Friday, May 1, 2009

Shakuhachi, Zen, Ellington, Kokopelli, Fasch: Playlist for The Open Window for April 27, 2009

The Open Window airs at Mondays at 6:30 am and Sundays at 10 am, PDT

Katsuya Yokokama: Tamuke and Honshirabe from Zen: Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Classical Shakuhachi Masterworks (Spectrum)

This solo shakuhachi music is genuinely meditative, not fake meditative like most of the new age music played in yoga classes these days.

The album notes say that this is "religious music which does not aim at variation or development but expresses repose, a sense of nature....."

In the moment, as they say, and surprising at every turn.

Duke Ellington: Bluebird of Delhi, Depk, Mount Harissa, and Amad from Far East Suite (Bluebird)

The Ellington orchestra toured the Middle East and Asia sponsored by the U.S. State Departm
ent in 1963. The trip was cut short by the news of the assassination of President Kennedy. "World music" was unheard of in those days. No one in North America save a few scholars was familiar with anything but Western music.

"The tour was a great adventure for us on what is indeed the other side of the world," Ellington wrote in the album notes. "Sometimes I felt it was this world upside down. The look of the natural country is so unlike ours and the very contours of the earth seem to be different. The smell, the vastness, the birds, and the exotic beauty of all these countries make a great inspiration."

"I hope much will go into this music," he continued, "but doing a parallel to the East has its problems. ....I don't want to try to copy this rhythm or that scale. It is more valuable to have absorbed while there. You let it roll around, undergo a chemical change, and then seep out on paper in the form that will suit the musicians who are going to play it."

Kokopelli: Con que la Lavare, Christmas Angel, Dubela, and Wanane from Spirit (independent)

This is the 50-voice Edmonton group that has been the big-city sibling to our own Corazon for some years, both ensembles having visited and performed for each other. Kokopelli's singers are a bit older-- most are out of high school, but they're still pretty young. They are coming to Nelson to perform twice next week, and three of their new members this year are my daughter Laura Metcalfe, Malaika Horswill, and Oscar Derkx. They all sang in Corazon for years and then moved to Edmonton to go to university and were welcomed into Kokopelli. I'm very excited to see them perform here, not only because of Laura, but the other two as well: I've known Oscar and Malaika since they, along with Laura, were on theatre and music stages in Nelson as little children.

Maurice Andre and Orchestre de Chambre directed by Jean-Francois Paillard: Johann Friedrich Fasch, Trumpet Concerto from Le Canon de Pachelbel & Le Concerto Pour Trompette de Fasch (Erato)

Following on last weeks Haydn Trumpet Concerto, another one, this time featuring the great Maurice Andre.

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