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katya-oddio on 04/29/2010 at 09:30PM

Children of Ling Shan

Chan Wai Fat composed this original soundtrack for the play CHILDREN OF THE SOUL MOUNTAIN (LING SHAN) inspired by the daoist pilgrimage in Gao Xingjian's Nobel winning novel SOUL MOUNTAIN (LING SHAN).

Composer Chan Wai Fat visited the minority tribes along part of the Ling Shan path, resulting a re-interpretation of two traditional folk songs and seven new compositions with a mix of native recordings. This album is a selection of songs from the play, sung by elderly blind folk singer Po Sun-yi. Sun-yi was born and raised in Guizhou. This is the same region of southwestern China where composer Fat visited the Ling Shan Path and where Shamanistic customs and traditions still flourish.

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katya-oddio on 04/28/2010 at 10:00PM

Serene Serein

Nest is a project of fellow pianists and record label operators Otto Totland (Deaf Center / Type Records) and Huw Roberts (Serein). They became friends when they were members of the Miasmah free netlabel. This self-titled EP is their first work publicly released. It is apparently no longer available through Serein since their 2009 rebuild, but has been remastered and incorporated into the album RETOLD. The recording is too good to fade into obscurity, so it lives again now at the WFMU Free Music Archive.

from the original release on Serein:

"Both pianists, there is little wonder that after exploring a plethora of musical styles, the two find themselves most at home writing traditionally structured pieces, with the ivories a major element throughout. The EP demonstrates clearly the innate ability the two have for song writing, borrowing from the world of film soundtracks and contemporary classical composers to craft delicate instrumental compositions.

"Alongside their favoured instrument can be variously heard the plucked strings of the Welsh harp, violins, woodwind instruments, field recordings, percussion and a heady dose of mind wobbling effects. From the time Nest began writing together, one purpose was clear; to produce beautiful music free of pretense, and they do it exceptionally well."

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TAGGED AS:
piano, electroacoustic, nest
katya-oddio on 04/21/2010 at 04:15PM

Frigiliana Free Jazz

detail from CD cover

This fantastic, energetic concert of free jazz was performed by the Breuss Arrizabalaga Quintet in Frigiliana, Málagua, Spain on 19 July 2003. (Tracks 9 and 10 were recorded in performance in Madrid.) The concert was released as an album, Nfamoudou-Boudougou, on Hazard Records.

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katya-oddio on 04/16/2010 at 09:00AM

Charles-Valentin Alkan's Opuses 25 and 31

Alkan's music frequently displays idiosyncratic features, including nonstandard key signature and pedal notation, as seen in this extract from the 2nd movement of the sonata Les Quatre Âges.

Brazillian pianist Felipe Sarro performs Opus 25 Alleluia and Opus 31 Préludes by French Romantic composer Charles-Valentin Alkan.

Alkan, one of the greatest virtuoso pianists of his day, was a friend and contemporary of Franz Liszt and Frédéric Chopin. He was a child prodigy, entering the Paris Conservatoire at the age of six. Alkan was a favorite of his teacher, Joseph Zimmermann, who also taught fellow composers Georges Bizet, César Franck, Charles Gounod, and Ambroise Thomas. In his twenties, Alkan was a famous virtuoso and teacher in elegant social circles. Liszt once stated that Alkan had the finest piano technique of anyone he knew. This Romantic composer was a luminary of his time.

Felipe Sarro began his musical training at the age of eight and studied at Academia Musical Fátima and Santa Cecília Musical Conservatory. In this album on the FMA, Sarro performs Alkan's Opus 31 Alleluia (1844) and Opus 25 Préludes dans touts les tons majeur et mineurs (1847) in entirety.

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katya-oddio on 04/12/2010 at 05:32PM

Wake Up

photo by Michael Cornelius, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

The city blocks have the hypnotic power to lull you off to sleep. Don't do it. Do not slip away into the sleep. It's too dangerous. You can't sleep on the train. Wake up. Vulnerable, too vulnerable, wake up, missing your stop, wake up, traveling to unknown districts, and then the startling wake up call, el despertar.

The experimental electronic and rock album Ruptures by DIY-Note is now in the Free Music Archive.

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katya-oddio on 04/09/2010 at 05:09PM

Droopy Drops In

Hugo "Droopy" Contini delivers hard bop from Lorraine, France to the WFMU Free Music Archive on US National Jazz Day. Contini is part of the RawBounce Records collective and the alto sax man for The Real Dealers.

Once after rehearsal, the band had the space for a few more hours, so they recorded the album, Surpriscording now hosted at the FMA.

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katya-oddio on 04/07/2010 at 09:28AM

Indonesian Excursion

Indonesian rupiah banknotes

Fans of the ancient traditional Indonesian music form of gamelan will be pleased to find the Free Music Archive is now home to Gamelan Nyai Saraswati recordings.

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katya-oddio on 03/29/2010 at 03:00PM

Warmth from Andalusia

Alcázar de Jerez de la Frontera by El Pantera [Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 license]

The group El Niño del Parking brings you the sound of the ancient city of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia in southwestern Spain between the sea and the mountains. In addition to Spanish guitars, Latin rhythms, and the clapping of flamenco, this brings you the experience of the fluid poetry of the Castilian tongue, festivals, palm trees, celebrated vineyards, sunshine, Mediterranean warmth.

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katya-oddio on 01/25/2010 at 06:16PM

Jazz from Buenos Aires

Gepel brings you original jazz from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The FMA now hosts Moducué, Gepel's album recorded, mixed and mastered in Casa Frida by Hernan Caratozzolo and Mariano Cuello.

From their official website:

Gepel is a trio founded in 2006. The music is characterized by its original way of playing different popular music languages from Latin America with the traditional jazz sound texture.

Regarding this release, Gepel writes:

Moducue is the first album from Gepel ('Moducue', meaning "Thanks" in Lucumí, a Yoruba dialect). All compositions performed in the album are original and each one of them is dedicated to a singular popular music language.

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TAGGED AS:
argentina, jazz
katya-oddio on 01/24/2010 at 11:45AM

Surviving the Major Labels

Paul McCartney's review of the band after hearing this record and seeing them live

Steadman, formerly known as the Dharmas, is a melodic Brit-pop, alternative pop, rock outfit who can be compared to acts like Oasis, Garbage, Radiohead, and Suede.

The album REVIVE, now on the Free Music Archive, was originally released by Elektra, but rights were returned to the band. After big label hassles, the group was able to dissolve contracts and release their work independently on vocalist and songwriter Simon Steadman's label, Freeloader Recordings.

On hearing this album and catching Steadman live, Sir Paul McCartney raved about the band, writing the following:

The band STEADMAN have the SONGS, THE MUSICIANSHIP, THE ENERGY and the ENTHUSIASM to BLOW THE TOP OFF any CLUB of ARENA, and if given a listen, have that RARE quality --

the ABILITY TO DELIVER!

I LIKE THIS BAND!!

P. McCartney

Enjoy the entire record REVIVE on the FMA.

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