"Global peace through cultural
Dinner on the Diner
Ellipsis Arts (www.ellipsisarts.com,
For those who saw the PBS show "Dinner on the Diner",
aired in June, this soundtrack recreates for you the feeling of
whizzing past exotic landscapes sampling local cuisine in antique
luxury dining cars. Randy Armstrong, whose earlier group Do'a blazed
significant trails in crossover world music, produced this two CD
album to accompany the show. Here he uses jazz based melodies,
flamenco guitar, synthesizers and a variety of local percussion to
follow the dining cars of classic trains through Spain, South
Africa, Scotland and Southeast Asia. The jazz and ambient modes for
his songs are well suited for backgrounds for TV shows. However, on
this audio album, his compositions tend toward ambient noodling
augmented with traditional instruments. Forward through the early
songs to sample more authentic South African gospel choirs and
Ellipsis Arts' wonderful 64 page booklet includes recipes by four TV
gourmets with photos, descriptions of the journeys, local eating
establishments and trains, and the songwriter's music notes. An
interesting but not spicy entrée.
Giovanni Cascio and Arnaldo Vacca
Boom Boom Language
Cous Cous (www.cnimusic.it)
This Italian percussion duo exploit the latest technology to bring
life into a variety of ancient Mediterranean themes. With Italian
lyrics sung by Elvira Impagnatiello on the best tracks and eight
backup instrumentalists providing melodic exchanges with the ever
present percussion, the group experiments with techno dance rhythms,
double Bhangra beats, and Medieval arrangements in a satisfying
blend. The drums and clarinets predominate. However, when the
experimentation runs out about halfway through the album, the group
resorts to percussion jamming, which is much less interesting. Get
this for the unique rhythms and new ideas in Mediterranean music.
Mystic Fire Video and Baraka Foundation (www.baraka.net)
The Jilala religious brotherhood of Morocco is one of many sects of
Sufi Islam. It was begun in twelfth century Baghdad and still
retains vestiges of pre-Islamic healing rituals and ecstatic dance.
These lovingly packaged raw field recordings of performances from
1965 come with helpful liner notes and good production qualities.
Sufi religious music falls into a genre along with Native American
drum circles, Tibetan chanting, and Qawwali singing. It's aim is to
create a musical atmosphere which blots out the present world. In
that way the dancer can overcome this world and reach for the next.
Incense, special foods and drinks help establish the mood. The
shebaba (reed flute) establishes the song. Bendir (hand drum) tempos
rise and fall. Intricate percussion from double castanets fills in
the rhythms. Chanting and vocalizations drive the dancers on.
Since ancient times prophets in many cultures have danced in ecstasy
to exorcise evil spirits and cleanse the body and soul. Sometimes in
this ecstasy, they exhibit their talents for overcoming this world
by fire-eating, walking on hot coals, and self-mutilation, all in
the name of getting closer to God. But always there were the
musicians who acted as guides, protectors and assistants in the
journey. On this album you can follow their journey to the ecstatic
and back, and feel the power of this primeval act of mankind.
The Electronic World Of Music
Music labels have been quick to jump onto the internet because their
job is to communicate. Electronic mail (email), web sites, and the
like offer inexpensive ways of communicating with record stations
and the general public. In addition, this also helps level the
playing field by providing equal access to labels no matter what
their size. An email or web site for the smallest independent label
is as accessible as is Sony, Capital, or any of the major brands.
Send your favorite World Music links to me at email@example.com. Or
start your browsing for World Music links at www.Rootsworld.com/rw .
Copyright©WWUH: January/February Program Guide,