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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: