Savath & Savalas, Spectral Beauty

Savath & Savalas - Apropa't
Savath & Savalas – Apropa’t
Savath & Savalas

Apropa’t (Warp Records WARPCD115, 2004)

Reading the pre-release reviews for this disc it seems like I’m the only
person in the world who’s never heard of Scott Herren or his work as Prefuse 73.
Not so long ago, Guillermo Scott Herren upped his Atlanta roots and decamped to
Barcelona, Spain’s north-eastern melting pot port and home to some of the
hippest music currently circling the globe. Teaming up with local
vocalist/songwriter, Eva Puyuelo Muns, he decided to carry on his Savath &
Savalas project, which began back in 1999. Almost all of the music here is
performed & penned by the pair, with a little help from some additional bass,
drums, trumpet & flugelhorn and guest vocal on ‘Sigue tu camino (No sabes amar….)’,
featuring Azita Youssefi.

The music is a series of gentle soundscapes supporting Muns’ almost vaporous
vocal style, droplets of Castilian and Catalan spill onto the music in an almost
inconsequential way and it takes some time to find the timbre of this almost
beatless release. Even when drums & bass are in the mix, such as on ‘Último Tren’,
the feel is almost static, the music soft and enveloping, womb-like, reflecting
the cover photos of typically shady room interiors from one of the city’s older
quarters…Raval perhaps? Not minimal enough to be called ambient, too light for
jazz and definitely not lounge, the music here worms its way into your
consciousness, sinuously creating a quiet storm. A grower reaping rich rewards
from play to play.

Buy Apropa’t

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The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle

Musician
Grey Larsen has written an impressive
480 page book
dedicated to the art of the Irish flute and the popular tin whistle. Divided
into eight chapters,  The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle
(Mel Bay Publications ISBN
0-7866-4942-9 , 2003) is an effective book that begins with a basic introduction to Irish
traditional music. The chapter includes music notation and the tunes can be
learned thanks to set of two CDs that come with the book. Even though The Essential Guide to Irish
Flute and Tin Whistle

contains numerous sections of music notation, Irish music aficionados that can’t
read music can still make a good use of the book by following the music on the
accompanying CDs.

Section 2 of the book, which includes chapters 3 through 6 focus on the
instruments: their history, how to hold them and how to breathe. Larsen has
collected many vintage photographs that show old instruments and the book also
includes numerous drawings that clarify some of the details.Section 3 is the longest and is dedicated to ornamentation, a
major element of Irish music critical to the flute player’s unique expression.
These embellishments descend from the Irish bagpipes. Since a bellows powered
these pipes, the only way to initiate a repeated note was with a special finger
articulation. This led Irish pipers to evolve an elaborate vocabulary of
fingered embellishments. This language was inherited by the Irish flute and
whistle, and never before Larsen has anyone so thoroughly explained on paper the
complete range of these ornaments and how to play them. Section 4 centers on articulation, phrasing and the use of breath.

The sections at the end of The Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin
Whistle
include complete versions of several traditional Irish tunes: jigs,
reels and hornpipes;  27 transcriptions from some of the most important
The flute is really
magical
,” Larsen exclaims. “Your breath is producing the sound. Not wood. Not a
metal string. You can’t see what is making the sound. It is very ethereal. It’s
such a direct route into your soul
.”

Grey Larsen discovered Irish music in the early 1970’s and then embarked on a
passionate and devoted journey that continues to this day. In the ensuing
decades he has become one of America’s most highly regarded flute players. His
accomplishments in the field and compositions in the tradition are equally
respected by musicians in Ireland, America, and across the globe.

[Buy
the book now
].

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U.S. Embargos Extended to Editing Articles

Los Angeles, USA – An
article
that appeared today, February 21, in the Los Angeles Times mentions that the United States Department of the Treasury declared recently that American publishers cannot edit works authored in nations under trade embargoes. Altering any works written in the five five embargoed nations, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Cuba, is deemed illegal. Publishing articles is legal, but editing is considered a “service” and the agency has ruled that it is illegal to perform services for embargoed nations.

According to its own mission statement, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the United States Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and tradesanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those persons, organizations and countries engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The OFAC acts under Presidential wartime and national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze foreign assets under US jurisdiction. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope, and involve close cooperation with allied governments.

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Oumou

Oumou Sangare

Oumou (Nonesuch 79827-2, 2004)

This double-CD is both a compilation of previously released tunes (digitally
remastered) and a new release, featuring eight unreleased songs. Sangare – the
songbird of Wassoulou – took wing from southern Mali in 1990 on the strength of
her debut album, Moussolou (Women). She’s gone on to become a world music
celebrity, and a controversial one at that, given that the subject matter of her
original material frequently addresses women’s issues and concerns. Oumou
provides a sustained perspective on Sangare’s social conscience, as well as a
generous sampling of her distinctive voice.

She sings with a bell-like clarity, drawing out long passages via her superb
vocal technique, weaving voice and instruments into a mesmerizing tapestry. Hot
tracks include “Ah Ndiya,” “Magnoumako,” “Dugu Kamalemba” (Sangare’s first
criticism of polygamy), “Maladon,” “Baba” and “Djorolen.” Oumou comes with
Sangare’s notes on every song, which provide some nice insights into her lyrics
and how they reflect her social concerns.

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Terrakota Is Recording its New Album in Dakar

Dakar, Senegal – Portuguese world music band Terrakota is recording its new album in Xippy Studios in Dakar-Senegal. The recording will be released in May on Zonamusica. The band is already confirmed to play at Rock-In-Rio Lisboa, at the world music stage, alongside Angelique Kidjo, The Klezmatics and Manecas Costa on May 30.Terrakota is a collective that came about after many a journey and quest.
Seven young musicians took to the road, and the many meetings and adventures
they had, turned them into Terrakota. This is how they describe their music: “Terrakota
is a crucible for organic music that has African roots but feeds on sounds from
the Sahara, the Caribbean, India and the West, all this while basking in the
Jamaican sun
“.

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World Music Artist Wins ISC Grand Prize

The International Songwriting
Competition
(ISC) announced this week the winners for the 2003 annual
competition. ISC received over 11,000 entries from 60 countries in
its second year. ISC prizes include more than $100,000 (USD) in cash and
merchandise and are shared by 68 winners in 13 categories.

Winning the 2003 overall Grand Prize is
Moana Maniapoto
of Auckland, New
Zealand for her world music song “Moko.”  Described as the “diva of Maori
music,” Moana Maniapoto has consistently pushed the boundaries of Maori
music with her unique blend of traditional Maori musical elements and
contemporary western grooves. Her band Moana and the Tribe tour throughout
the world and are one of the most successful indigenous bands to emerge
from New Zealand. The winning song  “Moko,” is a compelling fusion of
smooth world music and an urban sound with earthy, international beats
.” The First Place winner in the World category is Ishay Amir from Tel Aviv,
Israel for his song “Forbidden Love”. An award-winning songwriter & record
producer, Ishay’s music combines contemporary music with folk and world
elements.

Taking Second Place honors is Toti from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for his song
“Bifurcacoes”. A saxophonist and flutist, Toti works with renowned
Brazilian artist Zé Ramalho. Entering the ISC was Toti’s first investment
in his career as a solo artist.

Other songwriters who placed in the world music category include: Auktyon  (Russia), Honorable Mention – “Victory Day”
Tony Battle/George Umbulo/Steffon (Western Springs, Auckland, New Zealand),
Honorable Mention – “Under African Skies”
Dejan Pejovic (Beograd, Srbija, Serbia & Monteneg), Honorable Mention –
“Ludiloro”
Dembo Jobarteh (Bakau, The Gambia), Runner Up – “Bunja Muta”
Justo D. Otongo (Baltimore, MD, USA), Runner Up – “Godly Love”
Cristina Abaroa (Sherman Oaks, CA, USA), Semi-finalist – “Pajaro Solitario”
Tony  Battle/George Umbulo (W. Springs, Auckland, New Zealand ), Semi-
finalist – “All I See Is Pain”
Niurka Curbelo/Hal S. Batt/Juliana Barrios (Miami, FL, USA), Semi-finalist
– “La Ruleta”
Alain Nkossi Konda (Immendstadt, Bavaria, Germany), Semi-finalist – “Foot
of the Hill”
Moana Maniapoto/Simon Halloway/ Hirini Melbourne (Grey Lynn, Auckland, New
Zealand), Semi-fianlist – “Te Po”
Patje (Studio City, CA, USA), Semi-finalist – “Baila Fever”
Dan Reiser (Fairview, NC, USA), Semi-finalist – “Umbyabo”
Henry Richards aka Djate (Steamboat Springs, CO, USA), Semi-finalist –
“Wanna Be Love”
Cesar Santino de la Tore aka Santino (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Semi-finalist
– “Sonrie”
Felicite Tchaco (San Francisco, CA, USA), Semi-finalist – “Mobali Naga”

The ISC panel of judges included top executives, songwriters, and producers
in the music industry:

Pat Metheny; Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20); B.B. King; Phil Vassar; Dan
Haseltine (Jars Of Clay); Vanessa Carlton; Bebe Winans; Guru (Gang Starr);
Paul Oakenfold; Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace); Nile Rodgers; Monte Lipman
(President, Universal Records); Arif Mardin (VP/GM, Manhattan Records);
Bruce Lundvall (CEO/President, Capitol Jazz/Classics); Michael Gudinski
(Chairman, Mushroom Group Of Companies);  Frank Callari  (Artist Manager);
Tina Davis (Sr. VP A&R, Def Jam/Def Soul); Rose Noone  (Sr. VP A&R, Epic
Records); Jimmy Bralower (Producer); Kim Stephens (VP A&R/Promotion, Lava
Records); Tara Griggs-Magee (Executive VP, Gospel & Urban Music, Sony Music
Entertainment); and Robert Beeson (President, Essential Records).

ISC is sponsored by Xytar Digital Systems, Epiphone Guitars, Sam
Ash Music Stores, iRiver, Primera Technology, Inc., Berklee College Of
Music, FYE -For Your Entertainment, MP3.com,  MasterWriter, Planetary
Group, Berkleemusic.com, Ernie Ball Music Man, L.R. Baggs, Sonicbids,
Cakewalk, The Intellitouch Tuner, Disc Makers, Alphabet Arm Design, The
Orchard,  M Works, Onlinegigs,  Live365.com, and Sennheiser USA.

For more information and a complete list of winners, please go to
http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners.htm
 

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Jesse McReynolds\’ New Horizons

Orlando, USA – Jesse McReynolds and The Virginia Boys are set to release their
latest project, New Horizons on Pinecastle Records. New Horizons
is the newest release in a long line of material from Jesse McReynolds and The
Virginia Boys. This is the band’s first release since the passing of Jim
(Jesse’s brother) in December 2002.

New Horizons encompasses traditional bluegrass tunes such as Faded Love
and There’s More Pretty Girls Than One to original compositions by Jesse, like,
The Anniversary Song, and America on Bended Knees. She’s Looking Good features
the vocal harmonies of Charles Whitstein (formerly of the Whitstein Brothers)
and Jesse, assuring fans that the traditional ‘Jim and Jesse sound’ is still
alive and well. With this being my first effort alone, I searched through a lot of songs,
trying to find something that would fit my style of singing and be a little bit
different. I hope I have come up with something that everyone will take a liking
to
," stated Jesse on his thoughts concerning New Horizons and the
direction he and the band continue to take. Jesse and The Virginia Boys are
maintaining a strong touring schedule across the US and continue to appear
regularly on the Grand Ole Opry. During the year of 2004, Jesse will be
celebrating his 40th anniversary as a member of the esteemed, world-famous,
Grand Ole Opry.

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Golden Horn Releases Cantemir: Music in Istanbul and Ottoman Europe

San
Francisco, USA – Golden Horn Productions has announced the release of Cantemir: Music in
Istanbul and Ottoman Europe around 1700
, an
authoritative album celebrating the musical life of Prince Dimitrie
Cantemir (1673-1723). The album features co-directors
Ihsan Özgen
and
Linda Burman-Hall, and the Santa Cruz-based quintet Lux Musica.

Prince Dimitrie Cantemir (1673-1723) was born in Moldavia, then at the
rule of the Ottoman Turks. Dimitrie was sent to Istanbul as a guest of
the court to ensure Moldavia’s loyalty. Here Cantemir studied the tanbur,
a long-necked Turkish lute, earning a reputation for his knowledge of the
historical Ottoman repertoire and theory. Cantemir’s Kantemir Edvari was
a major contribution to musicology preserving 352 works in a unique
notation style he developed to document his music study, known as ebcet.
Many of these works were composed in the Ottoman pesrev and saz semai forms.

Cantemir examines three repertoires. The section titled “The World of
Cantemir: Istanbul and Ottoman Europe around 1700” explores music
composed by Cantemir and also traditional Moldavian dances, such as
Cantemir might have heard back home at his wedding. The section “New
Music in Honor of Kantemiroglu (Prince Cantemir)” features a kemençe
taksim (solo improvisation for the bowed instrument, kemençe), a form
that had just gained popularity when Cantemir was in Istanbul, and a
beraber taksim (collective improvisation), a contemporary experimental
form of improvisation pioneered by Ihsan Özgen. The new music section
debuts two compositions inspired by Cantemir’s musical legacy. “In Honor
of Prince Cantemir” (track 14) was composed by internationally celebrated
composer Lou Harrison and arranged for this recording by Linda
Burman-Hall. “Andante from Concertino per Kemançe” (track 16) was
composed by Yalçin Tura, a devoted scholar of Cantemir who recently
published a full transcription of Cantemir’s Book of the Science of
Music. The third section, “Turkish Images, European Reflections,”
presents English and French music in the alla Turca style, a style
popular in the 18th century that included Turkish-inspired percussion,
rhythms, and “exotic” melodies. One such work is Ben Jonson’s “The Turks’
Dance” (track 20).

Ihsan Özgen (kemençe, tanbur, co-director) is a self-taught musician,
composer, and teacher of the Classical Ottoman music of Turkey. He is
famous for his kemençe performances and for his improvisation of melodic
taksims. In 1991, Özgen was awarded the Abdi Ipekçi Peace Award in
recognition of his work with the Bosphorus ensemble, a group composed of
Turkish and Greek musicians. He is also the leader of the well-known
ensemble Anatolia. An instructor at the Istanbul Turkish Music
Conservatory and former guest lecturer at University California at Santa
Cruz, Özgen is a leading specialist and interpreter of Tanburi Cemil Bey,
an early 20th century Turkish composer.

Linda Burman-Hall (early keyboards, bendir, co-director) is a
musicologist/ethnomusicologist best known as a performer of historic
keyboard works. Burman-Hall’s interests and skills are wide-ranging,
including: performances with contemporary music artists Steve Reich and
Meredith Monk; premiering and editing new works by contemporary
Indonesian composers; and performing the works of medieval mystic
Hildegard von Bingen. Burman-Hall is a faculty member of the University
of California at Santa Cruz music department, a founder and artistic
director of the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, and the musical director of
Lux Musica.

Lux Musica is the quintet of Lars Johannesson, David Wilson, Amy Brodo,
Mesut Özgen, and Linda Burman-Hall. Dedicated to presenting interesting
and beautiful works from the Enlightenment, Lux Musica draws on a
versatile combination of historical flutes, violin or viola, violoncello
or viola da gamba, and historic keyboards with percussion. A mainstay of
the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, their work can also be heard on several
CDs, including their debut recording Haydn and the Gypsies: Music in the
Style Hongrois
and their recent Celtic Caravans: The Road to Romanticism.

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Virtuoso brothers & lamenting strings

Les Yeux Noirs - Live
Les Yeux Noirs – Live
Les Yeux Noirs
Concert Preview

Les Yeux Noirs (French for black eyes) are currently touring the US in support of its CD simply entitled Live. Taking their name from a Russian gypsy tune made famous by the legendary Django Reinhardt of the 1930’s, Les Yeux Noirs perform a blend of Gypsy, Yiddish and French Gypsy jazz. The sextet’s tour kicked off at the beginning of February and will bring the group to Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, California, Washington, Oregon and Montana (Sounds like the campaign trails for the US presidential hopefuls).

Les Yeux Noirs repertoire echoes the frenzied excitement of a Jewish wedding or a gypsy celebration. With just the right blend of klezmer music and gypsy melodies, this romp is loads of fun. This group pleases fans of Tom Waits’ cultural diversity, Emil Kusturica’s films and the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. Formed 10 or so years ago by two violinist brothers, Eric and Olivier Slabiak after they fell in love with klezmer music toured the US in 2002 and now this “boyband of a lost era,” (Bangkok Post) have returned with their lamenting strings, heartfelt vocals and frenzied Gypsy romps.

Les Yeux Noirs can be described as a marriage between Roma gypsies and a Jewish village. And as you might imagine, the group’s music features both mournful laments about the suffering that both groups have endured throughout the centuries, but especially during Hitler’s reign, but the songs here also celebrate life. Similar to the Argentine tango or the Spanish flamenco, despair can inspired danceable numbers and catharsis. After all, it is possible to be happy and sad at the same time as well as, to laugh and cry simultaneously. Les Yeux Noirs reminds us that we are after all only human and the songs here inspire us to live the human experience fully and in the moment.

Les Yeux Noirs puts loads of passion into their craft that reflects the musicians’ love of gypsy and klezmer music as they honor the traditions that came before them. The musicians perform on mostly acoustic instruments including violin, violoncello, accordion, cimbalom, but have also added electric guitar and electronic samples to their latest repertoire. Let these European virtuosos lead you towards a wild gypsy experience.

Tour Dates:

02/19 Little Fox, Redwood City, CA
02/20 Henflings, Ben Lomond, CA
02/21 Marin JCC, Helena, MT
02/24 Century Ballroom, Seattle, WA
02/25 Bend Senior High School, Bend, OR
02/27 Alberta Blair, Billings, MT
02/28 Whitefish Theatre, Whitefish, MT

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Hamsa Lila Releases New Studio Album: ‘Multi-Kulti’ Release Unites Global Styles

San Francisco, USA –  Hamsa Lila recently released
its CD, Gathering One.  Released by In the Pocket Records (Ryko Distribution) and produced by Yossi Fine,
Gathering One
creates danceable grooves spun from West African drums,
ethereal flutes, and woodwinds. Hamsa Lila’s style is inspired by earthy textures from a variety of cultures, including the Gnawa brotherhood of Morocco, and many other world cultures. Since premiering on the festival scene two years ago, Hamsa Lila earned title of San Francisco Bay Area’s Best International Band in 2002.

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Your Connection to traditional and contemporary World Music including folk, roots and various types of global fusion