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katya-oddio on 11/07/2010 at 12:00PM

A Case for Free Music Sharing

The Free Music Archive is now host to two CDs and a collection of bonus material by Sláinte, a group who are important in the history of online music sharing.

Sláinte (slawn-cha), Gaelic for "cheers" or "good health", was a Celtic band based out of Tacoma, Washington in the USA. The band serves as an early case study for the benefits of making music available for free online. Sláinte were one of the most downloaded artists on the original mp3.com, which was then a major site for free and legal music downloads. Their self-titled first album was available at mp3.com both for free and for sale, and they sold hundreds in a time when most did not yet trust online sales transactions.

Acoustic Guitar magazine writer Jeffery Pepper Rodgers interviewed Sláinte member Jean Huskamp in his cover story article "The World Wide Open Mic: A player's guide to the world of online music," in which he asks, "So how did this happen to a good but not highly unusual Celtic band that does no national touring?" To which Huskamp replied:


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slainte, celtic, irish, ireland
dvd on 06/25/2010 at 11:00AM

Breton Folk Music on Transpacific Sound Paradise

Louise Ebrel is an acclaimed singer of Breton's emblematic traditional call and response vocal style, kan ha diskan, as well as the daughter of Eugénie Goadec of Brittany's renowned Sœurs Goadec.  She dropped by WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise last month for a brief performance with singing partner Ifig Flatres, a leading voice among Brittany's new generation of traditional vocalists and part of the new-roots ensemble Oktopus Kafé

In these duets the kaner (lead vocal) begins the verse.  After a brief overlap, the diskaner (secondary vocal) takes it up and the process is repeated.  Throughout the tune, the vocalists employ nonsense syllables to fill the space between lines.  Louise and Ifig sing in Breton, an insular Celtic language brought over to present-day Brittany from the British Isles during the Early Middle Ages.  The language is now considered endangered and is mostly spoken in Western Brittany.     

The artists were here for a Breton style Fest-Noz - "Night Festival" - held at Connolly's, 121 W 45 St. on Saturday May 22, 2010. The festival was presented by New York's Breton cultural society BZH-New York.  Their performance at WFMU was part of an episode of Transpacific Sound Paradise (hosted by Rob Weisberg) featuring music from Brittany.  You can view the playlist and listen to show in its entirety here.

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