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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California Worldfest 2004

California-worldfestGrass Valley, California, USA – California
Worldfest has announced some of the artists that will perform at its 8th edition. The event will take place July 15-18, 2004, Grass Valley, California. at this time, the following artists are scheduled to play: Youssou N’Dour & the Super Etoile, Tommy Emmanuel (Australia), Les Yeux Noir (Francet), Alasdair Fraser (Scotland), Badi Assad (Brazil), Joe Craven (USA), Radim Zenkl (Czech
Republic), Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum (USA), Bluehouse (Australia).

The festival will also include vocal, instrumental, dance and percussion workshops, the renowned children’s program, international artisans and food from around the world. Camping tickets are going to be available from today until March 31, 2004 at the same price as last year; 4-day camping tickets are $90 and 3-day camping tickets are $80 per person, a savings of $20 per ticket off the
gate price. (A youth ticket, age 13-16, with camping is $45 for the whole festival and a child’s ticket, age 5-12, with camping is $25. Children under 5 are free.) Early ticket buyers receive a free CD from Putumayo.Tickets can be purchased online or at +1 530-891-4098.

For information or to purchase tickets via phone, the office is open Monday-Friday, 10am to 5pm. RV
(recreational vehicles) sites with full hook-ups are available in the camping area ($60 all Festival for full hook-ups and $40 all Festival for water/electricity only) with the purchase of 3-day or 4-day tickets.

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Life of the Worlds: Journeys in Jewish Sacred Music

San Francisco, USA – Five Souls Music has released
Richard Kaplan‘s second album, Life
Of The Worlds
(FSM CD 510). The noted cantor, teacher, and ethnomusicologist
has embarked upon a spirited exploration of sacred music from throughout the
Jewish Diaspora. Fans of the late
Ofra
Haza
will revel in his treatments of Sephardic, Mizrachi, and Ashkenazic
material from Yemen, Afghanistan, Morocco, Andalusia (Spain), and Eastern Europe
– songs of exultation, grief, love, and longing for the divine. Fronted by Mr.
Kaplan’s high baritone, the tunes are  interpreted by a hand-picked
ensemble of master musicians via acoustic arrangements with a slight jazzy edge.
The CD is accompanied by a 32-page booklet, which includes detailed song
descriptions. All lyrics are provided in the original languages with
transliteration plus complete English translationsWhile every selection on the album has intense personal meaning for Mr. Kaplan,
he is especially passionate about the 4th track, Kinah Lekhurban Gan Eden. In
it, ancient laments about the destruction of the Two Temples are transformed
into a modern prayer for the endangered larger temple that is Gaia, or Mother
Earth. “I re-sculpted this piece over a period of years,” he says, I describe
this genre of song as an “eco-lament
.”

Richard Kaplan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been successful as a
R&B singer, stand-up comedian, college professor, jazz pianist, early music
practitioner, and narrowly avoided superstardom as a member of Michael Janusz’s
“Morning of the World” group. In 1997, following years of intensive study, Mr.
Kaplan was named cantor of Temple Beth Abraham, a Conservative synagogue in
Oakland, California, a position he still occupies. Mr. Kaplan’s debut CD,
Tuning The Soul
, (1999) received rapturous print reviews and major radio
airplay, selling thousands of copies despite a lack of formal distribution. He
is currently giving workshops and concerts, and making bookstore appearances,
throughout Cthe United States.

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Zoë/Rounder Releases Tangle Eye: Voices from the Past, Grooves for the Present

Cambridge, MA, USA – With its debut release, New Orleans-based Tangle Eye
brings a fresh approach to the art of the remix, creating music, beats and
sounds that bring new light to original vocal performances sampled from Alan
Lomax’s Southern Journey field recordings. The result is one of the most soulful
and satisfying roots-based albums in some time.

A few years ago, the word “remix” most likely would have indicated a club
version of a pop hit, strictly meant for dancing. However, such recent
recordings as Verve Remixed and Bird Up: The Charlie Parker Remix
Project
have established the remix genre as a creative new music style with
seemingly boundless possibilities. Tangle Eye’s ringleaders, Scott Billington and Steve Reynolds, began creating
remixes of roots music in the early 1990s, with versions of zydeco songs by such
artists as Beau Jocque and Chris Ardoin released as 12″ vinyl singles for the
Houston dance market. In seeking a more ambitious project, the duo approached
the Alan Lomax Archive and began working with Lomax’s superb field recordings
made in the American South from the 1940s to the 1960s (released on Rounder as
the Southern Journey series).

Many listeners first heard Lomax’s recordings on the multi-platinum selling O
Brother, Where Art Thou?
, or on recent albums that use Lomax samples. The
John Travolta film, The General’s Daughter, used samples from Lomax’s
Library of Congress recordings, and Moby had a hit with “Natural Blues,” which
sampled Vera Ward Hall’s “Trouble So Hard.” There’s a difference, however, in
Tangle Eye’s approach, for their music is ultimately about the voices sampled.
It can be astonishing to hear the raw beauty and passion of these voices, most
of which were original a cappella performances, in the new settings created by
Tangle Eye.

The opening track, “John Henry’s Blues,” samples a vocal by Ed Lewis, a convict
at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, and the listener can still hear the sound
of Lewis’s axe chopping a tree as he sang. Against a chugging groove, pianist
Henry Butler reharmonizes the traditional song, making Lewis’s vocal seem all
the more immediate and poignant. “Chantey,” which uses a vocal by The Bright
Light Quartet, a group of Atlantic Coast fishermen, is re-interpreted with a
rock steady reggae beat, with solos from teenaged New Orleans brass band
musicians Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and James Matthews. “Soldier,” which
samples the hymn, “I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord,” is a full-blown house
mix, with fast-fingered keyboard work from Davell Crawford.

Other contributing contemporary musicians include Meters bassist George Porter,
Jr., Galactic guitarist Jeff Raines, old-time fiddler Dirk Powell, bluesman
Corey Harris, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and bluegrass Dobro virtuoso Rob
Ickes.

Between them, Billington and Reynolds have produced or engineered hundreds of
albums, including numerous Grammy winners and Grammy nominees. As Tangle Eye,
they offer American roots music with a new spin. Even for music fans who are
familiar with the original Lomax recordings, these remixes may be a revelation,
like hearing these voices for the first time.

[Buy
Alan Lomax’s Southern Journey Remixed
].

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BBC World Awards For World Music 2004 on CD

London, England – This double CD contains tracks from all nominees for, and winners of, the
BBC Radio 3 Awards For World Music of 2004. Now in their third year, the
Awards a double CD set featuring a track each from the winners and nominated artists from categories are: Africa, Americas, Asia / Pacific, Europe, Middle East / North Africa, Newcomer, Boundary Crossing, The Critics’ Award organized by world music magazine fROOTS for Album Of The Year and a new category – Club Global – that recognizes the growing tide of beat driven music inspired by club culture – whether that club is in Recife, Johannesburg or New York.
The compilation and sleeve notes are by Rita Ray. She co-founded London’s legendary Mambo Inn and today appears around the globe with the Shrine Synchrosystem, the Afrocentric roots and digital club that she has similarly co-founded. She is a BBC World Service presenter.

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Sampling, Much More than Vocal Tricks

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Madrid, Spain – After half an hour of concert, the
peaceful atmosphere of Madrid´s Calle 54 club – the hottest European Latin jazz
spot, created by moviemaker Fernando Trueba- was totally forgotten. By voice,
talent, wit and heart,
Vocal
Sampling
achieved what no band had been able to do: make everybody dance
without playing an instrument. The recent Spanish tour by the six-voice strong
Sampling has received raving reviews as the audiences become familiar the songs
off their latest album Cambio de Tiempo (Decca, 2002). Vocal Sampling is a band where all the instruments are sung instead of
played. In addition to the lead vocals and the background choruses, all the
instruments of the Cuban orchestra are vocally reproduced: percussion, horns,
keyboards, bass, and all the other instruments. There is no technical
manipulation and no other instruments are used.

The group is comprised of six young Cuban men in their twenties, all
accomplished instrumentalists and arrangers, who met at music school. What began
as an amusing after-school game has become their full-time career.

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Serbia Served Hot

Earth Wheel Sky Band – Waltz Rromano
Earth Wheel Sky Band

Waltz Rromano (Asphalt Tango Records, CD ATR 0303, 2003)

The recently-created Asphalt Tango label made an impressive double splash last year with their Besh o Drom and Jony Iliev releases. Their Gypsy/Balkan focus is still fresh, as these wild and wonderful songs by Serbia’s Earth Wheel Sky Band show. Gypsy music has no problem turning up the heat in its bigger, brassier incarnations, but the stripped-down format heard here is incendiary as well.

Guitarist, vocalist, composer, activist and Boris Kovac sideman Olah Vince is joined by a standup bassist, violinist, cymbalom player and percussionist to create music so jauntily rousing that the slower moments (like the sweet “Music Rroman”) make you marvel at the group’s versatility.

Let’s be clear, though. Most of this is intended to get your blood racing, and it succeeds like nobody’s business. The kicker is that even at breakneck tempos, the pure beauty of the music shines through as the feel moves easily from ominous to evocative to lamenting to party-hearty. Hammered cymbalom
strings form the backbone of melodic mood, creating a rich gumbo alongside the bass and galloping dumbek drum with guitar, violin and recurring vocal exhortations circling the action.

“Listen to this music, dance, shout, be Gypsy, be free” is the advice the liner notes give, and by golly, you can’t think of a reason not to. The singular free spirit that Gypsies seem to embody is set to music on this disc, captured for all to enjoy.

Buy Waltz Rromano.

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Once Again US Denies Visas for Cuban Grammy 2004 Contenders

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha – Insider’s Music) Havana, Cuba – Once again, the
United States government denied visas for a prestigious delegation of Cuban
musicians to attend the Grammy Awards ceremony, February 8, in Los Angeles. In a
situation similar to what happened with the Latin Grammy in Miami, the Recording
Academy sent the invitation letters demanded by US government procedures to
travel to the US. The required documents were immediately presented by the Cuban
institutions to the US Interests Section in Havana.

It is even more outrageous that the denial of visas for the Cuban delegation
is justified under section 212 (f) of the US Immigration Law related to
terrorists, assassins, drug-dealers and everyone who is considered a menace to
US national security. Inside and outside Cuba, the ethical, moral and human
values of guitarist

Manuel Galbán
, Eugenio Rodríguez, leader of the
Septeto
Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro
, lute player Barbarito Torres, excellent percussionist
Amadito Valdés, and the Cuban music glories

Ibrahim Ferrer
and Guillermo
Rubalcaba are a known quantity. Their fame is in Cuba and abroad, as well as
their sense of loyalty, patriotism and their extraordinary artistic talent. More than 13,000 professional musicians of revolutionary Cuba cultivate these
values, and that is precisely why this attempt to besmirch the nation’s culture
is made. The Cuban Music Institute denounces this new insult to Cuba’s culture
and its people, while it thanks the organizers for trying to help the Cuban
musicians attend the Grammy ceremony. Unfortunately – it said – the US people
were deprived of enjoying these honorable exponents of universal Cuban music.
Someday, when there is no blockade, manipulations, or threats, both countries’
peoples will enjoy each other’s music in peace.

[Other related stories published at
World Music Central:

Homeland
Security proposes increases in fees for immigration applications


Homeland Security Forces Cancellations of Paco de Lucía Concerts


Slamming The Door Shut


Director of “Los Van Van” Says US Embargo Affects Music


State Department Insists Time Ran Out for Latin Grammy Nominees


US Processing Visas for Cuban Latin Grammy Nominees


Zimbabwe Group Black Umfolosi Denied Entry in Israel


Austrian-Palestinian Musician Deported by Israeli Authorities
].

[Photo of Ibrahim Ferrer].

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