sassanides, who reserved a privileged place for music and had organised it into a system comparable to that of the mugham and the dastgah. With Islam, art-music became a sort of international erudite language, a koine, understood and practised throughout all Central Asia and the Near-East. The mugham system, still in use, is am example.
Azerbaidjan's art-music (or Mugham) is in fact one of the heirs of the science of Iranian, Arabic and Turkish maqam, some of the greatest theoreticians and performers of which, people like Safioddin, Jorjâni and Maraghi, were from Azerbaidjan.
A precise outline of its evolutionary stages is not easy to establish, but it seems that at the turn of 19th century there was a renaissance which also affected Persian tradition. The town of Susha in Karabakh (Republic of Azerbaidjan) was at the close of the 19th century the home of musical and intellectual life but it was in Tiflis, the modern cosmopolitan capital of Transcaucasia, and later at Baku that the Azerbaidjan masters found their largest and most varied audiences. At the same time, Russian contact brought European music into the elements are at times detectable in the most traditional performances, which in no way impairs their quality and authenticity.

Here we will limit ourselves to the art of Mugham as part of the erudite classical tradition and distinct from the art of the Ashïq bards, more typically Caucasian, essentially oral and steeped in popular culture. Mugham predominates in the north of the country and in the karabakh mountain-range, while Ashïq milieu is in fact more rural and provincial while mugham flourishes in town in scholarly circles, even though it has a large popular public with some fine connoisseurs.
In the Iranian part, Azeri mugham has been supplanted by its Persian counterpart the radif, a form always kept alive by great masters of Azeri descent, but sung in Persian.
Despite their uniqueness, mugham and the Bardic tradition have aspects in common like their rhythms, modes and vocal techniques. Some Ashïq are also familiar with mugham while "mughamists" also know Ashïq songs. For both, their favorite contexts for playing are marriage-feasts (toy) and other celebrations. During such Caucasian events, with their age-old atmosphere, artists give totally of themselves, vying with each other for brio and invention as an audience deeply passionate deeply about music listens attentively.

The Classical Mugham

All classical pieces necessarily belong to a melodic modal genre (mugham, gushe, etc.) defined by a scale, a main group of notes and a phrase outline. The intervals used call for fine nuances of an eighth-tone (instead of a quarter-tone in Persian and Arabic maqâm). In practice, this means that in seven-note scales made up of notes and semitones. certain degrees are sharpened or flattened by an eighth-tone (or comma).
The art-music tradition recognises twelve main modes (mugham) and ten other mugham considered as secondary, Other classifications are also accepted however. As well as these, a certain number of little mughams, played generally in the context of a more important mugham, can also be cited. These important mugham are called dastgah (systems) when they integrate a certain number of secondary mugham sho'be or gushe. All these mugham can be used in modal "substance", and "aspects" (sho'be "annexes" or gushe "corners) which appear in the course of the development. About one hundred and fifty types of melody (sho'be or gushe) exist, all with their own name. Some of them can be integrated into different modal contexts and the performer is to a certain extent free to combine these elements according to his own taste. Free mugham interpretation habitually demands a precise knowledge of the gushe and their specific ornamentation. However, as a general rule, this model is supple enough to allow several levels in improvisation (in the details and ornamentation of connecting passage-work, modulations, legato phrasing etc). This enables the musician to choose either to play the model he has learnt by heart, or to stray from it by composing or improvising in the modal substance (maye), adapting a poem of his own choice or giving free rein to his imagination.
Peripheral to Mugham, there are some canonical pieces Zarbi mugham. "rhythmic songs" (see Track 4 the finale of Chahargah). These are set compositions for voice and instrument, which probably came from the Ashïq repertoire. A great many ancient or recent rhythmic pieces have a definite place in the unfolding of a mugham and adhere to the following categories:

- the däramäd ("introduction"), a measured instrumental piece, played as an overture.
- the bardasht ("résumé"), an unmeasured rhythmic sequence used to introduce the mugham, exposing its main characteristics. The bardasht is of a brilliant nature, usually beginning in the upper register, and finishing in the lower one.
- the rperformanceng, an instrumental piece, generally in a rapid 6/8 time which assures the liaison between different modes or sections of them. It most often ends with a sort of suspended pause leading back to the free mugham performance.
- the chaharmezrab, a brief rhythmic instrumental piece in a very fast tempo which is inserted between free sequences of a mugham. The chaharmezrab is a solo piece and unlike the other forms is never accompanied on the percussion.
- täsnfi, generally from popular poetry, are songs in 2/3/4 or 6 time, whose structural composition can be either very simple or very complex.

In the free performance, the instruments generally begin with a daramad in a moderate tempo or with a bardasht. After a few developments (sho'be or gushe) a brief intermezzo in rang form is introduced. the mugham or dastgah development rises in momentum, but this progression always returns in concluding to the lower register (ayaq or forud "descent") and to the initial mode if there has been any modulation. In the same way, any modulations introduced during the performance resolve rapidly back to the initial mode before continuing the development. The performance often ends with a täsnif or a rang.

Singers choose their poems from among classical poets like Fuzuli, Khaqani, Nizami, but also from more recent authors like Ali Aqa Vahid, Suleyman Rostam, Mir Mehdi Seyid-zade.

The Instruments
The classical mugham ensemble formation is exclusive to three instruments, daf, tar and kamancha, But the music can also be played on other instruments like the lute ud, the zither kanun, the zurna and balaban oboes, and even the conventional oboe or the accordion. The latter have not acquired canonical traditional status.

From the Caucasus to Turkestan, the daf (also called qaval) is the most widespread percussion instrument. In Azerbaidjan, it consists of a circular wooden frame, thirty-eight centimeters in diameter, on which is strung a catfish-skin, or failing, this a goat-skin. Resonating rings are placed on the inner side of the frame, which is played by striking the fingers with a sophisticated technique perfected by the Azeris and the Armenians. the singer traditionally uses it to accompany himself.

The tar is the principal instrument of the art-music of Azerbaidjan, Armenia and Iran. This long-armed lute of the rabab family probably came from Iran where it is still played in its barely modified original form. At the end of last century, the Azeris added sympathetic resonating strings and slightly changed its shape. The sound-board is made of two distinct planes covered with a fine membrane of beef heart. A horn bridge lies on the larger one which is almond-shaped. The tar has become the emblem of the music of Azerbaidjan.

The kamancha is a spike fiddle with a spherical sound-box and a cylindrical arm fitted with four steel strings. The sound-box carved out of a block of walnut-wood is covered with a fine sturgeon-skin. the kamancha has been in existence for roughly ten centuries and, over the last five centuries, is represented in miniatures just as it is today with the sole addition, a hundred years ago, of a fourth string.

In the trios, the voice leads, followed by the tar and then by the kamancha, but it happens in the course of improvised sequences that each instrument "leads the way".
In antiquity, and later in the 17th century, it was remarked that Azeris (and Persians) prefered high voices, Moreover, they use a technique called tahrir which consists in Passing the voice quickly (from time to time or repeatedly) from the back of the throat into the head (a little like yodelling). This technique and timbre are typical of a cultural area which comprises Georgia, Kurdistan, Western Persia and certain regions of Irak.

The Mugham interpreted

1. Rast is a basic Middle eastern mugham. the Azeri version uses a major (Western type) scale whose intervals are modified by a comma according to melodic attractions. It is pared down here to its basic form with two modulations, Ushshaq at the third and Araq at the octave, in the final tasnif.

2. Segah, is a mugham specific to Azerbaidjan. Its modal outline, gravitating around an E, is: b flat, a (flat), G, f, E, (d, c). In Mubarriga, the centre gravitates around an A; the yarim parde variant is played on : g, a flat, b flat, c.

3. Mahur, like rast, is played in a "major diatonic" scale familiar to Westerners. Here it has a modulation into Dilkesh (A flat) and Shikasteyi Fars (in the scale of Segah) in the initial tasnif.

4. Chahargah is one of the great modes (dastgah) of the Azeri tradition. Its bold, martial accents are supposed to excite the passions, but as accomplished a musician as Alim Qasimov can express the most diverse feelings in any mode.
Its characteristic scale, strongly centred on C is: g, a-comma, (or a flat), b, C, d flat, e-comma, f G, a-comma (or a flat) b, c. The motif or "signature" by which the mode can be immediately recognised is the jump to the tonic: a-comma, c.
The main phases of Chahargah contain no actual change of mode, but rather a displacement of the tonic, transpositions of the basic mode to an F and then to a G. The main sho'be sections and transpositions are basta-nigar (c, d flat, C-comma, f, g, a flat, then e, F, g flat, a-comma). Hissar (d, e-comma, f sharp comma, G, a flat+comma,b...), manandi Mukhalif, centred around B, mukhalif (e, f, g, A-comma, b, c) and Mansuri, up an octave.
register), maye (in the lower register), chaharmezrab, rung in Chahargah, Basta-nigar, rang, Hissar, Mukhalif, Manandi Mukhalif, tasnif in Mukhalif, Mansuriye (Zarbi mugham).

Alim Qasimov (chant et daf)
accompagne par Elshan Mansurov (kamancha)et Malik Mansurov (tar)

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MP3 320 kbps including full booklet scans in "PDF".

Part 1
Part 2