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Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Chieftains

I had a lot of ideas for today's blog post but I thought I'd feature some Celtic music as it seems appropriate, when there's only a few hours before Christmas day starts. The Chieftains are some other artists that I have discovered, since I started listening to Calm Radio - Celtic. I like their music because it tends to either be very jolly or very relaxing.

The Chieftains have been around since 1962, so they're quite an old band. From what I gather, they're a well-known band, who made Irish folk music more popular. I imagine that one of the reasons, why they're so popular is because they have joined together to make music with many different sorts of artists  over the years. They're so well respected that they have received Lifetime Achievement award from the BBC as well as 6 Grammy awards.

I hope that you all enjoy this music and that you all have a good Christmas day with lots of good presents and food.

Merry Christmas to you all!



N.B.: They've actually released many other albums but these were the only good clips I could find on YouTube.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Cesária Évora

Since Cesária Évora died last weekend, I thought it was about I should do a blog post to commemorate her and her contribution to the world of music. It was funny because I'd been thinking about doing a blog post on her in the week that she died. I thought I should do a post on her music because I've always liked the way in which her voice resounds to convey her deep emotions and messages.


Cesária Évora grew up on the Island of Cape Verde. She had quite an impoverished childhood because her father died when she was seven years old, and so her mother had so little money that she had to live in an orphanage from the age of ten. Her musical career began, when she was sixteen years old and her friend convinced her to sing in a sailors tavern. This led to her performing on Portuguese cruise ships travelling to Mindelo as well as the local radio. Nevertheless, she only started to become a famous singer, when José da Silva heard her singing and asked her to record some of her music in Paris. She released her first album, La Diva Aux Pieds Nus (The Barefooted Diva), in 1988. She called herself the barefooted diva because she would perform barefooted in her concerts. Her reason for doing this was to show her support for the homeless people and poor women and children of Cape Verde. This was a suitable accompaniment to her music, which often focused on the slave trade and Cape Verde's history of isolation. Her music was a combination of folk tunes with acoustic guitar, cavaquinho, violin, accordion, and clarinet.










Friday, 16 December 2011

Anouar Brahem

I thought that the time had come to do another post on Arabic music, so I chose Anouar Brahem for today's post. Anouar Brahem fuses his Arabic music with other sorts of music, and so this means that he has worked with many artists in his time as a musician. His incorporation of many different styles means that some of his compositions will be fast-paced and some will be of a slower pace. I tend to prefer his fast-paced music and sometimes I will find that I'm not so keen on the styles that he has fused together but I still feel that he deserves to have a post dedicated to him.

Anouar Brahem is an oud player, who comes from Tunisia. He is usually categorized as a jazz artist, although he creates fusions of jazz music with classical Arabic music and folk music. His playing is such that he is regarded as an innovative player in the world off jazz.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Bombino

So since I haven't featured any African music, I thought I'd write about another Tuareg musician in today's post. I chose Bombino because I find his electric form of tribal African music very soothing.

Bombino comes from Niger. His actual name is Omara Moctar but he came to be called "Bombino" (which is a variant of the Italian word, "bambino", for "little one") when he joined Haja Bebe's band, as he was the youngest in the band. The Tuareg tribes often oppose the Niger government because they don't feel that the political parties in power support them enough, so the Niger government often deny them rights. Indeed their opposition to the Tuareg can be so bad that the lives of people in the Tuareg tribes can be threatened, so Bombino has often had to flee to other countries. Nevertheless it was during his exile in Burkina Faso that he was tracked down by the film maker, Ron Wyman, who had heard taped recordings of his music and urged him to properly record his music. This led to Bombino and Ron Wyman recording the album, Agadez, which was released this year.



Monday, 12 December 2011

Cheb Khaled/Khaled

I apologise profusely to all my fans for the blog neglect, I've been very busy meeting deadlines over the past three weeks, so I haven't had any time to write blog posts! Nevertheless, I'm now on holiday, so I plan to keep to a more regular blog routine for the next few weeks! I also plan to do 2 more blog posts this week, so that I catch up of my blog post deficit!

I was thinking about styles to feature and I suddenly realised that I hadn't featured any raï music. I discovered the world of raï a few months after being introduced to klezmer music, when my sister and I were exploring the music department in Borders. I liked and indeed still like the way in which it modernises Arabic music by giving it a more electric feel. I'm pretty sure that this introduction to raï and klezmer music helped to expand my love of world music because prior to these discoveries my interest in world music only extended to other western European music.


I decided that this adventure into raï music should begin with Khaled (who was formerly known as Cheb Khaled, when he lived in Algeria), since he is a very prominent raï musician. He has been a musician for quite some time and so he has released many songs, so I don't necessarily like all of his songs but there are still many of his songs that I do like.


As you probably gathered Khaled began his musical career in Algeria but he decided to move to France because he wanted to try new styles of music without simultaneously having to fear that he would anger the Islamic fundamentalists, who did not favour his Western styled music and lyrical messages. He is particularly popular in France, Algeria and the Arab world to such an extent that he is called the "King of raï". He is particularly well known for his songs, "Aïcha" and "Didi".


Aïcha (This song is about the oppression of women in Islamic countries/Algeria):


Didi:

Darou Shour Darou:


Zine zine:



Sunday, 20 November 2011

Two in one: Xiang Sihua and the Kasbek Ensemble


As the title suggests, I'm trying to make up for the fact that I've failed to do a post on any music for a whole fortnight! As usual, I have a lot of work to do, so I'm having a few time management issues.

I decided that it was time for some more Chinese music and Klezmer music.

I chose to feature Xiang Sihua as my Chinese artist. I just love the way in which they prolongs the sounds, that they make with the guzheng. As you might have gathered, I haven't been able to find anything out about this artist, apart from the fact that they play the guzheng but if any one viewing this blog/blog post knows any more, I would very much welcome their enlightenment!



 I've chosen to feature the Kasbek ensemble as the Klezmer artists this time round because I like the way, in which they can evoke the emotions of their songs/compositions so well. All I know about this band is that they're an Eastern European band, who play Russian style Klezmer music. So again, anyone who knows anything more, is very much welcome to tell me more and I'll update this post if I can find out anything more.



Note this song (below) should be Heyser Bulgar:



 If you want to buy any music from the Kasbek Ensemble, I recommend buying it from iTunes, since Amazon only sell it in CD format and that costs £41.99!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Altan

I'm sorry for neglecting you last week but I hope you enjoyed the company of my sister. Thanks ever so much Susie, you were a great help!

I thought it was time for some more celtic music, so today I chose Altan. I just love the way in which their music is so jolly and relaxing, it makes me feel so happy.

Altan was founded by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and her late husband, Frankie Kennedy, in 1987, with the aim of bringing the music of Donegal to the world stage. They were the first traditional Irish group to be given a recording contract in 1996, when they signed with Virgin Records. Their main audience stretches from Europe to North America, although they also have a fair amount of fans in Japan.








Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sabrina Malheiros, Novos Baianos and BPM


Hi WMW fans. Due to technical difficulties with the wonders of wireless, this blog is seeing it's first ever guest post by Lucy's sister, Susie (@Schrubbel in case you're wondering). Lucy sends her apologies and left me with strict instructions not to post any naughty music (as if I would....).  

I’ve recently been dragging out my Bossa Nova compilations and having fun with Gilberto, Getz & Co in the October heatwave that hit a grateful UK after a damp, cold summer. That led me to the music of Sabrina Malheiros, who is one of a number of artists on the BPM (basically Brazilian pop) scene producing jazzy up-tempo music combined with smoother vocals. There’s something very 70’s about Brisa Mar, a song relaxed enough to admit that it’s only trying to have fun in the Sao Paolo sun.



For those who like things more jazzy than pop, Terra De Ninguem hits all the right notes with jazzy flute riffs and light vocals from the lady in question.  

For those who like a touch less electronica and more authentic acoustic Brazilian beats, there’s no beating Swing de Campo Grande by Novos Baianos, widely credited as having given wings to the BPM genre. 



 With any luck, Lucy'll be back next week to sail further into the uncharted waters of wacky but wonderful world music. 



Monday, 24 October 2011

Bukkene Bruse

Since starting university, I've rediscovered the hardships of self-motivation, and classical music can be good for helping me to motivate myself but sometimes I listen to it on too often a basis for it to be effective, so I've taken to listening NRK Folkemusikk (a norwegian folk music radio station listed on iTunes list of radio stations for world/international music) as another tool for self-motivation. Whilst I was listening to this radio station today, I heard a beautiful piece of music by Steinar Ofsdal, so I decided to investigate his music further by typing his name into YouTube and that's how I discovered Bukkene Bruse. The band came up in connection with his name because he's a member of this band, so I began listening to their music and I just loved the old-fashioned, traditional sound of their music, and therefore felt that they definitely deserved to be featured on this blog!

They've composed a number of traditional and folk-style Norwegian songs of different repertoires, that come from many different Norwegian traditions. Steinar Ofsdal plays the flute, and he's joined by Annbjørg Lien, who plays the Hardanger fiddle and the nyckelharpa (keyed fiddle), Arve Moen Bergset, who sings aswell as playing the fiddle and the pipe organist Bjørn Ole Rasch. They are a very well respected group, who have often performed in Scandanavia, although they have also performed in other countries. They were chosen as official Olympic Musicians for the Lillehammer Olympic Games, in which they performed in the closing ceremony. The group's name comes from the tale of the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, which is known as "De tre bukkene Bruse" in Norwegian.






Friday, 14 October 2011

TriBeCaStan

As you can see, I've not quite kept to my standard of doing a blog post for each week. I'm terribly sorry about this but it's been due to the fact that my university's wireless connection keeps going wrong and I've had a lot of reading to do along with all the domestic chores.

I came across TriBeCaStan when they started following me on Twitter and thought I should share their music with you, for what should have been last week's post because I really like the combination of West African kora and Appalachian mountain tunes, since it's unlike anything I've heard before. I admit that there are some tunes on their album, which I'm not so keen on but even in those cases I still like the way in which they highlight international socio-economic/socio-political problems.

As they have many influences, their music encompasses a great range of styles such as Yugoslavian village music, punk, gamelan, free jazz, funk and The Beatles. The artists, Jeff Greene and John Kruth, play more than 24 instruments throughout their albums and they have often allowed many different artists (artists with a recording contract, who aren't so well known) to accompany them in recording music, so they've almost certainly recorded a piece of music to suit everyone's taste.

I would go into more depth but my seminars start next week and I still have a lot of reading to do but if you want to read more about them, then I recommend using this link, http://www.last.fm/music/TriBeCaStan/+wiki , because they are a fascinating band to read about.


Friday, 30 September 2011

Calogero

As I said on my Twitter account, I'm very sorry to have kept you waiting for so long but I started university this week and for a few days I had limited internet access but up until now I've also been very busy, so I couldn't write a blog post until today.

I chose Calogero because I thought it was time for another post on French pop. I like his music because although the lyrics to his songs can be cheesy, I find his songs are very relevant to me and therefore help me to deal with problems in my life.

As you might have gathered from his name, he is actually Italian in origin but as far as I can see he's always lived in France. He started to take an interest in music before his sixth birthday, and he was so enthusiastic about music that he quickly learnt to play flute, bass and piano. When he was 15, he became the lead singer and song writer of the band, Les Charts, which he founded with his brother, Gioacchino, and friend, Francis Maggiulli. Les Charts was initially a successful band, that managed to release 5 albums in 8 years but after 1997, they began to lack the skills they needed to keep the band going, so Calagero decided to become a solo artist. He started by collaborating with artists like Pascal Obispo and Zazie, and the collaboration with Pascal Obispo helped him to release his first solo album, Au Milieu des Autres. He tends to focus on love, politics and social problems in his songs.

This is his song, Pomme C, it's about people who rely to much on the internet to create/start up a relationship:

  

This song is called, Tien An Men. In this song he insinuates that we are closer to daily wars than we think we are.

This is one of his hit singles, En Apesanteur (In weightlessness):




Monday, 19 September 2011

Ioannis Anastassakis

So as you can see, I've contradicted the name of my blog by not posting for over a week. I'm very sorry about this but I was on holiday in Munich and although I had an hour's worth of internet access a day, that just wasn't enough time to make a blog post and their version of internet wasn't compatible with Blogger.

I thought it was time for some more flamenco music, so I thought I'd share Ioannis Anastassakis' music with you because I just love all the twists and turns of his flamenco music.

Ioannis Anastassakis comes from Crete. He studied at the Greek National Conservatory and the Nakas Conservatory. He did his first degree at the American College of Greece and then went on to study at the Musicians Institute (GIT). He became an instructor there, after he graduated at the top 1% of his class. Afterwards he completed a masters in Guitar Performance, he graduated Magna cum Laude. He has had many electric guitar teachers and he studied solo flamenco guitar with Juan Serrano for a few years. He's also studied with Manolo Sanlucar, Juan Martin, Paco Serrano, Jose Antonio Rodriguez and Manolo Franco.




I'm sorry to say that I'm now going to make this into a weekly blog because I'm about to go to university, and so I won't have time to do posts on a daily basis because they take an average of 2 hours a day. I know it's hard to believe because I don't write that much but it takes a long time to find a good artist for a post and that's what takes up the majority of the two hours. Nevertheless, if people are prepared to suggest artists on a more frequent basis, who I deem to be of a good standard, I'm perfectly happy to post more frequently.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

Today was another day, on which I couldn't think of an artist to do a blog post on until I explored the world music section of iTunes music store and looked at their recommendations. I wanted to do a post about Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 because I like the way in which he tries to express the fact, that he thinks there is hope for Nigeria/Africa in his music.

Seun Kuti is a Nigerian musician, whose interest in music was inspired by his father, Fela Kuti, who founded the band Egypt 80. Seun started learning to play the saxophone and the piano at the age of eight and he began performing on stage, when he was just nine years old. His professional music career began when he played in the opening act with Egypt 20. As you can see he still plays with Egypt 20 but because most of the members of this band, joined when his father started the band, he is one of the youngest members of the band. He became the leader of Egypt 20 in 1997, when his father died of AIDS. Their music is a combination of funk, jazz and African music, that combines horns, keyboards, percussion, guitars and vocals. With his/his father's music he aims to campaign against the corruption & Human Rights abuse in Nigeria/Africa.


This clip actually combines two songs, African Soldiers and Mr. Big Thief:

Friday, 9 September 2011

Hannah/Chana Roth

It's been apparent to me for the past few weeks that I have included a lot of Klezmer music in this blog, and that maybe I should focus on another sort of music instead of Klezmer but I wasn't sure what to replace the Klezmer music with, until I happened to be writing my post on The Burning Bush and YouTube happened to recommend Hannah/Chana Roth in connection with them. I really like the way, in which her music is slow and thought provoking.

Sadly I haven't been able to find out anything about Hannah/Chana Roth apart from the fact that she's a Yiddish folk singer, so I would be very grateful if you could give me any information on her. I'm not even sure why the person, who uploaded these clips of her music refers to her as Chana Roth, when the album cover suggests that she is known as Hannah Roth! In any case I would like to do some more posts on Yiddish folk music, so please could you suggest any Yiddish folk musicians, if you know of any?






Thursday, 8 September 2011

Aravod

I decided it was time to have a week without oud music, so I chose the Armenian band, Aravod, because I like the way in which their music is very fast-paced and upbeat, it reminds me a lot of gypsy music.

Although Aravod play Armenian music, they are based in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey.With their music they aim to spread the joyful and festive mood of Armenian dance music. They regard their music as a way of preserving Armenian culture, so they try to perform Armenian and Middle-Eastern music as authentically and accurately as possible. Some of the songs they sing, were composed, sung and performed by Armenians hundreds of years ago but some of their music is contemporary and doesn't tend to be associated with traditional Armenian "Kef" ensembles. Their diverse range of influences includes: Armenian folk and dance, modern Armenian continental/Estradayin and Rabiz, Arabic, South Asian, Latin, Rock, Blues, Jazz and Western classical music. Aravod is the only group in America, who has members that are skilled in performing both traditional and modern Armenian dance music.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Degung Sabilulungan

I discovered Degung Sabilulungan today, while I was looking for a good Gamelan artist to feature in today's post. I really like their music because the way, in which they combine the degung  and the bamboo/flute is very beautiful.

I've not been able to find anything out about the band but I hope you enjoy their music.


If you want to listen to more music on their album, it's called: Music From Bali: Degung Sabilulungan Sundaisme.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Athena Tergis

I found Athena Tergis a week ago on one of my many investigative visits to iTunes music store and I really wanted to share her music with you because she plays the fiddle in such a delightful manner.

Athena Tergis grew up in San Francisco and began to learn the classical violin in the Suzuki method at the age of 4 but she soon needed another challenge in order to stay interested in music. She began to exhibit an interest in fiddle music, when the fiddler Cait Reid hired her to be a baby sitter at the Alasdair Fraser's Valley of the Moon fiddle camp, because it led to her being fascinated by fiddle music. She was particularly delighted by Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan's music so she followed her and learnt a lot of tunes. After that summer she spent many more summers going to these fiddle music camps, and so she studied with Ni Mhaonaigh, Alasdair Fraser and Buddy Macmaster. She developed such a talent for playing the fiddle that she won the Junior National Scottish Fiddling Championship three years in a row and managed to record an album with her fellow fiddler, Laura Risk, called Journey Begun. Tergis originally intended to study at the Berklee School of Music in Boston but she eventually decided to go to Ireland instead. She spent the first year there sitting in on sessions on most nights, and then after a year she  started to work as a backing musician with Irish language television and was invited to tour with the accordion player, Sharon Shannon. She opened the production for the Lord of the Dance in Las Vegas and after that she was the principal fiddler for Broadway's Riverdance. She has now set up a studio in Tuscany called Terra Linda studios.



Gipsy Kings

I discovered the Gipsy Kings a few years ago, when my sister told me about them. I really like their music because I love the rhythms they use.

The Gipsy Kings come from Arles & Montpellier, France but they sing with a Spanish (more specifically Andalusian) accent. In spite of the fact that they were born in France, most of their parents were gitanos (Spanish Romanis, who fled Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, all except Chico Bouschikhi, who has Moroccan and Algerian roots. They play in the Rumba Catalana style (a fusion of pop and flamenco music and they are well-known for creating more international awareness of this style.



Sunday, 4 September 2011

Élodie Frégé

I was originally intending to write a post about another French pop singer but while I was researching him, I began to realise that there were many other good French pop artists I hadn't discovered, when I saw the other artists recommended by iTunes and that's how I discovered Élodie Frégé. I really like the way in which she describes the problems that can arise in relationships because she's very expressive and poetic.


Élodie Frégé released her first debut album after winning the third season of the competition, Star Academy France. She began to learn to play the guitar, when she was 6, and carried on with it for 8 years and she also took dancing classes for 12 years, and this helped her to develop her musical career later on. There are many musicians in her family since her siblings also sing and perform and her grandfather was a professional accordionist.


This song means, "the afternoon girl", you might be able to guess that it's about a girl who has an affair with a married man, who doesn't care about her:

This song means, "the belt", it's about having purely sexual relationships:

Saturday, 3 September 2011

The Athenians

I decided that it was time to feature some Greek music because that's another section of world music I've neglected so far in this blog. I thought I should feature The Athenians because I like the way that their music is so fast-paced and upbeat.

The Athenians formed in the 1960s. The band was made up of George Petsilas (guitar), Bernard (drums), Costakis (base guitar) and Youssi (bouzouki & lead guitar).


Friday, 2 September 2011

The Burning Bush

The Burning Bush is another band I discovered, while I was researching good Klezmer music for this blog. I decided to share them with you because I like the way in which they preserve a range of music from the old Jewish world.

The Burning Bush was founded by Lucie Skeaping, after she was asked to make a documentary, which focused on the 500th anniversary of the Jews being exiled from Spain and her Eastern European roots. Because they focus on both the Askenazi and Sephardic cultures, their music draws on numerous inspirations from the old Jewish world: Yiddish folk songs from Poland, Russia and Ukraine, East European bands' instrumental dances, the very orthodox Hasidim's mystical dances and traditional Sephardic songs of the exiled Spanish communities in Turkey, Bulgaria, Morocco and Greece. They also sing Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic songs from Yemen and Iraq's Jewish communities. They take a lot of care over preserving the oral tradition of the music, so that it represents the musical language of the countries where the Jewish communities resided over the centuries.





Thursday, 1 September 2011

Charbel Rouhana

Charbel Rouhana is another artist I discovered, while I was researching oud music. I wanted to share his music with you because he plays the oud in an original way.

Charbel Rouhana is a well respected player in Lebanon. He graduated from the Holy-Spirit University, Kaslik with a diploma in oud instrumentation and an M.A. in Musicology. He has established a new methodology for the way, in which the oud is played. This new methodology has been published and adopted by the National Conservatory of Music and Faculty of Music of the Holy Spirit University, where he teaches. His compositions are helping to transform the oud into an international, modern instrument, which relates more to different cultures and music, whilst still embodying the Arabic-Oriental  style.

Basma from the album Doux Zen:


Before tuning from the album Doux Zen:


Tableaux de Sourat (Zourouni) from the album Sourat Trait d'Union:


Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Gamelan Pacifica

The inspiration for this post came only 24 hours ago, I was talking to a friend about how I was struggling to think of a good artist for today's post and she suggested gamelan music and that made me realise that I'd never yet featured a gamelan artist, so after researching some gamelan music I decided to do a post on Gamelan Pacifica. I decided that they should be featured because I like the way in which their music echoes to add effect to scene they're describing.

Gamelan Pacifica was founded in 1980 and is directed by the composer, Jarrad Powell. Their music is new and innovative music with an international style. Although their repertoire is influenced by many composers and traditions, they aim to make it reflect their own musical tastes, interest, training and instincts. They play with 3 sets of instruments: an aluminium American gamelan, a Cirebonese styled bronze set and an iron and bronze set in Central Javanese style. The way in which they use extended instrumentation such as electronic processing, the Roto-Toms and the xiao-bo can be seen as the way in which the concept of gamelan is changing.

I didn't realise until today that Gamelan had been influential in the development of modern Western music, whose influences include Debussy and Steve Reich. So many thanks to Lydia because she unintentionally taught me something I didn't know about music!


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Gráda

Gráda is another artist I've discovered since starting this blog. I really like their music because they have a composition for many occasions, some are slow and reflective and some are quicker and more jolly.


Gráda play traditional Irish music and they're roughly 10 years old. Some members of the band are Irish and some are from New Zealand, together they play the fiddle, whistles, percussion, guitar and the vocals are often involved in their music. As a band they have been influenced by many musicians: Dave Hingerty (a former drummer of the Frames), Vyviene Long (a cellist with Damien Rice) and Trevor Hutchinson ( a producer who's worked with Lúnasa, The Water Boys and Sharon Shannon). Their music is so popular that they toured in 16 countries during 2006.






If you'd like to listen to more samples of their music, these are the links to their mp3 albums on Amazon: Natural AngleEndeavorCloudy Day Navigation and The Landing Step.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Jim Stubblefield

I discovered Jim Stubblefield in connection with Behzad, so I thought I'd share his music with you because his melodies and rhythms are very addictive.

Jim Stubblefield started to take a serious interest in the guitar, when he studied the style of rock guitar with Wolf Marshall. After studying with Wold Marshall, he studied jazz guitar with Jody Fisher. While he was at college, he was influenced by Al Di Meola, John McGlaughlin, Yngwie Malsteen, Alex Lifeson, Steve Morse and Albert Lee. His range of influences widened when he graduated college and met the Kuwati oud player Waleed Hamad because he was fascinated by the acoustic guitar and he started to listen to Farah, Shakti, Strunz and Vicente Amigo. He began his professional music career, when he founded the world music band, Incendio, with Liza Carbe (bassist) and Jean-Paul Durand (guitarist).

At the beginning of this clip, you'll hear the radio introducing his composition, so I apologise for that but this was one of the few clips I could find of his solo work:
 
If you'd like to listen to more samples of his music, here are the links to his mp3 albums on Amazon: Guitarra Exotica and Inspiracion.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Silbermond

I thought it was time to include another German band in this blog, so I chose Silbermond for today's post. I don't always like their music because sometimes the singer doesn't convey enough emotion in her songs but  some of her songs are good at helping me to deal with my emotions.

Silbermond are a rock band from Bautzen in Saxony. The band was formed by Stefanie Kloß (the singer), Andreas Nowak, Johannes & Thomas Stolle in 2000. The band members became acquainted with each other, when they took part in the project, Ten Sing, in 1998. They were originally called, Jast, representing the first name of each band member but they changed their name to Silbermond in 2001. The change of their name also marked a change in their music because they decided to concentrate on producing music in the German language at the same time. They started to become famous in 2004, when they performed as the opening act for the singer Jeanette Biedermann. 




If you'd like to listen to more samples of their music, here are the links to their mp3 albums on Amazon: Das Ende vom KreisVerschwende deine Zeit and Meer sein.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Yoshikazu Iwamoto

Yoshikazu Iwamoto is another artist I discovered, when I was researching traditional Japanese music. I like his music because he plays the shakuhachi in a very beautiful way.


He has gained popularity and fame from his concert performances and performances on TV and radio and he is so popular that he has performed internationally on many occasions. He has been an artist-in-residence at the UK Dartington College of Arts since 1982 and his musical talent is such that BBC Radio 3 featured him in a series of 4 programs on the shakuhachi.


This is his composition, Tori:




If you'd like to listen to more samples of his music, here are the links to his mp3 albums on Amazon: Japon: shakuhachi, l'esprit du silenceL'esprit du crépuscule (flûte shakuhachi)L'esprit du vent (flûte shakuhachi) and Traditional Japanese Music.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Khevrisa

I thought I'd have another Friday dedicated to Klezmer music because it's one of my favourite sorts of music, so I've featured Khevrisa in today's post because the way in which they keep so closely to the traditions of Eastern European Klezmer music is very unique nowadays.

Khevrisa produce European Jewish wedding music. Their mission to produce such music was not easy after the advent of World War Two because naturally a lot of the information about klezmatic traditions was destroyed and a lot of the Jews, who went to America, preserved only the dance music tradition in Jewish wedding music, so they had to conduct years of research through living informants and pre-Holocaust European recordings and notations in order to rediscover the music. Khevrisa are the only Klezmer band to produce European Jewish wedding music with it's original instrumentation and the interaction of the badkhn and klezmer, so they are very important to the world of Klezmer because they keep it alive in the way that no other Klezmer artist does. Khevrisa was the secret klezmer name for the klezmer ensemble, otherwise called, "kapelye".
If you'd like to know more about Khevrisa's music, I recommend viewing this link because I found it very interesting and educational to read: http://www.stevengreenman.com/Ensembles/Khevrisa.htm .



If you'd like to listen to more samples of their music, here's the link to their mp3 album on Amazon: European Klezmer Music.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Udi Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian

My search to find a good oud artist took me a while because I was trying to find an artist, whose music didn't sound like the music of previous oud artists featured in my blog posts. I find Udi Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian's approach to playing the oud very original because he combines oud music with dane tunes, so that his music is more fast-paced.


Udi Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian was born to Armenian parents in Massachusetts. His style of oud music as a child was influenced by George Mgrditchian & Richard Hagopian, who played in his local clubs every weekend. He mastered the Armenian dance hall repertoire as a teenager and began to try other styles, especially the jazz music of the 1960s. He was so musical he started to play other instruments and he found that he had a particular skill for woodwind instruments. When he studied jazz theory and composition at the  Berklee College of Music in Boston, he was also part of a gig playing at a Greek taverna, so he became well acquainted with the pan-Hellenic dance repertoire.






Amazon don't sell his music in mp3 format but you can find the mp3 version of his album on iTunes. Nevertheless if you'd like a copy of his album from Amazon, you can find it by clicking on this link: Oud Masterpieces: From Armenia Turkey & Middle.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba

I discovered Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba, when I was compiling a list of artists to be featured in this blog. I thought that they should be featured because the high pitched Ngoni (a stringed African instrument) is very captivating.

Bassekou Kouyate comes from the Ségou region of Mali, where he started playing the ngoni at the age of 12. His traditional musical habits come very much from his parents since his father was also a ngoni player and his mother was a praise singer. His musical career developed into a more professional career, when he moved to Mali's capital city, Bamako because he met Toumani Diabate (an artist featured in an earlier blog post) and became part of his trio and took part in recording the albums, Songhai and Djelika. He has also recorded music with many other Malian and international musicians such as Ali Farka Touré. He now has his own band, Ngoni ba, which is the first ngoni quartet in Mali. One of the members of the band is his wife, Amy Sacko. He and Sacko are often asked to perform at wedding parties in Bamako.






If you'd like to listen to more samples of their music, here are the links to their mp3 albums on Amazon: I Speak Fula and Segu Blue.