Saturday, August 8, 2009
Kronos, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Allison Girvan, Luciana Souza, Bach, Glenn Gould: Playlist for The Open Window for August 3 and 9, 2009
The Open Window airs at www.cjly.net (Kootenay Co-op Radio) Mondays at 6:30 am and Thursdays at 10 am
Kronos Quartet: Wa Habibi, Raga Mishra Bhairavi Alap, Mugyam Beyati Shiraz, and Tew Semagn Hagere from Floodplain (Nonesuch)
This is music from cultures that reside on floodplains
in the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe. People living on floodplains are used to violent upheaval, and they are often melting pots, formed from many societies from all over. But we in the west tend to see them as homogeneous.
This music is centuries old and refreshingly new, much of it commissioned from contemporary composers.
There is music from Egypt, Lebanon, Azerbaijan and Iraq, among other places. Some was written for the Kronos Quartet by such contemporary artists as the Palestinian electronic / hip hop collective Ramallah Underground and the Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov whose Hold me Neighbour In This Storm is worth the price of this CD which is full of beauty, integrity, and wonderful surprises.
It's fascinating to hear Kronos playing in so many styles; even more so to hear individual members playing as if from another culture: violist Hank Dutt becomes an Indian musician on Raga Mishra, and David Harrington an Azerbaijani on Tew Semagn Hagere.
Isabel Bayrakdarian: Lullaby, from Gomidas Songs (Nonesuch)
The Armenian composer Gomidas Vertabed (1869-1935) is known as the father of Armenian classical music. He took songs and dances of the Armenian peasantry and recreated them in European classical format. He did this because, as a survivor of the Armenian genocide, he thought this the best way to preserve Armenian musical heritage.
Isabel Bayrakdarian is an Armenian-Canadian opera singer. There is a wonderful video on You Tube of her singing this song accompanied by a quartet of Armenian players of the duduk (a Turkish-Armenian wind instrument) in an ancient Armenian ruin, here: http://tinyurl.com/9q7s2w.
Lusiana Souza: Sonnet 49, from Neruda (Sunnyside)
This Brazilian singer has elegantly put some of Neruda's poems to music. I urge you to watch her perform this song, self-accompanied on the kalimba.
Allison Girvan: Bright Morning Star from Resonance (Independent)
Allison Girvan is the cheerfully creative leader of the Corazon Vocal Ensemble in Nelson, B.C. and the bar-raising musical director for the Capitol Theatre summer youth productions as well as being a solo performer and one of Nelson's musical movers, shakers, mentors, and elders even though she's not that old. This song is purity itself.
Bach: Invention # 5, 14, 11, and 10, Glenn Gould, piano, from Bach: The Two and Three Part Inventions (Columbia)