jason (FMA Admin)
I'm a Free Music Archivist based out of WFMU.
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jason on 12/23/2013 at 04:30AM
Many of the songs we use to celebrate Jesus' birthday have been scooped up by copyright amassers (kinda like what happened to "Happy Birthday To You," hey). Fortunately, the holidaze are an endless well of creativity, and we have been blessed with some wonderful public domain and Creative Commons music. The holiday music featured on FMA encompasses everything from The 8Bits of Christmas to Antique Cylinders.
One recent addition is En attendant Noël..., a compilation from @diffuser.net. The French netaudio resource (profiled here) has been adding a daily winter holiday song to their compilation and now that the 25th is here we are pleased to share this gift with you! Some are old favorites 'round these parts, many are new favorites, and if they find their way into your holiday plans, you'll find links + licenses below.
jason on 06/03/2013 at 02:55PM
Tashi Dorji conjures incredible sounds from a prepared acoustic guitar. His spirited improvisations—recorded live without any loops or effects—evoke a composite of influences from Derek Bailey to Mauritanian pulaar to the traditional music of his native Bhutan.
"Growing up in Bhutan with little access to music except random bootlegged cassettes and shortwave radio, I listened to anything i could find," Tashi Dorji writes in an email interview. He learned guitar by ear because "we didn't have music school, TV or internet back then in Bhutan, so we had to use a lot of imagination and improvise what we thought we heard off of a tape player."
Tashi Dorji arrived in Asheville, North Carolina as an international student in 2000. He quickly fell in with the vibrant punk rock community, which flowed into free jazz, noise, experimental and other avant garde music. The Appalachian mountain town has become a real hub for experimental music thanks to longstanding acts like Ahleuchatistas, resources like Asheville FM, the shop Harvest Records, tape distributor Tomentosa, and labels like Bathetic and Headway Recordings.
Guitar Improvisations, released on cassette by Headway last year, sold out quickly but is available to download from the FMA along with his release sêp. This week, the label unveiled Tashi Dorji's self-titled follow-up, and it's streaming after the jump. Tashi Dorji also has a forthcoming release on Turned Word Records out of Belfast ME, and much more on his bandcamp.
Bhutanese traditional music is an oral tradition consisting of many marginal, isolated communities across the country, and much has yet to be documented. But for those interested in hearing some examples, Tashi Dorji points us towards a nascent archive hosted by the Bhutan Broadcasting Service.