August 31, 2011

Fragance of Dalmatia II


Traditional dish from Poljica

for dough:
• 500 g flour

• 3 spoons of olive oil
• 1 / 2 spoon of salt
• 250 ml water

for filling:
• 1 bundle of parsley
• 1 kg Swiss chard
• 1 bunch stone leek
• 4 garlic cloves
• olive oil
• salt

Soparnik, specialties of the Dalmatian Poljica, dating from the old Ottoman times. Simple to make: little Swiss chard, parsley and stone leek, between two layers of most simple dough. In an original recipe, for the preparation or soparnik you would need two rounded wooden plates "sinije", dough is shaped with a rolling pin, baked in a fireplace. But an oven will do for a home made soparnik!

Wash the chard leaves well and cut of the hard parts. Cut it into straps, mix with stone leek and parsley in a deep dish, add salt and olive oil. Mix it again and leave it rest for a while. Take another bowl, put flour in it, add a little salt, two spoons of olive oil, a little water and kneaded it with a hand mixer. Dough is cut in two halves and shaped in a circle. Lay one half of the dough on a baking sheet sprinkled with flour. Add the filling and cover it with other half. Join the edges and fold them inward. Put in in a warm oven at 200 ° C for about 20 minutes. When you take it out spread some olive oil and and squeeze garlic over it. My tip is that for perfection you can put small crunches of walnuts and than even some sugar, that is what we used to do when we were kids.

Translated and adapted form

If you have a headache from my translation, which is propable, you can, for much more detailed discription, turn to:

Make the dough: Put the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt. Start adding water while continuously mixing the dough with a wooden spatula; add the oil. Once ingredients start sticking together start kneading with your hands. Knead this dough really well until you come up with into a smooth texture that does not stick.
Make the filo sheets: Divide the filo dough into two equal parts. Sprinkle some flour on the clean table surface and start rolling the first part: your target is a 2 mm thick sheet of somewhat round shape. There is a procedure to help the rolling: from time to time you can lift the dough with the tops of your two fists facing each other and gently rotate the dough by turning the thumb of the right fist apart and pulling the dough with the left fist - kind of a knitting motion. Alter this procedure with the rolling until you come up with the target thickness. Spread the cotton towels on the table and transfer the rolled dough on them. Stretch lightly to thin the edges that they tend to remain thicker. Repeat with the second part of the dough. Leave to dry for at least one hour.
Prepare the filling: Preheat the oven to 200 C. Wash the Swiss chard and chop. Cook in salty water for 2 minutes to remove the excess acidity, drain and leave to cool. When cooled completely drain as much of water as possible by squeezing the leaves with your hands and place. In a large bowl mix the cooked drained Swiss chard, chopped onion and garlic. Add little bot more salt and pepper than you would usually do - the filling needs to be rather spicy.

Make the pie: Oil a large baking tray with low sides. Cut about 1.5 sm of the thicker edges of the both sheets of the rolled dough and place one sheet of the rolled filo dough on the tray. Transfer the filling and evenly spread on the dough sheet leaving some 3-5 sm of the edges free. Now roll inside the remaining edges as if closing the pie. Cover the pie with the upper sheet and bend in its edges under the pie carefully. Now press the edges tightly to make sure the pie is well sealed - you end up with a round parcel.

Bake the pie: Bake for 30 minutes. Once done take soparnik out of the oven and spread some olive oil on it with a paper tissue. Serve warm or room temperature.

Source for picture (and another version of the recipe)


And something to listen to while enjoying your food...

Pripovid o Dalmaciji (Short stories of Dalmatia)

CD 1
Puce moj Vokalisti Salone, Solin
'Vo je nasa zemlja Sinj, Sinj
Kampaneli I Nostalgija, Zagreb
More Fortunal, Rijeka
Galiotova pesan Kamen SSM, Kamen
Kod Lepanta, sunce moje Zadranke, Zadar
Dalmatino, poviscu pritrujena Oktet DC, Vranjic
Gledaj na reloj koja je ura Pucki pivaci Stobreca
Ako ti draga ja na more podjen Maestral, Dubrovnik
Susna zikva na skoju Sinj, Sinj
Zvizde mi kazu Lindjo-N, Dubrovnik
Moja jube Trogir, Trogir
Vrati se, mili cale Oktet DC, Vranjic
Prid didovon slikon Split, Split
Maslina Intrade, Zadar
Loza u skripu Cambi, K. Kambelovac
Ostav' se vise mora Trogir, Trogir
Sudamja Lucica, Split
Na omiskoj stini Luka, Ploce
Kolendra Vokalisti Salone, Solin
Materin plac Puntari, Omis
Plavi putevi mora Fortunal, Rijeka

CD 2
Pismo moja, hrli tamo Lucica, Split
Omili mi u selu divojka Sibenik, Sibenik
Golubice bila Osjak, Vela Luka
Da bis bjonda znala Trogir, Trogir
Dobra vecer uzorita Sibenik, Sibenik
Na me pogled tvoj obrati Maestral, Dubrovnik
Je da bis mi rastvorila Trogir, Trogir
Lipa li si Mare moja Kantaduri, Split
Ti si nestala tiho Srdela, Makarska
Prosti meni vilo Oktet DC, Vranjic
Jubavi, ufanje veliko Cambi, K. Kambelovac
Da je meni voja tvoja Lika, Rijeka
Kaleto moja draga Lucica, Split
Svet' Ivane o'moga Trogira Trogir, Trogir
Sijavica Sibenik, Sibenik
Zbogon Split grade Pucki pivaci Kamena
Moj tovar Kamen SSM, Kamen
Odes li mila Filip Devic, Split
Zlata jemas, dare primas Oktet DC, Vranjic
Sutra ce te ponit Lindjo-N, Dubrovnik
Kad sam bio na tvom grobu Maestral, Dubrovnik
Poljicani postovani Pucki pivaci iz Poljica
Testamentum Vokalisti Salone, Solin
Ca vridi Filip Devic, Split
Bilo cvice o'mendula Osjak, Vela Luka
Jute san se zajubija Oktet DC, Vranjic˝

Theblueone, Thegreenone

to keep you warm under the sun
take care
have fun
say hallo when you pass by
cheers thegoodone

Clapas sing their tunes provoked by the moment which consists of a diverse set of circumstances including the character traits of an individual as a part of a group in a certain sociocultural milieu. They sing in the way inspired only by the spiritual mood in which the performance takes place. In such circumstances clapa songs seem to be self-sufficient. Owing partly to the fact
a clapa songs is, sui generis, a chamber music piece, which is performed in the intimate atmosphere of the Mediterranean-Dinaric characteristics. It is only the intense interaction of singing and environment that creates the mood, atmosphere and fullness of this musico-social phenomenon.
The main goal of singers is to achieve as good fusion of chords as possible, which is of crucial importance in order to attract the audience, first of all the admirers of their way of singing, but essential for reaching their own goal as well. The aspiration to enjoy homophony and the harmonious singing of chords has a long traditon in the Dalmatian urban circles despite the familiarity with polyphony as a consequence of the openness to the Renaissance.
One of the most recognizable characteristics of clapa songs is the fact that they are performed a cappella. (from linear notes)

August 18, 2011

a Night at Club Baobab

Since 1960 independance, Dakar nights were livened up mostly by Cuban music. A wealthy clientele of political & economical elites whom lead President Leopold Sedar Senghor’s State used to drink & dance to the beat of the Cuban montuno. But the political will to give national culture an original & modern expression also encouraged autochtonous artistical events.
The Orchestra Baobab repeats a well established formula developped by its West  African predecessors (such as the Bembeya Jazz National from Guinea Conakry, Boncana Maïga’s Marvaillas de Mali from Bamako, the Star Band from Dakar) : the elites of the new nationes were vibrate to the rhythm of musics inspired on local folklores as well as to Caribbean or Black American’s. Folklores are harmonized with orchestral arrangements to delight a public asking for night life that are reinterpretations of childhood or village folklores as much as foreign music fashionable in Western countries.
But contrarily to the Star Band, Baobab’s competitor from the club « Le Miami », the Orchestra Baobab chose not to stick strictly to wolof cultural contribution, the predominant ethnic group in Senegal. This is one of the reasons why the tama, or talking-drum, is almost absent in Orchestra Baobab’s music. The Senegalese roots of the Baobab express themselves mostly in Laye M’boup’s singing, a wolof griot & the first lead singer in the orchestra, as heard on « Yolanda »
Like in Guinea or Congo, Orchestra Baobab perpetuates an old practice in order to reinterpretate Cuban influences according to local ways & sensibilities. In Africa, the Cuban clave, that rhythmic pattern that caracterizes the son, is played not on the piano but with a guitar. It is Ben Geloum’s that gives its very singular accent to the Senegalese montuno : the result is sweeter & less percussive than Cuban clave’s sound and can be heard on « Yolanda » & « Jin ma jin ma » .

« Yolanda » is representative of Orchestra Baobab’s early latin sound. Moussa Kane’s tumba accompanies the orchestra for a version that’s very faithfull to the original Cuban montuno and the griots’ heritage resonates in Laye M’boup’s voice timber. Not exactly Cuban, not totally Senegalese either, the early Orchestra Baobab already carries its gestating originality.
The salsa « Jin ma jin ma » keeps the original montuno’s sweetness. But one can notice ther difference between this composition, recorded in 1978, and the old « Yolanda » from 1972. « Jin ma » drowns the remaining clave in a cross cultural hybridism that stands at the crossroads of wolof, Casamance & afro-cuban cultures.
This fast success can be explained by the band members’ talent of course. But it is also due to the contractors who put up the club. Their succes in gathering together some of Dakar by night’s leading musicians and singers ; their ability to divulgate Baobab’s music to a wider public than the one who could afford going to the Club Baobab ; their willingness to use musical industry’s newest technologies, are very definite contributions.
Much of Dakar musicians & a few orchestras fights for a room under the spotlights, but the capital only has a few clubs and even less customers. The impossibility to turn exclusivity contracts effective resulted in continuous band splits. Whithin less than ten years, Laba Sosseh, Y Oussou Ndour, Balla Sidibe, Idrisa Diop & many others leave their original bands to create new ones. Orchestra Baobab’s musicians are recruited in pre existing bands from other Dakar clubs. Balla Sidibe, Rudy Gomis & Barthélemy Atisso come from the Star Band that used to cheer up Ibrahim Kasse’s club « Le Miami » ; Issa Cissokho from the Vedette Band where he used to play with Laba Sosseh.
The businessmen behind Orchestra Baobab were also keen on creating a decent musical industry and pressing good records. The recordings included here come from the Buur (5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12) and Musicafrique (1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 11) labels ; these show a very distinctive progress compared to « Yolanda » in terms of recording & mixing work and a will to beat the local productions’ technique.

All of the Senegalese discography from that period is quite poor regarding recording & mixing technique. The recording is mostly made live in clubs with mediocre sound systems which results most of the time in staurated mediums & trebles and subdued basses.
In 1973-74, after two recording sessions issued in 1972, the impresari of the Baobab start mixing & pressing in New York and soon release the best recorded, mixed and pressed records ever released in Senegal. The Club Baobab closes in 1979. But the Orchestra Baobab remains active and keeps recording wonderful sessions. Following technical and stylistic changes based on the massified introduction of the audio tape in West Africa (which opens doors to bootlegging), the explosion of Youssou Ndour’s  m'balax music or just the fact Orchestra Baobab stops playing in a club opened only to a few elites, the sound of the orchestra changes into the 80’s.......


so we invite you for
a night at the club  some 35 years later

with thanks to the original

25:plus is a long time so relax ,take it easy  & thanks to world circuit

August 14, 2011

Initiation songs of the Bauls of Bengal

another obsession of this blog is of course Bauls......

“I obey no master; not any order; nor any customs.
 Human distinctions have no hold on me.
 I exult in the pleasure of loving, because in love there is no separation but union only.
 And so I celebrate each and everyone in song and in dance."

Bengal is a land of rivers. The Ganges, Bramhaputra and other rivers, with their
tributaries, flow down from the Himalayas through the flat plains into the Bay of Bengal. More
often than not, the rice fields are under water and the mud houses washed away The only
means of travelling is by boat .Epidemics strike the poor and the sick. "Life is transient" sings
the Baul. In the hot summer, the land is parched and only the main rivers contain any
significant amount of water The peasant knows the moodiness of the rivers only too well.
They are bom beside them, live by them and, in death, their ashes flow down them. "It’s impossible to ignore the waves which lift the water of the river, how can I row my boat alone ?"
sings the baul.
Bengal is also a land of music. One hears the muezzim from the minaret at sunset and the boatman singing the river songs as he ferries the harvests to the other side Peasants hum as they plough the fields and rickshaw boys whistle film tunes. Children sing as they play games and women sing to the rhythm of threshing.
The Bauls call themselves mad because they crave for divine intoxication, lost to the
ways of the world, turning, moving, whirling in the breath of life. They are ecstatic, weeping
for joy crying in bliss, rolling about in mirth, singing the songs of the heart "I have lost my
mind, I don’t know in what it is lost or why it’s in such bliss" sings the Baul. These madmen
are not self-obsessed lunatics, grovelling in self·pity and unreal fantasies, out of touch with
the world and alienated into self-destruction. They are ordinary people with a unique tradition, who seek to live in and enjoy the world, to love and cherish it, for it is within this world that heaven exists. They are sensualists who desire to taste the essence of being, shunning the garb, the husk, the outer sheath of personality respectability and order:
 “O heart of a Baul,where will you go living behind this worldly existence ?"

Mystic singers, wandering monks, the Bauls carry through their songs a knowledge which is essentially philosophical, synthesizing the buddhist, vaishnava and sufi traditions.
They can be compared to the "troubadores” of the medieval era or to the "asiks" of Anatolia
Garbed in multicoloured robes and carrying the simplest of instruments, they go from village to village singing about the way of love. They sing at sacred shrines and temples, at fairs and festivals, in the courtyards of palatial mansions, under the trees amongst the mud huts, and today in buses and trains.
To the poor, the Bauls carry the richness of the spirit, to the blind the inner vision of divine light .
To the sick and the old, they give the healing balm of faith. The rich and the arrogant receive their scorn.
The essence of the Baul movement is religious contestation. lt is a discipline called
"ULTASADHANA’, which goes against prevailing currents. The word "baul" means someone
who is possessed by the wind, hence their roving nature. Like the troubadores who do not
search for light but already possess it, the Bauls are "illuminated”, or “the madmen of God".
They are largely illiterate and mostly come from the lower strata of Hindu and Muslim society
 with whom they share the same rustic language, the same
physical, psychological and spiritual mileu. They communicate their social, aesthetic and
spiritual beliefs through their songs.

"You will not come back again and again.
 You will not be born as a human being again.
Be vigilant, o my spirit, the day ends and darkness descends.
Man is God come to this earth,
so don’t stain the lineage of humans.....


August 9, 2011

'scuse me while I kiss the sky ...


A Concise Biography

Svetlyo Zhilev was born in 1965 in Gotze Delchev, Bulgaria. He acquired the love for music from his mother who used to sing Bulgarian folk songs to him throughout his childhood. He plays the bagpipe since he was 10 years old. From 1975 to 1982 Svetlyo was a member of the Gotze Delchev bagpipe orchestra, which consists of 40 bagpipes. During the period he carefully and systematically studied the diversity of bagpipes and techniques of playing in Bulgarias various cultural regions - from Macedonia to the Black Sea and from Dobruja to the Rhodopes. He was influenced by the works of Kostadin Varimezov, Kolyo Atanasov, Iliya Dimitrov, Dafo Trendafilov, Stefo Zahmanov, and others. Once, Svetlio combined a single voice with the disharmonious melody of the dvoyanka bagpipe, and thus created a new bagpipe sound utilizing a basic double tone a techique none of his predecessors had though of. His first solo album "Demo" was released in 2001, followed by "The Three Bagpipes" in 2003, "Wild Stories" in 2005, and "Marmoreal Apparitions" in 2006.

The international music festivals, in which he performed include:

1978 Sech - Czech Republic
1979 Strumica and Ohrid - Macedonia
1980 & 1982 Belgrad - Serbia
1988 Praha - Czech Republic
1990 Moscow - Russia
2006 Drezden Germany

Svetlyo Zhilev is a Bulgarian bagpipe player and folklore singer. He plays authentic songs and melodies from Bulgaria. Natural talent, he has developed an amazing technique with his jora and kaba bagpipes. Notable for his pure performance on pipe, drum and vocal abilities, he has also re-arranged classic rock songs including covers of Deep Purple and Jimmy Hendrix in the unique Bulgarian folklore style. question I love his traditional playing a lot... 
...Deep Purple in Bulgaria... 
...who are we to tell... 
'scuse me while I kiss the sky ... 

some more ?!

August 5, 2011

The Free Zen Society

Zeena Parkins (harpsichord); William Parker (double bass); Matthew Shipp (piano); Arranger: Peter Gordon (All other sounds).

1. Lightly Dropping
2. Thought Free
3. Surrender
4. Dream Escapes
5. Majestical
6. Glistening
7. Streaming Through
8. Clocking Space

You have read the names behind this project, If you know their usual stuff you are in for a surprise (it might be pleasant).