To the deep south of Italy to discover some of the most exciting and invigorating music that I have heard for years, all the more enjoyable as I have never heard of Pizzica music, seen such big tambourines or ever considered that at Italy’s heal there was such a concentration of superb musicians.
Finding music and literature from Rome, Naples and Florence on an imaginary journey around the Meditteranean.
It’s always the same. When I get excited about music I want to share it immediately. Even though, on this invented trip around the Med., I still have to pass through Rome and Italy, I’ve already discovered some of the music of Southern Italy. It is the most exciting I have heard on this voyage of the imagination. And I have to share some of it with you now.
Leaving Monaco with an Italian novel in my hand (set in Monaco) heading for North West Italy and music from Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont, Milan and Bologna.
My imaginary Mediterranean music tour continues. It was music from this region that twanged my interest in the search-the-Med-for-music trip. I have no idea how or when I came across them. The first is Dupain. who led me to La Mal Coiffée a book called Total Chaos and another band IAM. Here’s the story and the music.
I have tried very hard to trim down the playlists from Mediterranean Spain. I was aiming for 20. The final list has 50 and there were more I wanted to include. It is almost three hours long. I won’t be doing the same on YouTube.
The book for this first section is Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones. Marvellous. A challenging 700+ pages, but a beautiful read.
Catalonia, do you have a lot of music; and even more diversity than I was expecting, and a lot of protest which I suppose I was expecting. And there is Arabic, African, Chanteuse, Jazz (of many types), electro, experimental, early medieval European and some decidedly uncharacteristically odd without category. And a 3 hour playlist.
So far the best discovery of all the music in Valencia is the preservation and performance of early Spanish Music. The key figures seem to be based around one band, L’Ham de Foc and one individual in particular, Efrén López, who links to music well beyond Spain, into Persian, Ottoman genres. Also on the early music list are Mara Aranda and Capella de Ministrers.
The next stop on my make-believe music of the Mediterranean tour is Murcia. Aside from one discovery – Cuadrillas – the search is disappointing. But there are a couple of highlights for my rather paltry playlist – video and audio.
The next part of my imaginary journey around the Mediterranean –
music from Andalucía. If, when you think of Spain you see images of flamenco dancers, bull-fights and holidaymakers on packed summer beaches in soaring temperatures, then this is the Spain you are thinking about.
In the last post my imaginary journey was a walk through the border between Gibraltar and Spain. My intention was first to travel east exploring the sounds of Andalusia. And I will. But just as I was leaving the Rock, I read about Gibraltar Productions who run the Gibraltar World Music Festival. One of the artists that they represent is Jose Carlos Gomez. He is from Algeciras 20 kilometers on the other side of the Bay of Gibraltar.
The beginning of the journey and the beginning of the project. The search for interesting and challenging music around the Mediterranean starting in Gibraltar.
This will be a tour I would love to take in real time; I doubt if I ever will. Our starting point and finish line are The Pillars of Hercules. The route is Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Malta, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. I have all the time in the world.
Then I discovered the “Related Artists” link on Spotify. (As I write incidentally I am listening to this.) A few years ago I lamented on Facebook that I was just so tired of music.
I have rediscovered the excitement of finding new (to me) music that I once had as a DJ.
I was in Ljubljana on a Saturday morning to record some of the sounds of the streets. Particularly the street music and the other music seeping out of buildings in the historic old town.
Three years ago, when he released his international debut album Hotel Univers, it seemed that Jupiter Bokondji would be the new hero of the African music scene. Here, after all, was a Kinshasa veteran with a real sense of danger in his singing, who had proved equally exhilarating playing live. Now, at last, comes the follow-up, and though it’s a six-track mini-album.
Gaye Su Akyol’s influences, she says, include the veteran, highly political Turkish folk singer Selda Bağcan along with Nick Cave and Grace Slick, and the result is a set of compositions that are both dramatic and distinctly Turkish.
Amira Medunjanin is the finest exponent of sevdah, the melancholy and emotional folk music of Bosnia, and is remarkable not just for her clear, pained voice, but for the way she balances respect for ancient styles with experiment.
Dej še’n litro – the name does not translate well in Bing or Google translators. Actually it translates as nonsense, which is probably appropriate. At the end of a good night on the town someone will turn to another and say “Let’s have another round.” Or “Dej še’n litro” in Slovene. The only time I Read more about Dej še’n litro[…]
Lets talk about Music In this edition of Podcasting For I’m talking to Cheyenne Hohman, the Managing Director of the Free Music Archive When I started planning this Podcasting For podcast, I searched around the Internet to find music I could use. I knew expensive licences were needed for using commercial music. Read about Read more about Free Music Archive[…]
There is a playlist that goes with this posting – please feel free to add to it. In April 1986 I left Downtown Radio. I began “presenting” programmes there in 1979 – I was a DJ but the convention at the time was “presenter”. I didn’t leave because I was unhappy – I was very Read more about The Bottom Line and Across The Line at 30[…]
I don’t intend discussing Brexit, but I offer this link to anyone interested in listening. How might musicians and Film and TV makers be affected by Brexit as seen from Dublin? It is a podcast from the Irish Times. “The Brexit effect seems to have cast a shadow of confusion and foreboding over most industries Read more about Brexit and the Creative Industries: a perspective from Ireland[…]
I found this band and album by jumping from link to link, suggestion to suggestion. starting with Laibach, through to Melodrom and the next step was Patetico. It looks like the album “Vse je v redu z mojo dušo” (Everything in my soul is good) is their first, but I can’t find out much on this Read more about Patetico: from Slovenia and cooler than the Sava during the spring thaw[…]
Stuart Bailie the founding father of Belfast’s Oh Yeah centre hands over to a new CEO. Oh Yeah is a unique place were music is created, celebrated, remembered and the business around I taught. But it has only been one achievement of the man who might have invented the word “Britpop”.
It is not easy to find information (in English) about Dupain. In my continuing search to find really interesting music that I’ve not heard before, this Occitan band is my next stop, and I might hang around here for a while. Since their reformation in 2011 they have been experimenting with electronic, jazz and experimental noise. The most recent studio album is La Sòrga which I have been listening to over the last few days.
I really am catching up on music I missed sometime over the last 20 years. This week Lila Downs, her album Balas y Chocolate has been played almost every day. She’s playing in London’s Royal Festival Hall, thus proving I have fallen way behind in finding interesting music.
I came by Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla by chance. Last year I was given a private recording of the SFK Youth Orchestra performing at the Bled Festival in 2007. The opening was Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion.
And I was playing their early work in the early 1980s. Nocturnal Koreans is a mini album of 8 tracks which I’ve been listening to for a couple of weeks – since its release.
A news story in the Guardian sent me off to find out about Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. Maybe you have already heard his music – as I said in an earlier post, I’m just trying to catch up.
I love Abavuki. They are the most energetic band I have ever seen. The Marimba led multi-instrumentalists change the stage line-up through their performance.