Jan-Mari Carlotti - Linhana/Lignane (1984)

«Après des études d'Histoire, d'ethnologie et de Sanskrit à Aix-en-Provence, Jan-Mari Carlotti commence à chanter en Provençal avec Mont-Jòia qui participe activement à la renaissance de la chanson et de la musique traditionnelle du Sud-Est (73-83). Responsable des Rescòntres de la Mar (premier festival dédié aux musiques méditerranéennes) il mène plusieurs enquêtes son et vidéo sur la culture populaire occitane et méditerranéenne (76-85) et participe à la fusion Bachas/Mont-jòia (81-83), avant d'enregistrer Linhana, premier disque sous son nom (84). Il est également auteur de l'Anthologie de la nouvelle chanson Occitane avec F.Bard (Edisud 1984), du catalogue et de l'exposition Affiches du Pays Valencian avec Soledad Desfilis (1985).

Depuis 1984, il joue en solo Ielis d'Emperi (chansons des confins de l'Empire) ou en groupe notamment Anita/Anita avec P. Vaillant, R. Tesi et D.Craighead (85-88)... Chants du Delta du Rhône avec D. Segrè et Ch. Zagaria. (85-91)... Trobar 1 avec Michel Marre (depuis 93)... Mont-Jòia repris, en 95, avec Patrick Verdiè, et depuis 2004 avec Silvio Peron et Gabriele Ferrero... avec la danseuse de Bharata Natyam Armelle Choquard (2003). Autodidacte, il est avant tout "troubadour" (auteur et compositeur de chansons).» (Mont-joia.com)

«Jan-Mari Carlotti, di Arles, in Provenza, è uno dei migliori e originali cantanti solisti nell’ambito della musica popolare di riproposta. Fondatore del gruppo Mont-Joia ha aderito in seguito al gruppo Bachas - Mont-Joia, per poi intraprendere un’attività solista e di collaborazione con Patrick Vaillant e altri musicisti. Il suo consistente repertorio spazia dalla rivisitazione di canzoni tradizionali e nouvè provenzali, al repertorio dei trovatori, fino alle canzoni di sua composizione. Da segnalare, tra le varie cose, la partecipazione di Jan-Mari come autore e cantante nel progetto Anita Anita che ha portato nel 1988 all'uscita dell'ormai mitico disco, emblema della nuova musica occitana, realizzato da Carlotti e Vaillant insieme a Riccardo Tesi e Daniele Craighead.»

Thanx to Giuliano for this post.

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Zap Mama - Adventures in Afropea, Vol. 1 (1993)

«Zap Mama is an all-female a cappella quintet founded by Zaire native Marie Daulne. Daulne's father was killed during the revolution of 1960 while her mother was pregnant with her, so the remainder of the family fled to the forests and found refuge with a tribe of pygmies. Daulne was raised primarily in Europe, but when she heard a recording of traditional pygmy music at age 20, she decided to return to Africa to learn about her heritage. She was trained in pygmy onomatopoeic vocal techniques before returning to the West to found Zap Mama. Her group blends world music styles from all over the globe with little, if any, instrumental or percussive backup other than what group members can do with their voices and bodies. Their 1993 debut, Adventures in Afropea, became the biggest-selling non-compilation album in the history of Luaka Bop Records, helped in part by an opening slot on that summer's 10,000 Maniacs tour. A year later they released a follow-up, Sabsylma; 7 followed in 1997. A Ma Zone appeared in 1999. Zap Mama returned to Luaka Bop for 2004's Ancestry in Progress. Supermoon was issued by Heads Up in 2007.» (AMG)

Interview: http://www.zapmama.com/

URL MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/zapmama

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Blog Action Day 2008: Yes, We Can Make a Difference!

These days, sadly, there are not many reasons left to be proud of being Italian.
Luckily, however, a few still remain. One of these is surely Emergency.

But what is Emergency?

Emergency – I quote from the organization’s site – is

«an independent, neutral and non-political Italian organization. Emergency provides free, high quality medical and surgical treatment to the civilian victims of war, landmines and poverty. Emergency promotes a culture of solidarity, peace and respect for human rights. […] The work of Emergency around the world is possible thanks to the help of thousands of volunteers and supporters.»

To learn more about Emergency, its programs and activities and the ways to participate to them and/or to give to the organization an always needed support, click here:


Support who supports the poor and the needy!

And, to find out what other bloggers have to say about Poverty and what we might be able to do, go to Blog Action Day.org.


Stella Chiweshe - Talking Mbira (Spirit of Liberation) (2002)

«Accompanying her swooping vocals on mbira, a thumb piano consisting of metal strips set in wood, Stella Chiweshe has taken the traditional Shona music of Zimbabwe to the international stage. Chiweshe reached her largest audience when she joined Peruvian vocalist Susana Baca and Tex-Mex singer-guitarist Tish Hinojosa for the Global Diva tour in 1997.

One of the few women to play the mbira, Chiweshe was taught to play by her mother's uncle in 1963 or 1964. In 1974, she had to borrow an instrument in order to record her debut single. In the two decades since, Chiweshe has recorded more than twenty singles. In addition to performing as a soloist, Chiweshe performs with the Stella Chiweshe Mbira Trio and the Earthquake Band. According to World Music: The Rough Guide, Chiweshe “has provoked some criticism for her avant garde mixture of sacred and commercial music, a controversal issue in a country where music is so close to the spiritual centre of life”. Partly based in Germany, Chiweshe performs mostly outside of her native land. A talented actress and dancer, Chiweshe is a member of the National Dance Company Of Zimbabwe and is known for her portrayal of national hero, Mbuyo Nehanda.

Fans of Stella Chiweshe's hypnotic style won't be disappointed by Talking Mbira, since she delivers plenty more of the same throughout. The mix of mbira, or thumb piano, with marimbas, creates a jogging, mesmerizing bed of sound for Chiweshe's storytelling Shona vocals, which remain filled with politics. She's a spiritual, visionary woman who seems to rely on her senses to create nothing less than magic. The revelation on the disc, however, is "Chachimurenga (Future Mix)," which ups the pace a little in a kind of Zimbabwe dub, and the sprightly bass work of Sabah Habas Mustapha. The production, by Hijaz Mustapha, brings in plenty of reverb to take Chiweshe's song to another dimension and heighten the impact – at least to Western audiences more familiar with Jamaican music than the raw sounds of southern Africa. While it's the most accessible and the overall sound makes it stand out, don't be fooled – everything else here is just as powerful.» (AMG)

Official site: http://www.stellachiweshe.com/

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October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.


Many thanx to Nestor, who figured out the titles of the tracks of a wonderful Chinese double CD I posted some time ago. Click here:
"Gu Yue Xin Yun (Old Music, New Sound) - Chinese Traditional Music"
and go to the comments area to see the results. Thanx again!

Various Artists - Icelandic Folk Music (1996)

Produced by Magnús Þór Sigmundsson and Rafin R. Jónsson, Icelandic Folk Music is the instrumental version of Íslandsklukkur.
A cd of even more haunting beauty than its predecessor, Icelandic Folk Music features Eggert Pálsson (Bódhran Drum, Percussion), Sigurður Halldórsson (Cello), Útilegumannakórinn (Choir), Birgir Bragason (Contrabass), Rúnar Vilbergsson (Fagott), Dan Cassady (Fiddle), Martial Nardeau (Flute), Hjörtur Howser, Jens Hansson (Keyboards), Egill Örn Rafnsson (Tambourine), Símon Kuran (Violin), Tröllasveitin (Other Instruments).

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Various Artists - Íslandsklukkur (1994)

The first of two twin projects addressing the folk tradition of Iceland, Íslandsklukkur features the following artists: Ýmsir hljóðfæraleikarar, Ómur Íslandsklukkna, Egill Ólafsson, Voces Thules, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir, Magnús Þór Sigmundsson, Bergþór Pálsson, Kristjana Stefánsdóttir, Sverrir Guðjónsson, Ragnar Davíðsson, Eggert Pálsson.

For German speaking readers: click here for more info about the history (Geschichte) of the tunes and the Liedtexte.

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Postcards from Istanbul - Inside the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Çarsi )

Moğollar - 1968-2000 (2000)

«Moğollar (The Mongols) was established in December 1967 when Aziz Azmet (vocal, guitar), Murat Ses (hammond organ), Cahit Berkay (guitar, saz, tambur), Hasan Sel (bass) and Engin Yörükoglu (drums) joined forces to rock the Turkish music scene. Less than a year later, Hasan quit and Taner Öngür took his place. In February 1968 they released their first single. They spent the entire year of 1969 travelling all over Anatolia making themselves known and became very popular. At the same time they set the stage for a new kind music that was to be called "Anatolian Rock." With this music evolving as an alternative to then prevailing music style which merely imitated the West's, they decided to create a unique form of rock music by taking advantage of the already rich musical heritage in Anatolia. Moğollar defined Anatolian Rock as a mutual adaptation of rich colours (rhythm, melodies) in Anatolian folk music and modern popular music. In an interview published in a popular music magazine in 1970, they explained their style and objectives as follows: "What we want to prove is that our folk music has a spirit of orchestration. Also, the proximity of our folklore to our kind of rock music... Our under-developed pop music would gain some strength of character by uniting with advanced technology and our rich folklore. Our aim with Anatolian rock is to blend advanced technology with unique folklore elements..." For a while they only produced rock music. Moğollar style. In September 1970 Moğollar went to Paris to produce an LP for the Guilde Internationale du Disque and a single for CBS (Behind the Dark-Hitchin') Moğollar became what seemed to be a reaction to stagnation by musicians who had decided that it was time to stop imitating the music of the western world. Moğollar incorporated Anatolian rhythms, harmonies, and instruments into their music. In 1971 they won the French Academie Charles Cros Grand Prix Du Disque (previously bestowed upon Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd) for their album Danses et Rhythmes de la Turquie d'hier a'Aujourd' hui. In January 1971 they returned to Turkey and performed concerts for the first four months and then they proceeded to work together with singers such as Cem Karaca and Baris Manco. They produced a few singles, performed live concerts and appeared on several TV shows. Moğollar continued their work for five more years, going abroad from time to time and working with many different groups. They disbanded in 1976, and the ensuing years of political turmoil and military coups in this Middle-Eastern country appeared to all but thwart what had been a thriving Anatolian rock scene.

In January 1993 Cahit Berkay, Taner Öngür and Engin Yörükoglu put the band together again. A series of newspaper articles in a leading Turkish newspaper requesting the band to reform, and the idea of inspiring a new generation of Turkish musicians, prompted Moğollar to get their act back together again. They performed their legendary comeback concert in Istanbul on the 30th of May 1993. Their subsequent CD, Moğollar '94 proved the group hadn't lost any of its fury or fire. When they performed atop a 35-foot-high concrete stage in front of a crowd of about 1,000 at an amusement park surrounded by rollercoasters, cotton candy vendors and fireworks-the scene was suitably dramatic. Moğollar did not disappoint their loyal fans; they rocked out on tunes written by Asik Veysel, traditional folk songs and their own material, particularly Kesisleme, a scorching instrumental featuring Cahit Berkay on saz. Berkay also playing bowed tambour and guitar (an instrument that he picked up in the early 1960s after hearing Hank Marvin of the Shadows). Bandmate Engin Yörükoglu is a master of the drums and darbuka, (it's said he's the best drummer in Turkey) while Taner Öngür plays bass. The original members of Moğollar have been joined by 24-year-old keyboardist Serhat Ersöz and today they continue to regularly please their audience in Jazz Stop, which is owned by Engin Yörükoglu, and still appear live in concert all over Turkey and Europe. With their second wind, they've begun writing songs about the social, ecological and human rights problems of Turkey.» (Progressive.homestead.com – where you can find more info, interviews with the band, complete discography, great pics, etc.)

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Difondo - Himalaya (2008)

Difondo are an experimental band from Sardinia. Himalaya is their last work. Not exactly my cup of tea, but a fine work indeed, quite original and fluent. The group, consisting of Sergio Camedda (sampler, looper, voice, cd players, turntable, sound objects, fx and space controller), Giampaolo Campus (sampler/ looper, synth, drum machine, sound objects, glockenspiel, melodica, fx and space controller) and Giuseppe Casu (guitar, looper, fx and sound objects), presents his sonic research as follows:

«The path of performing research, which has characterized the latest cd-rs, follows in this work through an even more mixture between acoustic elements and digital processings. Great emphasis has been given to the use of sound objects and acoustic instruments, mainly with a percussive character, performed with their natural timbre or sampled and processed in real time. This attitude remains however open to a melodic research which is from time to time rethought through the elements mentioned above or the suggestions coming from the guitar.

The work was developed from various improvisational sessions, held in different times starting from May 2006. During which time have lead to a selection of pieces which have been that subsequently undergone editing and mixing. This has been intended as a work which conjugated the performing urgency to a sound quality suitable to the timbrical research, avoiding to put in action heavy processings on the material coming from the various sessions.

Particular emphasis has also been given to the dislocation of sounds in the space which, in the performing moment, has been realized in a quadriphonic spatial dimension even though, in the cd version, has been brought to a stereophonic one to allow a wider circulation of the project.

The title, comes from a fragment of a poem declaimed in Italian by a group of German language children from Alto Adige (northern Italy), reveals the idea of the geographic connotation of the work - the mountains - the place where the music comes up. This is considered a relevant aspect of the compositive moment, intended as a specific perspective from which the surrounding world is observed.»

Thanx to Francesco and Difondo for this post.

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Nicolas Krassik - Caçuá (2006)

«Caçuá, a word with Tupi (Indigenous Brazilian Language) origins, is a wicker or vine basket used to carry provisions and is transported by beasts of burden in the inland parts of the Brazilian Northeast.

It is also an inspired baião by João Lyra and Maurício Carrilho whose name Caçuá baptizes the second CD by French violinist settled in Rio since 2001, Nicolas Krassik.
The mixture of colors and spices very much Brazilian, this Caçuá brings together genres like choro, samba, baião and xote, framed by arrangements that highlight the sound of the quartet lead by Nicolas (with his violin, Nando Duarte on the seven string guitar, João Hermeto on percussion and Fabio Luna on drums), among guests Carlos Malta, Chico Chagas, Eduardo Neves and João Lyra.
One of the CD’s highlights is the participation of Seu Luiz Paixão, a rabequeiro from Pernambuco that dialogues with Nicolas’s violin on the last track of the CD, recreating the atmosphere of a Northeastern fair.
The repertoire of Caçuá is also the first registration of Nicolas as a composer in the cheerful Meu Maxixe and in the dense and slow samba, Petite Maman, dedicated to his mother Marie-Claude, who passed away in December 2005. The vibrant record exhibits the violinist’s talent in improvisation allied with his technique and sound characteristics. Nicolas, the Parisian is completely integrated into the Rio scene and is able to interpret all the classical repertoire of Brazilian instrumental music, an example being the waltz Santa Morena, by Jacob do Bandolim, whose arrangements allow for excerpts of traditional Turkish music.

In short, this is a caçuá filled with musical ideas that encourage dance, emotion, humor and contemplation. As well as, Nicolas’s first job as musical producer, here by my side in a demonstration of extreme sensibility, technical refinement and constantly maturing as an artist.» (Luís Filipe de Lima, NicolasKrassik.com. Review also available in French and Portugués version)

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