May 31, 2011

Zim Ngqwana - Zimology : life through music

“The reason I’m interested in music of different cultures is the spiritual element. I like to deal in world music, all music and cultures. I don’t want to confine myself to South Africa.
“I sit at the piano and write a piece. For months I live with the stuff I am writing and I develop a certain relationship with the music. When I hand it over to somebody else to play, I become very sad when they play just the notes and leave out the energy and understanding of the piece. Too many of the young generation know nothing about intensity and compassion.
“It’s all in the interpretation. Drummers must stop just bashing the kit with sticks, they must learn to stroke the drum with brushes for a change. Don’t just play the music, understand it. You have to lock into the music and know the purpose of playing it.”
”Dancers give me more energy than musicians. I learned a lot, I always wanted to SEE the music as opposed to just hearing it.”
Zim has managed to obtain something all artists aim for, an individual voice. His music can be deep and beautiful, then suddenly turn, becoming aggressive and assertive.Tough and tender, inspirational and spiritual, all are adjectives that describe his work, and it’s quality is augmented by the emotional tie to his deep-seated roots.
His musical chemistry will add yet another formula to the laboratory of World Music.
As a parting shot he says “We are reaching a very crucial state in this country whereby people won’t be able to hide behind politics singing ’Viva Mandela’ in the songs. Now is the time for pure art.”
Zim went on to become a superb player and a composer of note, as well as an educator. He is akin to a Charles Mingus in his writing, which is best defined as Afro avant-garde and musically tells the tales of migrant workers in South Africa.

by Don Albert

A blend of Xhosa folk music and township jazz, Zimology celebrates the rich heritage of South African music while paying homage to an earlier generation of the country’s jazz masters. And while he indicated that he had listened to a wide variety of jazz albums with his brother, he acknowledged John Coltrane as his definitive influence after hearing the US saxophonist’s A Love Supreme.
“I was immediately drawn by the power of his music and since then I have always wanted to perform,” he said. “To me Coltrane sounds more African than many local jazz artists.”


note that
there is always a pass for the high pass:

more Zim on freedomblues

May 27, 2011

Mercedes Sosa

Mercedes Sosa, who has died aged 74, was the most renowned Latin-American singer of her generation; she was known as "La Negra" for her long, jet-black hair, and as "the voice of the voiceless ones", for her performances of songs which championed the rights of the poor.

Though not known as a songwriter, she was an unrivalled interpreter of works by her compatriot, the Argentinian Atahualpa Yupanqui, and Chile's Violeta Parra, both icons of the region's nueva canción movement towards the end of the 1960s, whose work often spoke of the struggle for human rights and democracy.
As a figurehead of the Left in her own right, Mercedes Sosa fell foul of the military junta that ruled her nation between 1976 and 1983 and conducted the notorious "Dirty War" against its own people. It was during this time that she had to live in exile, even though, as she once declared: "An artist isn't political in the party political sense – they have a constituency, which is their public – it is the poetry that matters most of all."
In spite of this, her choice of material demonstrated a shrewd ability to encapsulate popular consensus on the Left, and she sang definitive versions of many songs, including Parra's classic Gracias a la Vida and Horacio Guarany's Si Se Calla El Cantor (If the singer is silenced).
In a career spanning nearly six decades, which saw her popularity survive passing trends, she released 70 albums. Although these were often based in the Argentinian folkloric styles with which she first achieved success, she was notable for her extraordinary versatility. Her repertoire also included Argentinian tango, Cuban nueva trova, Brazilian bossa nova, rock and even liturgical music – with Ariel Ramirez's Misa Criolla, in 2000. From 1967 onwards she toured internationally, and subsequently collaborated with a huge array of artists, including Luciano Pavarotti, Sting, Nana Mouskouri, Joan Baez, Pablo Milanés, Caetano Veloso, and Shakira.
Pounding on her trademark bombo drum, acting her songs out with expressive gestures and singing in a rich contralto voice that effortlessly conveyed a strong moral authority, she was a familiar figure on the world's stages.
One of her most memorable UK appearances was at London's Royal Festival Hall in October 1999, shortly after the infamous detention in Britain of Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet.
"I cannot believe I am in London singing these songs, with Pinochet under house arrest," she cried, before launching into an emotional rendition of Todo Cambia (Everything Changes) another nueva canción standard which had long been part of her repertoire. She recorded the song several times, most recently in a stripped-down version for her 2005 comeback album Corazón Libre.
Haydee Mercedes Sosa was born on July 9 1935 in San Miguel de Tucumán in Argentina's Northwest, to a working class family with French and Amerindian (Quechuan) roots. She grew up with a keen appreciation of the local folk dances, such as the zamba and chacarera, and while still only fifteen won a talent contest organised by a local radio station. The prize was a two-month contract to perform on air for the station, and it effectively launched her singing career.
By 1959, she was an established voice and had recorded her first album, La Voz de la Zafra. In 1965, she appeared at Argentina's National Folklore Festival in Cosquin, which led to domestic acclaim. Within two years, she had achieved international success with her first tour of the US and Europe and after this she increasingly broadened her repertoire to include songs from all over Latin America.
By the late 1960s, she was becoming identified with the emerging nueva canción movement, an idealistic attempt to achieve political and social change through music. But then the political climate became increasingly conservative throughout Latin America, with Pinochet seizing power in a coup in Chile in 1973 and Argentina following suit in 1976, when Jorge Videla's military junta came to power.
Thereafter, Mercedes Sosa became the object of state surveillance and intimidation by the "Triple A" death squad. At a concert in La Plata in 1979, she and her entire audience of 200 university students were arrested and detained. Although she was released as a result of international condemnation, the incident forced her into exile, leaving with just "three suitcases and a handbag". She found life in exile tough, living first in Paris and then Madrid, but her music became a rallying point for those back in Argentina who had themselves been silenced.
With the Argentinian junta's power waning however, Mercedes Sosa returned home in 1982 shortly before the debacle of the Falkland's War, giving a triumphant series of concerts at Buenos Aires' Teatro Colón. These were immortalised on the double album Mercedes Sosa en Argentina, which sold particularly well and cemented her status as a legend of the musical genre.
She continued her international tours and collaborations, initially by working with Charly Garcia in the rock nacional movement, which challenged the regime. Collaborations with the folk singers Victor Heredia and León Gieco followed, as well as Brazil's Milton Nascimento.
Mercedes Sosa battled ill-health during the 1990s, but made a comeback in 1998 with a series of concerts staged in Buenos Aires' Luna Park. She later endured a two years hiatus after a series of falls, although she returned to performance in 2005.
In her later career, she became a UNESCO goodwill ambassador, and during the last decade received her greatest accolades. These included Latin Grammys for Best Folk Album for Misa Criolla (2000), Acústico (2003) and Corazón Libre (2006). Additionally, her song Balderamma was featured in the movie Che (2008). Her latest album Cantora 1 has been nominated for three Latin Grammys in the forthcoming awards.
Her last UK appearance was in London on July 15 2008. Although obviously in poor health and unable to stand onstage, she was still in fine voice.
Haydee Mercedes Sosa, who died on 4 October, 2009, was married twice. Both husbands predeceased her. She is survived by a son from her first marriage. source

Misa Criolla / Navidad Nuestra

1. Kyrie
2. Gloria
3. Credo
4. Sanctus
5. Agnus Dei
6. AnunciaciÓN
7. PeregrinaciÓN
8. El Nacimiento
9. Los Pastores
10. Los Reyes Magos
11. HuÍDa

Pass this one and you will miss thegoodone.


Pope John XXIII had summoned a Vatican Council in 1962, the principle concern being the need for a manner of worship that included all worshippers. The Council ordered that the official language of the western Rites of the Catholic Church be changed from latin to the vernacular. A call went out to composers to create new music for worship in the languages of the people.
Ten years earlier Ramirez has wanted to write a mass in folkloric idiom, but clerics had advised him that a mass sung in Spanish was not permissible. When the Vatican Council refuted the longstanding sole legitimacy of Latin, Ramirez had already written most of the Misa Criolla. He quickly enlisted the help of the Liturgical Advisor to Latin America, Padre Catena, to finesse the text, and the director of the Choir of the Basilica del Socorro in Santiago, Padre Segade, to craft choral parts.

Ramirez, An Argentinean himself, did not simply set a text in Spanish: he infused his Misa with Hispano-American flavor, using traditional melodies, rhythms, harmonies, and instrumentation.

The Kyrie ("Lord, have mercy upon us") captures the vast solitude and aridity of the plateaux of the Andes. Two Andean songs, vidala and baguala, are combined. Vidala, a song of Argentine Indians, has two voices in parallel thirds, accompanied by drums and guitar. The baguala's rhythm pattern is long, short-short.

The Gloria ("Glory to God in the highest, and peace to all people on earth") is in three sections with an introduction. A plaintive and haunting instrumental call, the yaravi, opens the movement. This breaks into the first carnavalito, a joyful, catchy duple-meter dance found collectively in north-west Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru. A reprise of the soulful yaravi heard in the introduction is now given to the choir and soloists as a recitative, asking for the forgivemess of sins. The festive, carnival scene returns with even more ebullience than the first.

The Credo ("God almighty who made heaven and earth"), the confession of belief in Jesus Christ is underscored by the chacarera trunca, in which duple rhythms interlock with triples in the percussion and alternate between measures in the voice parts, setting up a heightened excitement.

The Sanctus ("Holy, holy, holy") is fuelled by the tension of the cochabambino: again, two rhythms butt against each other: one a defiant short, long; the other a more loping long, short, long. At times as many as seven different rhythms are played simultaneously.

The Agnus Dei ("Lamb of God") is a pampa: reverential and tender, it nobly beseeches peace and brings to a close a work that has run the gamut from earthy exuberance to innermost spiritual yearning.

Ironically and magnificently, this music, so rooted in a specific regional folklore, has profound resonance that is both personal and universal. Source


Navidad Nuestra is a folk drama of the nativity of Jesus Christ in the rhythms and traditions of Hispanic America. Ramírez, a native of Argentina, also used this style in his popular Missa Criolla which was performed by The Naperville Chorus in December of 1994.

In this composition Ramírez gave to each episode of the story of the Nativity a distinctive regional voice which captures the mystery and glory of the birth of Christ in the musical idiom of the Composer's background. For example, a chamame for the annunciation to Mary and a huella pampeana for Mary and Joseph's pilgrimage to Bethlemen. The result is a creation of beautiful, and inspirational musical scenes .

Poet Felix Luna provided the lyrics for Navidad Nuestra. The collaboration of Ramírez and Luna has produced a marvelous work featuring Hispanic American characteristics and the universal appeal of the story.

The poetic translation in the music was quite free. The orignal Spanish poetry of Félix Luna also includes in the guaraní language - used by the Indian tribe that originally inhabited Paraguay and the provinces of Corrientes and Entre Ríos in northeastern Argentina. We thus give only a paraphrase of the movements. Source

May 25, 2011

Bamboo Voices- Khamvong Insixiengmai Ensemble

a post ready since some time-excuse my absence from this lovely place, if you missed me-I doubt :)
 (combination  of successive pc crashes,data losses  and extremely busy with work)
 I promise to be a good boy from now on and participate more actively 
and since music from Laos is almost a rarity in the webs,here's what I've got.-god knows how it came to me...

The best known musical instrument of the Lao is the khene, a three-foot long bundle of fourteen or sixteen bamboo tubes enclosed in a carved wooden windchest.
Within the windchest, each pipe has a small metal reed similar to those found in a pump organ,accordion, or harmonica.
The player inhales and exhales through the windchest, covering one  or more finger holes at a time.
 Each pipe whose fingerhole is covered plays the same pitch, inhaling or exhaling,
permitting the player to produce both drone harmony and patterned harmony.
Because the notes are tuned in a manner similar to Western music, khene music sounds more familiar and accessible to most Westerners than does music from other parts of Southeast Asia.
Vocal music, which in Lao is called lam or khap, is the most important kind of music in Laos.
The performance takes the form of a staged courtship between male and female singers.
Accompaniment is mainly provided by the khene, but other instruments,
such as the phin (plucked lute·sometimes called kachappi) and the so (bowed lute) as well as rhythm instruments (drums, gongs, cymbals) may also be featured.
Years ago, khene players were generally of local origin, while singers were often brought from far away. 
ln modern times, singers usually retain their own favorite and skilled accompanist.
Poems are usually sung from memory, though the best singers are able to compose poetry spontaneously while singing. Lyrics are organized into four-line stanzas, each often having seven basic syllables. 
ln addition, each line may begin with a prefix and conclude with a suffix.
 These serve to complete the meaning or soften the words. 
A complete performance begins with an opening verse, then proceeds directly to the main poem,
 and concludes with a final or closing poem. Male and female singers alternate, as they feign a first meeting singing verses like “what is your name?", "are you married?". 
They might then engage in discussion about each other and about general knowledge issues(Buddhism, history, literature) until they finally part in sadness. 
Many lines are comprised of sophisticated phrases with double meanings
since, according to custom, direct statements are to be avoided.
Lao is a tonal language and a particular melody may be sung many different ways depending on the number of the words in the verse and the tones of the vocal inflections.

from the notes


May 22, 2011

Ki Yi M'Bock - Werewere Liking - Un touareg s'est marié à une pygmée

Created in 1985 by Werewere Liking, the Ki-Yi Company is a Collective made up of African artists from many countries residing in the Ivory Coast and attempting to use "Africa" as the inspiration for a multi-faceted professional activity. The organization, composed of some 70 members, includes: the Ki-Yi Village (the space where the group works and lives), Ki-Yi Arts Productions (painting and sculpture), the Ki-Yi Museum (ancient and contemporary works), Ki-Yi lines (clothing) and the Ki-Yi M'Bock Theatre, which presents in repertory dramatic, choreographic, lyric, and musical pieces -- both at the Village and on tour: to date in Africa, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, Canada, and Japan.

The Embodiment of a Panatrican Dream
The KI-Yi M'Bock, founded in Abidjan by the Cameroonian artist Werewere Liking (writer, director, singer), preserves in this album its first - the aural memory of its 1992 lyric opera about Africa: "A Tuareg Got Married to a Pygmy". The album embodies quite magically what might be called a signally "crucial meeting." Benefitting from the participation of some seventy members of different nationalities and ethnic groups, the Ki-Yi Company has become the melting pot for a cultural Symbiosis which embraces and represents Africa itself, a symbiosis which through performance realizes Nkrumah's Panafrican dream, his notion that From the Sahara to the Kalahari there will be but one country." (Osageyfo ) In recounting the voyage of a Tuareg who, after having left the desert, sets off to find water - a symbol for survival - and finally marries a forest-dwelling Pygmy, the Tuareg epic transports Us not only through diverse regions of Africa but also across lime zones : different tempos and different epochs - from a royal court (Ouidah) to today's political dramas (Sankara). The album illustrates remarkably the variations which comprise Africa: a dance of tongues - languages married to music - (Bete from the Ivory Coast in Libodou and Zoukou, Yoruba in Oshogbo, Lingala in Spectacular Evolution) and a round ol rhythms whose orchestration, seemingly so simple, results on the one hand from the talent of master arranger (and demystifier-) Ray Lema and on the other from the in-depth training of the company by Lema's longtime associate Thom's Sika. Refusing the cliché of African music as percussive explosion, Ray Lema's arrangements foreground the importance of the vocal patrimony the Ki-Vi explores. To weave the songs' rhythmic fabric, comprised in part of water drums, subtle congas, percussion from Benin (the lamanoual and suggestions of cymbals, Larva has delved into the resources of counterpoint and melodic line •• whether these be found in the polyphony characteristic of Central Africa or the incantations of West African griots. The Kr-Yin musical fresco invites us to experience the successful blending of tradition and modernity. We travel from the luxuriance of Pygmy song and the warm breath of the savanna to a reggae groove (Oshogbo) or a solemn oasis bathed by guitars and synthesizers (Mystic Assembly). The recording benefits from an exceptionally rich compositional palette : no other African album has included such Vast Cultural references. Together, Ray Lema and Werewere Liking have created the first real Panafrican album. The meeting of these two pioneers inaugurates a new era in musical composition in Africa.
Fara C. Translated by Judith G. Miller
Linear notes

1. Oshogbo
2. Libodou
3. Mbimba Gwet
4. Sankara
5. Zoukou
6. Shaka Zulu
7. Ouidah
8. Tombouctou
9. Osagyefo
10. Evolution Spectaculaire
11. Assemblee Mystique

OSHOGBO "Black faith has been reincamated In the body of a White woman with sea eyes. Adouni Olorisha named Wenger. Tho magician with heavenly hands, Offered herself to the spirits of Oshogbo As witness to the rnultiple dimensions of Black laith. With Adebissi, Akandji. Abiyu. Bouraimo. Sake, Kassali and Lawani, she embraced iron and concrete From the red earth's breast and made sacred forests blossom With groat and pure timeless Beings dedicaled to Oshogbo..."
LIBODOU Before leaving on their mission, the guides worried about those who stayed behind... In former times, in courageous villages, there were more of those known as lime's workers. "You who are staying, are you ready ? Are you able to fight an epidemic ? Do you accept responsibility ? Can you keep fails and preserve courage? Can you perpetuate The work of the Masters of time? Now's the lime to prove it. Now's the time for rebirth. Know that there is no place in our village for the lazy...
MBIMBA GWET The storytellers decide to tell Firoun the epic about wars and their fatal consequences: 'Rumors of wars swell like a river. Madness cuts scars inlo faces Like the zigzags of lightning storms... Do you see the small village perched on the rocks? We have guarded all our values there. Don't you dare pollute Pama."
SANKARA Firoun Ag Atinsear pays homage to Thomas Sankara whose memory has been nearly eradicated... 'And the story ol Burkino Faso has been leveled to its lowest common denominator the guns of people hanging onto their millet and games.. Always birthing tyrants in order to kowtow to them producing heroes ripe to be buried'
ZOUKOU The news has the used of a rail of gun smoke traversing cities and villages Firoun Ag Alinsaar. Pharaoh of all Tuaregs, has come back to make new life possible! He is traveling across the continent tu try and unite his people after having failed once before... 'We shall call him Yale Digba, Great Sufferer. He is Zoukou Goublignon. the eternal wanderer.. He is the emptiness which cars forth fullness. His presence lets us dream ol unthinkable forests supplanting treacherous sand..."
SHAKA ZULU -You said,'Let war become art. Art in which fleeing and affirming oneself Amazulu Becomes a question of life or death, An essential choice....' One isn't born Amazulu-Son of Heaven.
One becomes Arnazulu through total commitment. So the Christians called you bloodthirsty But could still baptize the one who ordered Hiroshima and Nagasaki And the Director of Surgery on the Iraqis. Being Amazulu means from now an In the reign of violence and scientific death Choosing to reinvent life..."
OUIDAH The women who are buried alive. Funeral biers for their royal husbands. Don't give birth to other people. And their children who are traded for canons Don't come back. The rusted canons don't thunder anymore. Women and children killed, sold no longer gossip And there is no one left to continua the line. You dare ask, 'what's this silence?' You. the Lord of Wars and Slaves...?"
TOMBOUCTOU Having started on his way accompanied by guides and storytellers designated by the Mystic Assembly, Firoun Ag Alinsaar, the Tuareg. enters Tanbuctu. But one ol the cities most celebrated in history for its openness and hospitality is no longer able to recognize its own children I "Timbuctu. Off en your doors to Firoun Ag Alnsaar And cast out the intolerance which rumbles within..."
OSAGEYFO For those people who wanted to share a great dream •• the PanafrIcan dream which invited them to think of themselves differently, perhaps even seeing themselves as great as the dream... "When Nkrumah the Osageyfo dreamed, He dreamed big, from the Sahara to the Kalahari. He sow only one country. Only one country on en entire continent. Ashantis the same as Zulus, Lances and shields united Where differences meant richness.'
EVOLUTION SPECTACULAIRE Firoun Ag Alinsaar arrives in the lorest and meets Ngolobanze, the pygmy woman, and her twin brother Tole, and other nomads, another wisdom, another way of doing things but soil all brothers and partners. 'Oh to convince all those between your tribe and mine. Those who claim lobe sophisticated, developed, But who can't stop imposing their 'civilization' With weapons and money. Kalachnikov, neutron bombs, Spectacular evolution. Bravo!
ASSEMBLEE MYSTIQUE The Tuareg must leave the desert, travel across his whole continent, track down the highest energies of Hina Ina, Mother Earth, and learn how to make them circulate throughout his body. Thus has spoken the Mystic Assembly.

Honeymoon starts here, and if looks like it passed quickly it must have been thegoodone.

Werewere Liking has earned the attention of much of the francophone world over the past seven or eight years for her novels and plays. A prolific and multifaceted artist, she also writes poetry, studies and practices traditional art forms (sculpture, Malian marionette performances), paints, produces and directs and acts in her plays, and has produced severalshort films. Growing up among the Bassa of Cameroon, Liking experienced her people's rituals of healing, initiation, and death, and it is this framework which serves as a theoretical base for her writings and personal philosophy. She belongs to a new generation of African writers who are concerned as much with the content of their works as with developing a new African esthetic that might further the social efficacy of their art. Unlike modern African theater in the decades after Independence (largely imitating a European esthetic), Liking's theater combines dance, music, song, speech, and traditional spatial arrangements and concentrates on eliciting an emotional response to engender an intellectual one. In many respects, hers is the "total theater" that Artaud envisioned.

Politically, economically, and socially, Africa's leaders have defaulted on their promises, declared goals, and responsibilities. They have also been instrumental in advancing dependency and promoting an unhealthy social imbalance between desire and self-indulgence and between the abuse of traditional beliefs and modern opportunism. Correspondingly, one of the most wide-reaching thematic springboards in the post-1970 francophone African literatures has been the conflict between traditionalism and modernism. This tendency emerges in the 1980s with what seems to be a new emphasis: the thematics of the assistés or (foreign) aid recipients.
Indeed, for some contemporary authors, the means of dealing with the negative forces "directing" African society lies not just in integrating traditionalism with modernism, but in combatting the facile excuses which keep Africa in a state of eternal alienation and dependence on borrowed principles. This is the point of departure for the following discussion of Werewere Liking's theater, a discussion which privileges her most recently published text, Un Touareg s'est marié à une Pygmée ( 1992 ) Launched in the late 1970s, the theater of Werewere Liking, while presenting the sociopolitical and spiritual trials of contemporary Africa, is one that attempts to go beyond presentation, protest, and criticism with the purpose of forging a new vision of the African world and the self as well as a collective dream that might enable the meeting of the possible with the seemingly impossible, the "marriage of stone with water" ( Touareg, 34). In this theater, it is a question not just of recovering a certain balance in life, but of the process through which freedom and a fullness of being can be accomplished in a contemporary sociopolitical environment dominated by fear, demagogy, and estrangement. This process is enabled first and foremost by the notion of rencontre: an encounter of history with myth, the past with the present, tradition with modernism, and the self with its conscience and with "the other." As Ngolobanza, the Pygmy bride, states: "Tout est une question de rencontre / Une question d'ouverture, de vision / Accepter de s'approcher, de se rapprocher / On ne connaît la différence que par l'expérience" (It's all a question of contact / A question of openness, of vision / Agreeing to draw closer, to come together / We recognize difference only through experience; Touareg, 35). In the final analysis, rencontre forms a philosophical imperative in the search for a healthy equilibrium between traditionalism and modernism.
It is the thematic and structural gateway that might open the doors to the wider perspective and in formed judgment that support the very raison d'être for Werewere Liking's theater.

Liking's theater is rooted in the premise that contemporary African drama should confront contemporary problems (and propose solutions) in Africa in a form that is based on African symbols, structures, philosophies, and performance techniques rather than on Western conventions. This premise is based on an esthetic need that is itself conditioned by a social need. For not only, as Hourantier says, does "imported theater obey a ritual whose code the African does not know and to which he does not react emotionally" ( Du Rituel au théâtre-rituel, 8) but many traditional beliefs, rituals, and the myths that lie at their inception no longer relate contemporary Africa to its former dynamic.2 Indeed, if these myths and rituals do still remain in collective memory, they have often been exploited nefariously or emptied of their meaning and efficacy.

May 20, 2011

William Parker - Long Hidden - The Olmec Series

William Parker’s new album, Long Hidden: The Olmec Series, explores and expands on the ancient DNA/cultural codex that connects Africa to The Americas - reflecting William Parker’s long abiding interest in and study of the continental connection between the Manding people of West Africa and the Olmec of ancient Mexico (root culture of the Maya forward). A meditation exercise toward your enduring pertinence in the present world? A ten-track introductory manual on how to comport yourself in the reigning parallel? Yes to both questions. 2012 is on its way, after all.

The album opens with an arrestingly spacious solo bass performance of the traditional hymn “There Is A Balm In Gilead”, one of William’s favorites. It continues episodically with music from three different sessions: The title track is a series of solo pieces on the 8-string doson ngoni (traditional hunter’s guitar from West Africa). William was introduced to the instrument in 1975 by Don Cherry. Parker writes in the liner notes, “I had already owned a kora, but it was the Ngoni that made my heart sing. This music is daily music. It is connected to the people sitting on the porch after supper, playing that old guitar, a suspending time of tuning and detuning dreams.” The two further compositions on solo bass are rendered arco, revealing William’s theory of music - sound is light and light is sound.

The third session, launching off the grid, are four pieces by THE OLMEC GROUP. These tracks are at the crux of Long Hidden – mysterious and entrancing sound poetry embracing the Caribbean and Middle America via inspiration drawn from the Great Stone Head of the Olmec. Further to William on percussion and 6-string doson ngoni, the O.G. is composed of Dave Sewelson: the veteran saxophone player who has been active on the creative music scene for the last thirty years, Todd Nicholson: a formidable presence on the bass who when not leading his own bands can be heard with the violinist Billy Bang, and - Omar Payano, Isaiah Parker, Gabriel Nunez and Luis Ramierez - all under 23 years old, who play Merengue music. William writes: “It is the sound of hieroglyphics coming off the scroll or stone wall and marching onto boats that will soon set sail. Where these boats will land I don’t know, this new journey is just beginning.”

* IN CASE OF ACCIDENT - originally issued on the cassette album, Painter’s Autumn, self-released by William Parker in 1994 and long since out of print. A truly epic solo bass piece recorded live in Montreal in 1993, and here given its first wide release on the outer rings of this first edition pressing of Long Hidden. - SJ

1. There Is a Balm in Gilead
2. Long Hidden Part Two
3. Codex
4. El Puente Seco
5. Long Hidden Part Three
6. Cathedral of Light
7. Compassion Seizes Bed-Stuy
8. Pok-a-Tok
9. Espirito
10. Long Hidden Part One
11 In Case of Accident [live] (H)
11 In Case of Accident [live]

William Parker (bass instrument, 8-string bass); Omar Payano (vocals, guiro); Luis Ramierez (accordion); Dave Sewelson (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Isaiah Parker (alto saxophone); Todd Nicholson (bass instrument); Gabriel Nunez (bongos, timbales).

Hidden passage from Manding to Olmec is thegoodone.

The Olmecs probably founded writing in the Mexico. Dr. Coe, in "Olmec Jaguar and Olmec Kings" (1968), suggested that the beliefs of the Maya were of Olmec origin and that the pre Maya were Olmecs (1968,p.103). This agreed with Brainerd and Sharer's, The ancient Maya (1983,p.65) concept of colonial Olmec at Maya sites. Moreover, this view is supported by the appearance of jaguar stucco mask pyramids (probably built by the Olmecs) under Mayan pyramids e.g., Cerros Structure 5-C-2nd, Uxaxacatun pyramid and structure 5D-22 at Tikal. This would conform to Schele and Freidel's belief that the monumental structures of the Maya were derived from Olmec prototypes.
An Olmec origin for many pre-Classic Maya, would explain the cover-up of the jaguar stucco mask pyramids with classic Maya pyramids at these sites. It would also explain Schele and Freidel's (1990,p.56) claim that the first king of Palenque was the Olmec leader U-Kix-chan; and that the ancient Maya adopted many Olmec social institutions and olmec symbolic imagery.

The Olmec spoke an aspect of the Manding languages spoken in West Africa, not Mixe- Zoquean as suggested by Terrence Kaufman. The African origin of the Olmec was based on the research of C.S. Rafinesque and Leo Wiener.

In 1832, Rafinesque published the in this paper he discussed the fact that when the Mayan glyphs were broken down into their constituent parts, they were analogous to the ancient Libyco- Berber writing (which can not be read in either Berber or Taurag, people who use an alphabetic script similar to the Libyco-Berber script which is syllabic CV and CVC in structure).

The Libyco-Berber signs are analogous to the Mande signs recorded by Delafosse (1899). These Mande speakers, or the Si people , now centered in West Africa and the Sahelian region formerly lived in areas where Libyco- Berber inscriptions are found (Winters, 1983, 1986). Using the Manding languages I have been able to decipher the Libyco-Berber inscriptions (Winters, 1983).

The second clue to the Manding origin of the Olmec writing was provided by Leo Wiener in Africa and the Discovery of America (1922,v.3). Wiener presented evidence that the High Civilizations of Mexico (Maya and Aztecs) had acquired many of the cultural and religious traditions of the Malinke-Bambara (Manding people) of West Africa. In volume 3, of Africa and the Discovery of America, Wiener discussed the analogy between the glyphs on the Tuxtla statuette and the Manding glyphs engraved on rocks in Mandeland.

I was able to test the hypothesis of Rafinesque and Wiener through a comparison of the signs inscribed on the Tuxtla statuette and the La Venta celts. Using the should values from the Manding symbols, to read the La Venta celts I was able to decipher both the celts and other Olmec inscriptions.

LaVenta Celt. The Priest Pe is surrounded by other members of the cult.
The Mande people often refer to themselves as Sye or Si 'black, race, family, etc.'. The Si people appear to have been mentioned by the Maya. A. M. Tozzer (ed.), Relacion de las Casa de Yucatan (Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology ,1941) claimed that the Yucatec Maya said that the Tutul Xiu (shiu), a group of foreigners from zuiva, in Nonoualoco territory taught the Maya how to read and write. This term Xiu agrees with the name Si, for the Manding people (also it should be noted that in the Manding languages the plural number is formed by the suffix -u, -wu.

The Olmec script is a logosyllabic script. The Olmec had both a syllabic and hieroglyphic script. The hieroglyphic signs were simply Olmec syllabic signs used to make pictures.


May 18, 2011

Something good will come to you

Jajouka is an ancient village perched above a long valley in the blue Djebala foothills of the Rif Mountains in northern Morocco. The village is home to the Master Musicians of Jajouka as well as the sanctuary of Saint Sidi Ahmed Sheikh, who came from the East around 800 AD to spread Islam to North Morocco.

The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar, 1990
As founding members of the village of Jajouka, the Attar family maintains one of the oldest and most unique surviving musical traditions known on the planet. The music and secrets of Jajouka have been passed down through generations from father to son, by some accounts for as long as 1,300 years.

Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs, Stephen Davis and other writers have connected elements of Jajouka’s musical traditions to Ancient Greek and Phoenician ceremonies. Burroughs famously dubbed the Master Musicians of Jajouka “A 4000 year old rock band.” However, he was likely connecting the unique rites of Boujeloudia, performed in Jajouka during the Aïd el–Kebir, to Lupercalia, the ancient Roman celebration, rather than precisely dating the origins of the music itself. Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians of Jajouka, whose father, El Hadj Abdesalam el Attar led the group until his death in 1981, says the family’s most sacred compositions originated more than 1,000 years ago.

Although no one can say for certain exactly when the village was founded, all agree that Jajouka derives its baraka, or spiritual power, from the learned Saint Sidi Ahmed Sheikh, whose tomb is both the spiritual and geographic center of Jajouka. Most people who live in Jajouka are members of the Ahl Sherif tribe, which means “the saintly”. The musicians of Jajouka are taught from early childhood a complex music that is unique to Jajouka. After many years of dedicated training, the musicians may finally become Malimin or Masters. In the past, the Jajouka musicians numbered as many as fifty or more players at a time. However, not all musicians reach the level of Malim. Usually only a few great masters arise each generation to pass along the secrets to their sons and nephews. Much more...

Jajouka or Zahjouka is well known as home to two Sufi trance musicians groups, The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar and the Master Musicians of Joujouka managed by Frank Rynne. The music from Jajouka attracted the attention of writers Paul Bowles and William S. Burroughs in the 1950s because the Sufi trance musicians there appeared to still celebrate the rites of the god Pan. Brion Gysin, who had been introduced to the master musicians by Mohamed Hamri, propagated this idea. Gysin linked the village's Boujeloud festival, where a boy sewn in goat skins danced with sticks while the musicians play to keep him at bay, to the ancient "Rites of Pan". In 1967 and 1968 Brian Jones, lead guitarist with The Rolling Stones, visited the village; at the end of his stay, he recorded the musicians for the LP Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka. The LP was released on Rolling Stones Records in 1971, some two years after Jones' death. The record was reissued in 1995 by Point Music. The music from this village attracted an influx of westerners, including some who later recorded there, such as Ornette Coleman and Bill Laswell.


Brian Jones Presents - The Pipes of Pan at Jajouka

The Master Musicians of Joujouka - Joujouka Black Eyes (Frank Rynne)


The Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar


Ornette Coleman - Dancing In Your Head


Master Musicians of Jajouka feat. Bachir Attar - Apocalypse Across The Sky
Thanks to anonymousremain

Image links.
Pass if there is one must be thegoodone.

May 6, 2011

Ya Rayah

 "Ya Rayah" (Arabic: يا الرايح Yâ ar-râyiḥ) is an Algerian "chaabi" song composed and performed in the 1970s by Dahmane El Harrachi (Amrani Aberrahmane). Up until the past 15 years this song was known to be Dahman El Harrachi's original song and in the Chaabi/Andalous tradition of Algiers. This song is a ballad of the traveler, the exiled, the longing to come back, the immigrant, the "wanderin' star", etc. hence it's universal appeal. In 1993, it was also performed by French-Algerian pop singer Rachid Taha on his second self titled album. Also in 2003 by Enrico Macias at the Olympia in Paris

Dahmane El-Harrachi:

  Rachid Taha:

 Kamel El Harrachi:
Like father, like son. In both appearance and talent, Kamel resembles his father, the late Dahmane el Harrachi, popular chaabi singer and composer of the song "Ya Rayah", which became an international hit by Rachid Taha. His father died in 1980. Kamel was only seven but he vowed to follow in his footsteps. He had grown up immersed in the classic sounds of chaabi and set out to develop these influences into his own style. In 1994 he moved to France and, like his father, began to play in small Parisian cafes. Over the next years he honed his craft, gathered his musicians and built himself a formidable reputation amongst the Algerian community in Paris. Finally he felt ready to record and 2009 saw the release of Ghana Fenou, a tribute to his father.

Ya Rayah

يا رايح وين تسافر تروح تعيي وتولينى
ايش حال ندموا العباد الغافلين قبلك وقبلى
ايش حال شفت البلدان العامرين والبر الخالى
ايش حال ضيعت اوقات وايش حال زيد ما زال تخلى
يا الغايب فى بلاد الناس ايش حال تعيي ما تجرى
تزيد وعد القدرة ولى الزمان وانت ما تدرى
علاش قلبك حزين وعلاش هكدا كى الزوال
ما تدوم الشدة ولا تزيد تعلم وتبنى
ما يدومولى الايام ولا يدوم صغرك وصغرى
ويا حليلو المسكين اللى غاب سعده كى زهرى
يا مسافر نعطيك وصية تيجاها ع البكرى
شوف ما يصلح ليك قبل ولا تبيع ولا تشرى
يا النايم جانى خبرك كى ماصرالك صار لى
هكدا رد القلب والجبين..سبحان العالى

Ya Rayah

Ya rayah win msafar trouh taaya wa twali
"Oh traveler where are you going, you'll go, get tired, and come back"

Chhal nadmou laabad el ghaflin qablak ou qabli
"How the people failed, before you and me"

[repition again]Ya rayah win msafar trouh taaya wa twali
Chhal nadmou laabad el ghaflin qablak ou qabli

Chhal cheft al bouldan laamrine wa lber al khali
"How many cities i've seen and the deserted desert"

Chhal dhiyaat wqat chhal tzid mazal ou t'khali
"How much time i've wasted, how much more, still and you leave it" (roughly)

Ya lghayeb fi bled ennas chhal taaya ma tadjri
"Oh you absent one from the country of the people, how tired can you be and run"

Tzid waad el qoudra wala zmane wenta ma tedri
"You'll add more og th epromising will, it became history, and you didn't know"

[repition x2] Ya rayah win msafar trouh taaya wa twali
Chhal nadmou laabad el ghaflin qablak ou qabli
Ya rayah win msafar trouh taaya wa twali
Chhal nadmou laabad el ghaflin qablak ou qabli

Ya msafer naatik oussaayti addiha el bakri
"Oh traveller, i'll give you my advice take it [with you] ahead of time"

Chouf ma yeslah bik qbal ma tbia ou ma techri
"Look, what could be good for you, before you start selling and buying" (this is a saying in algeria)

Ya nnayem djani khabrek ma sralek ma srali
"Oh you sleeper, i got your news, what has happened to you happened to me"

Hakdha rad el qalb bel djbine sabhane el aali
"Like this the heart has accpeted from the Amighty [God]"

[repition x4]Ya rayah win msafar trouh taaya wa twali
Chhal nadmou laabad el ghaflin qablak ou qabli
Ya rayah win msafar trouh taaya wa twali
Chhal nadmou laabad el ghaflin qablak ou qabli
Ya rayah win msafar trouh taaya wa twali
Chhal nadmou laabad el ghaflin qablak ou qabli
Ya rayah win msafar trouh taaya wa twali
Chhal nadmou laabad el ghaflin qablak ou qabli
translation by nanu

May 4, 2011

Demko Kurtov's Zurna Group~zurna

 Zurna has this beautiful,round ,piercing but refreshing sound,the closest image i can think of, is that of transparent sea urchins materializing and exploding in the air-the trumpets of Jericho  must have sounded similarly,a powerful   and demanding instrument  to tumble down the walls of modern babylon  ,so inspired by kokolo's previous post,let's  roll on.
a glorious net find ,that goes for you Miguel that you love the zurna sound so well :)and for all  of you of course....

The zurna, a wooden whistle with cane reed and oboe-like sound, is among the most colourful wind instruments in traditional Bulgarian music. In the past, the zurna instrument was used throughout Bulgaria, but today this tradition has been preserved in Southwest Bulgaria only. Some performers, descendants of folk musicians, still sustain the zurna tradition in these regions. One of the most outstanding representatives is the Kurtov family from the village of Kavrakirovo, Petrich municipality. Just as the founder of the Kurtov musical family, Kurta Demo Limanov, his followers Ismail, Shein, Demko, Selim, Asen and others, carry the tradition of the family and preserve the characteristic Petrich style of performance. Demko Kurtov's Zurna Group is the most active of them. Besides him, it includes his son Samir (Krassimir), his brother-in-law Lyuben Fetov, and his nephew Ognyan Fetov. Incredible virtuoso players, they demonstrate in a convincing way the possibilities of the zurna instrument.

May 3, 2011

Okay Temiz - Karşılama - the Zurna Project

The Karşılama-project was originally set up by OKAY TEMIZ for the 2nd Balkan Brass Meeting in Greece in 1997. For TEMIZ, it represents a whole range of new and interesting perspectives and the further evolution of a career rich in world music experimentation.

Karşılama means "meeting" and "welcome".

"The sound of the zurna, one of the oldest instruments in the traditional music of the Middle East, has a rough, primeval character. Not only is the zurna difficult to play and keep in tune, it is also very loud, often making it unpopular among its player’s fellow musicians. On the other hand, it is especially effective in combination with drums such as the davul-darbuka, a double-skinned drum. Together, the zurna and the davul are the two most important instruments for the musical accompaniment of traditional weddings, dances and circumcision ceremonies. In Western Thracia on the Aegean Sea, three, four, eight, even ten zurna players join davul drummers and play until the mouthpieces are worn out. In my opinion, the best zurna players come from Eastern Central Turkey and the Balkans.

Ahmet Özden is a young zurna musician who learned to play and understand the instrument from his ancestors. An expert on the techniques and history of zurna playing, he feels committed to upholding its traditions. At the same time, however, he is a musician who constantly endeavours to widen the scope of his instrument.

As in my other projects, I use a large number and variety of percussion instruments I have collected in many different countries. The project thus reflects my outlook as an 'international' artist." (OKAY TEMIZ)

The ZURNA is a woodwind instrument which is played with a reed. Acoustically it is related to the bagpipes as well as the clarinet and saxophone, except that the latter are played with a flat reed. Due to the form of the reed, it requires considerable effort simply to produce a sound. The zurna player must therefore master the technique of circular breathing, which guarantees constant air pressure. Because it is very loud, the zurna is a typical "open-air"- instrument. This is one explanation for the fact that it was traditionally played at weddings and other celebrations, as well as in archaic military bands.

The zurna is also closely related to the Iranian tzurnay, the Greek zorna, the Yugoslavian zurla, the French shawm, the Moroccan mizmar, the Chinese sunay and the Indian shenay. It is played throughout Turkey. The small zurna (cura zurna) is typical of the regions on the coast of the Black Sea. The most penetrating sound is made by the medium-sized zurna of Eastern Turkey, while the long zurna (kaba zurna) from the West and the Aegean coast produces a softer sound. On "Karsilama", only the long zurna is played. source


1. Kobra / Cobra v3:32
2. Dere Geliyor Dere / Running River 2:41
3. Canakkale Icinde / In Canakkale 4:25
4. Bu Gala Tasli Gala / This gala stony gala 5:50
5. Aydin Zeybegi / Aydin Dance 3:04
6. Ada Ciftetellisi / Island Ciftetelli 5:02
7. Kazibem / My Kazibe 2:37
8. Süleyman Aga / Mr. Suleyman 4:36
9. Kütahya`nin Pinarlari / Kütahya's Fountain 5:59
10. Ergün'e / To Ergün 7:24
11. Koca Arap / Huge Black 2:12
12. Karşılama / Meeting 6:24

High pitch
thegoodone is the word to clear your ears.


Okay Temiz was born in 1939 near Istanbul. Having studied drumming at the academy of Ankara, he began his professional career as a member of show groups, with which he toured North Africa, the Near East and all of Turkey. In Europe, Okay Temiz felt especially at ease in Scandinavia, and he has since adopted both Sweden and Finland as second homes. Already at an early stage he regarded himself as an 'international' - what today would be called a world musician - and succeeded in bringing together widely differing musical influences.
In the late 1960s, the American trumpet player Don Cherry - who took great interest in African and Asian cultures - heard the Okay Temiz play in Stockholm. The incident sparked a collaboration which would last many years. In the mid-1970s, Temiz founded the ensemble ORIENTAL WIND, a regular and successful guest on the concert stages of Europe throughout the years of its existence.
Just as he has often invited European musicians to make guest performances in Turkey, Temiz has repeatedly introduced Eastern musicians to Europe, primarily people whose musical roots are in the folklore of their country.
According to one critic, Temiz 'is an energetic, and at the same time sensitive drummer with an incredible feel for nuances. Even when he chooses to be moderate in his setting of accents, the lovely melodies are threaded into a dense and powerful
weave of rhythms presenting a challenge to the co-musician. Okay Temiz is also an outstanding percussionist who has achieved true mastery above all on the South American berimbao.'
The zurna has accompanied Temiz throughout his life; its sounds being associa­ted with the most exciting incidents of his childhood - celebrations, dances and holi­days. In the 1970s Temiz frequently perfor­med in Scandinavia with Binali Selman, a renowned zurna player from Eastern Turkey. In the 80s he worked with another zurna player in Stockholm - Ziya Aytekin from the north-eastern part of their homeland. In 1996/67, following his return to Turkey, Temiz met a young zurna player from the country's west, Ahmet Ozden, whom he regards as one of the greatest living masters of this difficult instrument.

Another side of Okay at Inconstantsol, Okay Temiz + Johnny Dyani – Witchdoctor’s Son, don't forget to thank Owombat

May 1, 2011

Mohammad Musavi - Ney of Mohammad Musavi

Firs a small remark acording to some sources it is Mohammad Mousavi, not Musavi, but I am going to leave it as on this edition of CD. All apologies to anyone that might feel piqued, if you are sure what is correct please say.

Mohammad Musavi was born in 1947 in Ahvaz, South-West Iran. He started playing Persian music (on flute and violin) in his childhood and stood out in school competitions. At the age ofthirteen, he traded his violin for a reed ney, which he practiced for a week before he could get one decent sound out of it. He remembers how he used to blow "until his eyes came out of their orbits" then fell asleep from exhaustion, his instrument still in his hand, to resume work as soon as he woke up. It must be known that the technique of the ney is as sophisticated as the instrument is simple, and if it takes hours of practice to get one note out of it, it requires years to reach a beautiful sound. Musavi had the good fortune to be given counsel by Ispahan's great master, Hasan Kasa'i. After this encounter, he progressed rapidly. At the age of seventeen, he settled in Tehran, in the very heart of musical life. Fundamentally self-taught, he learnt music mostly by impregnating himself with the classical programmes broadcast on the radio. At nineteen he was hired as a soloist by the National Radio and Television and Kasal, impressed by his talent, offered to help perfect his training...

Musavi's playing is characterized by its generosity and nobleness of sound; his perfect mastership serves uncommon improvisation abilities, instantly applicable whatever the circumstance. He mentally composes most of the rhythmic pieces which mark out his im-provisations. For the last decade he has elaborated a personal style, characterized by a return to the very roots of his instrument, as can be found in certain popular traditions, especially in South-West Iran where Musavi grew up. For that repertoire, he is accompanied by not only the drum zarb but also the Kurdish frame drum daf.

These recordings were made at his home in Tehran, in May 1994, in two evening ses-sions. Between these, he fell ill and went to hospital, but only at the end of the recording did he learn that he had had a heart attack. Fortunately, he has now totally recovered, but this attack forced him to stop playing ney for over a year. Despite his critical state, he had chosen to play Chaliargal, the most difficult mode on ney. In a way, he was giving, in a painful and pathetic interpretation, the full force of the last breath before a whole year of silence... (from linear notes)


1 Tchahârgâh 15:42
2 Bayât-E-Tork 15:40
3 Shur 24:07
4 Shushtari 12:43


word is thegoodone

And one from the Master :)

The ney is an ancient oriental instrument which has retained the original simplicity of the reed it is made from, Spread under various shapes from Morocco to India as well as Eastern Africa or Bulgaria, it is used in both learned and popular music. In Iran it is played with an especially sophisticated technique : instead of resting on the lips, the edge of the reed tube is introduced inside the mouth and stuck in-between the incisor teeth. The breath, directed by the tongue into the flute, is formed inside the mouth with a technique using the whole mouth cavity as well as the lips, teeth and tongue. This way of playing confers the ney a sophisticated colour which is all refinement and subtlety. It allows the constant control of the sound pitch so that the performer can render all the finesses and inflexions of the human voice in a very vast melodic and dynamic register. (This mastering of the breath allows a good ney player to reproduce any melody on a simple tube a few centimeters long!)
This 'between the teeth' technique is also common to the Turks from Central Asia to Siberia, but it was Nayeb Asadollah (who died around 1910) who borrowed it from the Turkmen and notably perfected it. He used it so well that it soon definitely eclipsed the previous technique, last represented by Soleyman, his just-as-renowned predecessor. Nayeb Asadollah passed his art on to Naval, the master of Hasan Kasal (b. 1928) with whom the instrument found its second wind. After perfecting his technique with Kasal for more than twenty years, Musavi in his turn ended up creating his own style.
The ney basic scale is CD EP F F# GA' (in relative pitch), corresponding to the closed tube and the six holes, the last of which is occluded by the thumb. All the nuances of the micro intervals are produced from these basic pitches, by a constant readjusting of the breath. For "lack" of a B note, there is no continuity between the medium and bass registers but this deficiency, in principle easy to put right, has turned into an aesthetical choice: thusway, the low-pitched and high-pitched registers are always clearly separated and the symmetry dear to Persian aesthetics is helped by structures 'in mirrors' : high phrase / low answer.
Likewise, the adjustment of intervals, which could have been facilitated by new holes or semi-holes, confers the ney that specific plasticity which is all its charm.