19.1.17

Go tell It from the mountain

 
Anchiskhati Choir
Sacred Music From The Middle Ages
Georgian Polyphonic Singing
1998

Tracks: 

 01. Shobaman shenman (Eastern Georgian monastery school).
02. Dideba maghalta shina (Eastern Georgian monastery school).
03. Kovlisa dabadebulisa (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
04. Jvarsa shensa (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
05. Sashod mtiebisa (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
06. Ghmerti uphali (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
07. Tsina saukuneta (Eastern Georgian monastery school).
08. Kvertkhi ieses dzirisagan (Shemokmedi monastery school, Guria).
09. Meupheo zecatao (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
10. Adide sulo chemo (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
11. Saidumlo utsxo (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
12. Ats ganuteve (Eastern Georgian monastery school).
13. Katolike eklesiisa (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
14. Ghmerto, mokheden (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
15. Akurtkhevs suli chemi (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
16. Ikharebdit martalni (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
17. Razhams Iordanes (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
18. Ver shemdzlebel vart (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
19. Tkveta ganmatavisuphlebelo (Shemokmedi monastery school, Guria).
20. Natelo mkhiarulo (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
21. Sakvirveleba (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
22. Ghirs ars (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
23. Netar ars katsi (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
24. Mkholod-shobili (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
25. Dghes saghmrtoman madlman (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
26. Kurtkheul khar shen (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
27. Shoba sheni (Shemokmedi monastery school, Guria).
28. Ukhrtsnelsa khatsa shensa (Gelati monastery school, Imereti).
29. Alilo (Imeretian Christmas song).
30. Alilo (Imeretian Christmas song).  

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

·.ღ•:*´♥`*:•ღ.·

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

 This landmark recording is the first of its kind: a document of the ancient sacred songs of the Republic of Georgia. The haunting polyphony of this ancient music is still sung all over Georgia, from the smallest village to the ancient Anchiskhati Church in Tbilisi.

  
The Anchiskhati Church Choir

 A shared love of Georgian folk song brought a group of Conservatoire students together in 1987. Their aim was to study Georgian traditional song, both well-known and lesser known examples. Malkhaz Erkvanidze, Davit Zatiashvili, Guram Gagoshidze, Rezo Kiknadze, Davit Shughliashvili are the first five members of the choir; some time later, three other members joined the group. Zaal Tsereteli (mathematician and programmer by education), Temur Imnadze and Alexandre Khakhishvili – Conservatoire students.

  A very important priority for the young singers was to select their repertoire from recordings of old folk singers, where they could find a number of examples, not performed by any contemporary folk groups. A large place in the repertoire of the choir was occupied by songs of renowned folk singer Benia Mikadze (from the village of Kulashi, Samtredia District) and his choir "Sanavardo", as Malkhaz Erkvanidze, "Anchiskhati’s" young leader and Benia Mikadze shared the same village roots.

  Alongside learning songs, an interest in learning old, forgotten traditional polyphonic church hymns soon emerged. This became possible thanks to several collections of transcriptions of Georgian chants published at the end of the 19th century and preserved at the Georgian Folk Music Department of Tbilisi State Conservatoire. From these very collections, the group of students (yet to give themselves a name,) started to learn Easter chants. Very soon they were given the opportunity to chant in services at the church. The choir went to Betania Monastery on April 10, 1988 to chant the Easter liturgy. Despite their début, there was an amazing atmosphere at the church. Everybody was enchanted by the tunes glorifying God, so strange to their ears, but so close to their hearts, memory traces of which had been left by the ancestors. That Easter day can be marked as the return of Georgian traditional church chanting to Georgian liturgy.

  A week later Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia, invited the young choir to his place of residence. The first chant that was chanted for their esteemed host was Kriste Aghsdga from the Shemokmedi School of chant. At this point in time, Pentecost was approaching. For this holiday the blessing and opening of Anchiskhati - the oldest church in Tbilisi was planned. At this very meeting it was decided that the young choir be appointed as the Anchiskhati church choir. From that day on, the choir acquired the name "Anchiskhati Church Choir".

  The revival and renaissance of Georgian church chant, neglected over several generations due to Soviet atheistic censorship, started with the study of thousands of chant transcriptions at the initiative of the young Anchiskhati Church Choir; this initiative was supported both by the Head of the Georgian Church and by the clergy of the newly opened Anchiskhati church, which greatly contributed to the success of this initiative.

  Very soon the choir and what is more important the old, half remembered, Georgian chant gained love and popularity among the parishioners. This in turn led to the appearance of many followers of the choir on the one hand and new members seeking to join the choir on the other hand. Among these were young people of various professions who greatly admired chanting, such as Vasil Tsetskhladze (musician), Mamuka Kiknadze (architect), Grigol Bulia (a student of theological Seminary). Georgian traditional chant began to spread its tendrils all over Georgia. This process was also greatly supported by visits of the choir to different parts of the country. By that time Anchiskhati church choir had already published its first record entitled "Aghdgomasa Shensa" (1991) which included Easter chants from various schools.

  Anchiskhati Church Choir started a new stage of its activity after it was joined by a group of friends: Gocha Giorgadze (iconographer), Davit Megrelidze (architect), Levan Veshapidze (ethnomusicologist), Gocha Balavadze (artist), Nikoloz Beriashvili (geographer). This initiative of Malkhaz Erkvanidze - the choir leader was driven by the wish to perfectly present Georgian folk song repertoire and its diversity. This expanded choir of 12 singers, was then able to revive and learn a number of Georgian folk music examples, such as "Naduri" a variant of the village Dutskhuni , "Khasanbegura" a variant of the Khukhunaishvilis, together with a number of city songs, such as "Gvimgheria", "Gazapkhuli", etc.

  When learning a folk song the choir focuses first and foremost, on the manner of the traditional performance and on the authenticity of scale and intonation of the original song. . This very factor distinguishes Anchiskhati Church Choir from the performance styles of other choirs. It should be mentioned that from this standpoint the choir already had a good example in the form of ensemble "Mtiebi" directed by Edisher Garaqanidze, the first to introduce and instill authentic village manner of performance on stage. This undoubtedly was a big stimulus for the choir. At the same time it can be said, that Anchiskhati played an influential role in the creation of new ensembles and, helped forge their performance manner.

  In 1993 the choir went on its first concert tour outside Georgia - in Greece. This was a truly memorable tour for "Anchiskhati". They held several concerts and took part in New Year’s liturgy at the Cathedral Church in Athens. From this beginning, regular concerts tours to various countries took place: Germany, Austria, France, Poland, Great Britain, the USA, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Armenia, Latvia, Sweden and Lichtenstein. The choir’s performance always inspired audiences. Thanks to "Anchiskhati" and other Georgian folk groups many foreigners were given the opportunity both to sense and appreciate the beauty and depth of Georgian songs and chants.

  "Anchiskhati’s" first CD was published by a Canadian Company ”Deep Down Productions”. Anchiskhati‘s solo CD collection now exceeds a dozen.

  Separate mention should be made of collections of transcriptions, published by Anchiskhati singers and edited by Malkhaz Erkvanidze, who published a 5 volume collection including hundreds of chants. Now these collections form a basic instruction manual for beginners and professional chanters and chanting choirs. A collection of chants of the Shemokmedi School, published by Davit Shughliashvili is another manual for chanting, which occupies a distinguished place. Dozens of Gurian folk songs have been transcribed by Levan Veshapidze, thus creating an excellent source book for both Georgians and foreigners who love songs of this part of Western Georgia.


 Georgian choral polyphony is unique within world music. It consists of three main styles - chanting, singing and humming. In church chanting, three separate melodies are brought together within a modal harmonic structure, a tradition that was current in the seventh century AD, three hundred years before polyphony developed in other parts of Europe. The seven-member ensemble, Dzveli Kiloeb (Old Modes), has been developed within the Anchiskhati Choir to research and perform this ancient music.

The roots of church chanting lay in the secular music that pre-dates Christianity and survives today in the folk music of the Georgian regions. The songs and dance music relate to the circumstances of village life - the weddings, funerals, lullabies, harvest and hunting songs - and contain vocal techniques, such as Krimanchuli (a kind of yodelling), unique to Georgia. The Anchiskhati Choir researched and now perform the songs; and are expert players of the rare Georgian folk instruments. 


*º* 
 

10.1.17

Mount Arakatz

Anna Mailian
Sharakan
 


Tracks:

01 - Sirt im sasani - Mghitar Ayrivanetsi ( XIII c)
02 - Ov, zarmanali-Aysor dzaynn Hairakan - Grigor Pahlavouni-Hovanes Yerznkatsi (XII-XIII c)
03 - Havoun,Havoun - Grigor Narekatsi ( X c )
04 - Our es, mayr im - Composer & period un know
05 - Daskn Hreakan - Arakel Siunetsi ( XIV-XV cc)
06 - Khorhurd khorin - Khacatur Taronetsi ( XIII c)
07 - Ter Voghormya - Shnorhali-Komitas ( XII, XIX-XX cc)
08 - Havik - Grigor Narekatsi ( X c)
09 - Varanim i meghats - Composer & period un know
10 - Voghormya ints Astvadz - Mestrop Mashtots ( V c )
11 - I nnjmaned arkaiakan ... - Paghtasar Dpir ( XVII-XVIII cc)
12 - Sailn ain ijaner - Grigor Narekatsi ( X c)

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

·.ღ•:*´♥`*:•ღ.·

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

 
Աննա Մայիլյան, հայ երգչուհի (սոպրանո), ազգային և միջազգային բազմաթիվ մրցույթների դափնեկիր։

Ծնվել է Երևանում, 23.10.1970թ.։ Ավարտել է Երևանի Ռոմանոս Մելիքյանի անվան երաժշտական ուսումնարանը (1992),Երևանի Կոմիտասի անվան պետական կոնսերվատորիան (1996)։ Կատարելագործվել է «Մոցարտ» ակադեմիայում (1997-98,Լեհաստան), «Վիլլեքրոզ» ակադեմիայում (Ֆրանսիա), «Հարիկլեա Դարկլե» ակադեմիայում (Ռումինիա)։ Վարպետաց դասեր է ստացել Արաքս Դավթյանի, Քերսթին Մայերի (Շվեդիա), Աննա Դեյնոլդսի (Գերմանիա), Էլլա Բլահովայի (Չեխիա), Մարիաննա Նիկոլեսկույի (Ռումինիա), Քերոլ Սմիթի (Շվեյցարիա) մոտ։

1995-ից մեներգել է Ջրվեժի Սբ. Կաթողիկե եկեղեցում։ 1998թ-ից դասավանդում է Երևանի Կոմիտասի անվան պետական կոնսերվատորիայի դասական երգի ամբիոնում, 2010թ.-ից դոցենտ է։ Երևանում 2000թ. հիմնել է «Սաղմոս» մշակութային կենտրոնը և «Վարպետներ» վոկալ անսամբլը։ 2006-ին հիմնել և ղեկավարում է «Էթնո» վոկալ եռյակը։ Մասնակցել է համերգային փառատոնների, մրցույթների (Ֆրանսիա, Գերմանիա, Բելգիա, Կանադա և այլն)։

1994թ-ին Երևանում «Կոմիտաս-125» վոկալ մրցույթում արժանացել է 1-ին մրցանակի, 1996-ին Ավստրոգերմանական և հայ երգի հանրապետական մրցույթում՝ 1-ին մրցանակի, 2000-ին Ռումինիայում Հարիկլեա Դարկլեի անվան միջազգային մրցույթում՝ ոսկե մեդալի և դափնեկրի կոչման։ 2001-ին Իտալիայում «Իբլա-Գրանդ Պրայզ» միջազգային մրցույթում արժանացել է դափնեկրի կոչման՝ հայ և արևմտագերմանական երգի յուրահատուկ մատուցման համար։

Երգացանկում են հոգևոր և ժողովրդական երգեր, դասական և ժամանակակից հայ և արևմտյան կոմպոզիտորների ստեղծագործություններ։

Պարգևները
2003թ. արժանացել է ՀՀ մշակույթի նախարարության ոսկե մեդալի։
2008թ. արժանացել է ՀՀ վաստակավոր արտիստի կոչմանը։

source


 Armenian Music

In friezes from the walls of ancient pagan buildings we see depicted singers with musical instruments of various kinds, entertaining royal audiences or singing in a group. From these it is evident that music had a place in the earliest civilization of Armenia. Of course, Armenia, like the countries that surrounded her in pagan times, had her strolling minstrels and troubadours, who used musical instruments and their own melodies to accompany the stories they told. From these, no doubt, developed the folk music of the Armenians, which has been described as "lively and distinctly peculiar to the Armenian people, although showing sometimes foreign influences, either Persian or Turkish."

The beginnings of liturgical music came in the fifth century, when so much of the work on an Armenian liturgy was undertaken:

"Christianity introduced a new kind of poetry, namely Church hymns and chants. These were called, in Armenian, sharkans. They were not only written in meter, but were composed with a view to being sung. The word sharakan means "row of gems" Historians of the Middle Ages say that the sharakans were written mainly by the "translators," i.e. by the writers of the fourth and fifth centuries. As a matter of fact, very few sharakans were written after the thirteenth century. Since then, no prayers or hymns have been introduced into the Armenian Church.

It is said by writers of the Middle Ages that St. Sahag arranged the sharakans for ten voices and St. Stephanos for twenty-six voices, corresponding to created things - elements, plants, birds, and animals. There were also women sharakan writers. One of these was Sahakadukht, who lived in the eight century. She not only wrote, but also composed music, and taught singing. Out of modesty, she used to hide behind a curtain, whence she gave instruction to both sexes. Singing was considered a great art in Armenia, and musicians were called "philosophers" Several such "philosophers" were canonized and had the word "philosopher" prefixed to their names… When Catholicos Petros Getarardz went to Constantinople, he took with him a company of musicians, whom he presented, as a gift, for the service of the Byzantine court."

By the end of the fifth century, the musical canons were set. But it was not until the ninth century that a system of notation, called the Khaz system, was used. In liturgical music books today, the marks used for this system are still included, but their meanings have not been deciphered because while they indicated the pitch, rhythm, and nuance, which the singer was supposed to use, they assumed that he already knew the basic melody. Today at the Armenian Academy of Sciences in Yerevan, musicologists are attempting to decipher this system with the aid of computers.

Under the influence of Nerses the Grace-filled, the Armenian hymnary was expanded in the twelfth century, for besides his poetic abilities he had much musical talent, and wrote some of the most beautiful liturgical music to be found in the church. It is said that when, as Catholicos, he was distressed to hear his guards singing Turkish ditties, he composed some of his music to give them something better to sing. In any case, his music is beautiful. One example is Norasdeghdzyal a hymn sung in three parts during the morning service, which speaks of the newly-created life God has offered us and conveys, by the purity of its melody, a sense of the new beginning that the Resurrection, the "morning" of the Church, brings to us.

Nerses was the greatest Armenian liturgical composer to come for many centuries, but closer to our own time stands another great figure. Komitas Vartabed. This sensitive young man received some of his early training under Makar Ekmalian, whose compositions of the Divine Liturgy are sung in many Armenian churches today. Later, he received further instruction in Berlin, and began writing some of the more than three thousand songs and compositions which are attributed to him. He took hundreds of old folk songs, arranging them in the way they were meant to be sung, with a pure national flavor. His work attracted the attention of many Europeans; "Debussy's opinion, in which he called Komitas a great composer on the basis of only one of his songs ("Homeless"), is well-known."

Komitas' greatest achievement is his arrangement of parts of the Divine Liturgy, which he wrote down and restored to their original style. The beauty of the Komitas Liturgy, performed today in churches throughout the world is matchless. After he died in Paris his remains were moved to Armenia to be buried there with other beloved artists. Through the work of Komitas, many people in Europe were for the first time exposed to Armenian music in its original form, unchanged by the influence of the Turkish and other Eastern, but foreign influences which had imposed themselves on the culture of the country.

Armenian folk music was arranged symphonically for the first time by Spendiarian, early in the twentieth century. His symphonic piece, Yerevanina sketches, was based on popular folk melodies, including one written by the eighteenth-century bard, Sayat Nova. With this work, and with others like it, Spendiarian became the greatest influence on Armenian symphonic music.

Spendiarian also took a poem by a classic Armenian writer, Hovhannes Toumanian, and based on it the opera Almast, which depicts the Armenians trying to defend their homeland. This lovely piece, which also contains many of the folk melodies, which Spendarian grew to love, has been performed in Moscow, Tbilisi, Odessa, Tashkent, and other places in the Soviet Union. In 1933, the Yerevan opera house which was later to be named after Spendiarian had its grand opening with a performance of Almast.

The operas of Armen Tigranian, whose Anush is not only beautiful but exacts incredible vocal feats from its singers; the ballets and symphonies of Aram Khachaturian; the haunting quality of Alan Hovhaness' music - all are based on the music which the Armenian church and people handed down to their children.

source

 It is impossible to perceive Armenia without Sharakans. Wherever you are in the wild nature of Armenian land, Sharakans seems to fill the forgotten colours of the canvas called "Armenia". They astonish us with their variety of colour and image, with the unity of man and nature, with the harmonic and marvellous explication of spirit and flesh.

*·* 
 

16.11.16

¡Asi Baila Mi Perú!


Perou 
Huayno, Valse Créole Et Marinera
1994

Tracks:

01. Pot-Pourri De Huaynos
02. Lo Cholito
03. Hermitana
04. Le Charangiste Solitaire
05. Adios Pueblo De Ayacucho
06. Tocucha
07. Inti Raymi
08. Bajo El Cielo De Los Incas
09. Huayno De La Merced
10. Mi Peru
11. Como Quisiera Tenerte En Mis Brazos
12. Cantenito De Mis Amores
13. Villancicos De Ayacucho
14. Nube Gris
15. Festejo
16. Marinera
17. Danzas Andinas
18. Las Virgenes Del Sol

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

·.ღ•:*´♥`*:•ღ.·

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

 Field recordings by Gérard Krémer in "Black" Peru.

Huayno - The Fingerprint of the Incas

Since Huayno lyrics are sung in Quechua, many consider it to be one of the most authentic Peruvian dances. Huayno has been a vessel carrying the essence of Inca culture throughout various generations.

The first references of Huayno appeared in 1586. The book “Vocabulary of the Indians of Peru” mentioned the “Huayñucuni”, a music indigenous people danced behind closed doors. “Huayñucuni” translates as “dancing with a partner, with arms folded.” Under colonial rule, Huayñucuni was rarely danced in public. Its successor, the Huayno, is the root of most Andean dances.

Huaynos are danced in most Andean festivities. They could be classified by the region of origin. Northern Huayno is characterized by joyful steps. Southern Huayno, instead, has cadent rhythms. Central Huayno has animated swings but very tragic lyrics. Why tragic lyrics? Quechuas lived under the despotic rule of mining corporations. Quechuas sang to vent off their sorrows and seek consolation through Huayno.

Vals - The Symbol of Peruvian Criollismo

Vals is the most valuable cultural expression of Peruvian criollismo. Due to its multiple cultural influences, Vals is an iconic dance encompassing our vast Peruvian diversity.

Dancing is not an activity disassociated with the world. Every dance is a living entity shaped by both historical and daily events. A minor change in the flow of events can provoke repercussions in the fate of any particular dance. This is how dances are developed, grow or simply decay.

In the late 1890’s, the fusion of African tunes, the French Minuet, the Polish Mazurka, the Viennese waltz and the Spanish jota produced the Peruvian Vals. Most Limeños, who loved Opera, didn’t pay attention to it. Gradually, fabulous performers as Felipe Pinglo and Chabuca Granda brought Vals to great acclaim. If a Limeño from Colonial times would materialize today, he would be astonished to see that Vals, a music generally despised then, is now the main symbol of Peruvian criollismo.

Vals, with slight steps and cadent tempo, is the most conventional of Peruvian dances.

Marinera Norteña - A Romantic Coastal Dance

Hands down, Marinera is the most iconic of Peruvian coastal dances. Along with Vals, Marinera also imbibed a manifold of cultural currents. Therefore, any serious exhibition of Peruvian dances would be incomplete without Marinera.

Despite multiple theories, Marinera probably arose from Zamacueca. There is a striking resemblance in the steps of both typical dances.

While men danced Marinera wearing shoes, women did so barefooted. Proud of their fortitude, women even sought coarser grounds to dance on. Hence, they created the motto: “the coarser the ground, the greater the dancer.” Women then exhibited their calloused soles to earn the respect of skillful dancers. Some women also danced Marinera holding a Chicha bottle on their heads.

Although we also have ‘Marinera Limeña’, ‘Marinera Norteña’ surpassed the former in popularity. The Norteño dance exudes joy, energy and speed. “La Concheperla” is the most popular Marinera song.

Why was it named Marinera (Sea dance)? Nobody knows. The swings and swirls of ‘Marinera’ assimilate those of sea waves. And some say Trujillano seamen may have baptized it so. Others assert that Trujillano writer Abelardo Gamarra picked that term in 1879.




**

26.8.16

¡Buckwheat!


Hell Yeah!

Buckwheat!

Zydeco!

Everybody clap your hands!
and if you can't clap your hands, 
clap your hands anyway...! 
 




Buckwheat Zydeco
Down Home Live
Thanksgiving At El Sid O's
2001

Tracks:

01 - Soul Serenade (Bucks Intro) - 6:14
02 - What You Gonna Do? - 10:57
03 - Hard To Stop - 7:33
04 - Walking To New Orleans - 8:40
05 - Trouble - 6:59
06 - Make A Change - 5:45
07 - Put It In The Pocket - 5:29
08 - Out On The Town - 8:12
09 - Beast Of Burden - 13:00

Personnel:

Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural, Jr. (accordion, Hammond B-3, electric keyboard, lead vocals)
Lee Allen Zeno (bass, master of ceremonies)
Michael Melchione (guitar)
Sir Reginald Master Dural (rubboard)
Kevin Menard (drums)
Curtis Watson (trumpet)
Gray Mayfield (sax)
Paul "Lil' Buck" Sinegal (guitar)
Melvin Veazie (guitar)
Calvin Landry (trumpet)
Paul Wiltz (Sax)

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

·.ღ•:*´♥`*:•ღ.·

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

 Live from Louisiana's Creole Country comes Buckwheat Zydeco’s "Down Home Live!," the first-ever live album of zydeco's best-loved ambassador, Buckwheat Zydeco. "Down Home Live!," is a record of rollicking good times tracked in the intimate confines of El Sid O's Zydeco & Blues Club during a hometown break for the barnstorming bandleader's annual Thanksgiving show in Lafayette, La.

Blues Access, in a cover story and lead review, said: "The good-natured energy that literally pops off of this disc immediately makes you wish you had been at El Sid O’s to witness the show in person. But you’ll be glad to have this document of the event that catches not only every feel-good note but the essential ‘vibe’ of the evening as well ... it’s impossible to resist being caught up in the sheer sense of fun and release (it) draws you into."

From the powerhouse dance floor boogie of "What You Gonna Do?" to the majestic soul of Dural's brilliant reading of "Beast of Burden," the band does it all. The group even revisits their inventive reworking of Fats Domino's "Walking to New Orleans" and Dural's reggae-tinged zyde-soul anthem "Make A Change."

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and others have called Buckwheat Zydeco "one of the best party bands in America," and now music fans need venture no farther than their CD players to find out what all the fuss is about.

" Down Home Live!" showcases the show-stopping dynamics that've turned countless curious listeners and concert-goers into full-fledged zydeco fanatics. This is also the disc the converted have been waiting for, as it captures Buck’s irresistible personality, bottling the between-song patter, soaring solos and horn-driven workouts that are this legendary live act's trademarks.

Lucky
Lucky
Lucky

that we have this music
rush to the last remaining
record shop
and get your copy
tomorrow

;-) 

or get your Buckwheat




... The selection of music is comprised of old standards and new originals that illustrate the scope of Buckwheat Zydeco’s capabilities. While technical bravado is substantial, the group’s delivery allows us to play distant witness to a rare party. Down Home Live is incredibly fun, and will make you want to catch the first plane to Louisiana for some first-person interaction with one of the greatest performing units of the past thirty years ...



7.1.16

The truth is out there...

 
Epirus Songs with Pagona
Clarinet: Makis Borodimos
 
Tracks:

01. Μια ωραία βοσκοπούλα - 2:43
02. Δεροπολίτισσα - 1:22
03. Γιάννη μου το μαντήλι σου - 2:57
04. Στου βοριά το μπαλκονάκι - 2:19
05. Τσιγγάνοι εσείς που ξέρετε - 2:18
06. Πες μου κόρη - 1:47
07. Με κοιτούν δυο μαύρα μάτια - 2:23
08. Σάββατο μέρα πίναμε - 3:34
09. Για την αγάπη ζούμε Γιαννακη - 2:19
10. Αυγερινέ που είσαι ψηλά - 2:23
11. Με Μαγιού λουλούδια - 2:10
12. Παπαρούνα - 2:48
13. Μπάρμπα Μυλωνά - 2:57
14. Ένα βράδυ βγήκε ο Χάρος - 1:35
15. Τον άνθρωπο τον μερακλή - 3:34
16. Τι έχεις βασιλικέ μου - 2:21
17. Τριανταφυλλιά - 1:32
18. Με κοιτά με κοιτάς - 0:40
19. Μπήκε στο χορό - 3:15
20. Αχός βαρύς - 2:16
21. Η αγάπη μήλο μου έστειλε - 2:27
22. Σήμερα είναι Πασχαλιά - 2:32
23. Αυτά τα μαύρα μάτια - 2:34
24. Απ' το Πογώνι μια παντρεμένη - 4:10

Αθανασίου Παγώνα / Athanasiou Pagona - voice
Μάκης Μποροδήμος / Makis Borodimos -clarinet
 

The music of Epirus (Greek: Μουσική της Ηπείρου), in the northwest of Greece contains folk songs that are mostly pentatonic and polyphonic, sung by both male and female singers. Distinctive songs include lament songs (mirolóyia), shepherd's songs (skáros) and drinking songs (tis távlas). The clarinet is the most prominent folk instrument in Epirus, used to accompany dances, mostly slow and heavy, like the menousis, fisouni, podhia, sta dio, sta tria, zagorisios, kentimeni, koftos, yiatros and tsamikos. The polyphonic song of Epirus constitutes one of the most interesting musical forms, not only for the east Mediterranean and the Balkans, but also for the worldwide repertoire of the folk polyphony like the yodeling of Switzerland. Except from its scale, what pleads for the very old origin of the kind is its vocal, collective, rhetorical and modal character.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cf/Epirus_antiquus_tabula.png
 
Image 
 
https://d3vonci41uckcv.cloudfront.net/old-images/original/f1174c88-c162-477a-8896-8f124c0d1cd9.Epirus-aoos%20river-bridge.jpg 
 
 
A happy new year to all of you!
 
> ♥ <
 

15.10.15

¡El Sucu Suco Vive!

 
Isla Caribe
Sucu Suco
1995

Tracks:

01 - La chaqueta roja
02 - Santa Fe
03 - Popurri
04 - Algo mas del Son
05 - Chaila
06 - El rabito de lechon
07 - Felipe Blanco
08 - Siento por ti
09 - Por tu mente
10 - Tu corres con mi suerte
11 - Mi Sentimiento por la musica
12 - Cuidate del palo

Frank Federico Boza - director
Osmundo Calzado - musical director
 
♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

.ღ•:*´♥`*:•ღ.

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

 
 ...this sounds good, sucu-suco from the country in Cuba, played by a band led by Frank Federico Boza. It’s local, happy, meant for dancing, and full of sparkling energy. There’s a horn section, and an electric bass, and a female coro, and it feels recorded in some nearby meeting hall, open and rocking...It’s like visiting a provincial capital, and hearing the best band in town...
 

 Cuban Music: The School of Life
June 9, 2013

An interview with composer Frank Federico Boza, director of Cuba’s Isla Caribe.

Vicente Morín Aguado

  
  HAVANA TIMES - Composer Frank Federico Boza has been a professional musician for 35 years and the director of his own, orchestral ensemble for the last 20. Our conversation begins with a look at a rather well-received tendency we see in Cuban music, the use of crude refrains which draw from the language typical of underprivileged sectors of Cuban society.

“I don’t like using rough language for shock value; you don’t need it to remain popular. The important thing for me is being true to myself, working from my roots up, to sing about the beautiful things you see in this country.”

However, the catchiest songs have refrains that say things like: “If you don’t have a stomach for killin’, step down and let yourself be killed.”

“Look, Mr. Reporter, people forget the palm trees, the fruits of the earth, the city of Baracoa, its cocoa, its coffee, its papayas and other fruits, the people who work the land, Cuba without politics, the things we should remember and celebrate. To stay at the top, some people will do anything, from buying someone else’s musical numbers to using cheap commercial tactics.”

HT: So, is it a problem of corruption, of bureaucracy? As an artist, you see these problems in the field of music itself?

Frank Federico Boza: Let’s not be too harsh and say it’s a combination of luck and the fact that, perhaps, people are simply not interested in some ideas. If we worked from the bottom up, people who judge you afterwards wouldn’t get to decide what to produce, whether you get to travel or not, whether your music is played on TV, etc. That is, we need to democratize the process. I am not trying to be political when I use this word. I use it to mean an effective control over something, having the opinion of the artists, the musicians themselves.

Boza was born in El Entronque de la Maya, a small town near Santiago de Cuba. After completing his military service, he became an amateur musician and played at the Nueva Gerona Cultural Center in Cuba’s Isla de la Juventud.

FFB: I started out at a typical Cuban brass band, similar to Aragon or the Original de Manzanilla. I went from being an amateur to a professional percussionist. I enrolled at the Vocational Advancement School (Escuela de Superacion Profesional) and completed drumming and piano studies. I was already composing my own music when I took on the challenge of moving to Havana, in 1991.

HT: What role do lyrics play in your conception of art?

FFB: I sing to flowers, to palm trees, to children, to good ideas and good things. Ideas know no borders. My album, A Bit More Son (Algo más del Son) is sold out, and is faring quite well abroad. I got to know the Sucu Suco genre at Isla de la Juventud and wanted to do my own version of this very old son tradition, with a small ensemble, like a jazz band. At first, I met with a lot of rejection and distrust, but I stuck to my idea, I was persistent.

HT: What did you want from your band?

FFB: Like I said, I wanted a small, typical band, like NG La Banda, to give you an example. We had our debut at La Tropical. I pushed my ideas through. At first, people said I was crazy, but, in the end, they were hugging me with emotion. I had managed to re-launch the Sucu Suco from Pinar del Rio in a different style, something completely original. That’s when people started to congratulate me. There were people who wanted to work with me and that’s how Algo mas del Son, produced by Cuba’s EGREM label, was born. It was produced by Rafael Chacon and includes a song, inspired by a short story by former Minister of Culture Abel Prieto, sung by Sara Gonzalez, Guisazo’s Fault (La Culpa del Guisazo). The album also includes classic pieces from the genre, such as The Piglet’s Tiny Tail (El rabito del lechón), a masterpiece by Mongo Rives, Pinar del Rio’s folk music king.

My experience as a journalist is that Cuba tends to forget its musical traditions, and only regains an interest in them when a daring entrepreneur comes along and draws its attention to it. The Sucu Suco could be as fortunate as traditional ballad music from Santiago de Cuba or the Buena Vista Social Club. Many bands simply copy others, they’re part of commercial enterprise aimed at making a bit of money, getting on a plane, earning a bit more money, returning and continuing to do what they do in show business. Save for some rare exceptions, I don’t see a lot of originality around.

FFB: That’s the way it is, Vicente, and it’s because they don’t go to the root of things, they don’t go looking for the truly valuable artists. You see a lot of people who’ve been to school, working with the same directors and arrangers. They’re there, but they don’t produce anything novel. In the old days, Chapotin was Chapotin and Chocolate was Chocolate, La Aragon was her own unique thing and Benny quite another. When you see something original, look into it, you’ll see it didn’t come out of any school, and I say this not to deny the importance of schooling. Like I said, I am grateful for the opportunity to study I had when I was a young man who had just come out of military service. I was able to become a musician thanks to that.

HT: Are you satisfied with your career? What paths lie ahead of you? What challenges?

FFB: I’m not in the least bit satisfied, though I am pleased to be able to say the band has been playing in Havana for twenty years and that it continues to be successful. We haven’t travelled abroad, and we have a new series of songs for another album, which I’m sure will sell. It’s not a question of moving up or down, the important thing is to stay where you are, to hold your ground. The fact you’re not at the top isn’t always your fault. Whether people see you or listen to your music doesn’t always depend on what you do.

It seems we live in a world that is chaotic and out of control. Money talks and bureaucracy sets the rules.

I’m not into naming names, I am an artist and it’s not my place. It could be misinterpreted. But, let me tell you, even shows are suffering, because venues no longer have artistic directors, people who guide you, tell you what’s appropriate for the place, the time, the audience, people who can organize a show rationally.

HT: You spoke of the so-called “academic sin”, but you recognize the value of schooling nonetheless.

FFB: Music schools do produce relatively qualified musicians, but, as time passes, and with the new educational system in place, we start to see more and more of the same. Before, you had conservatories and maestros, without the massive classrooms you have today. New things emerged when you stepped out into the real world, when you got on stage or went on tour, when you recorded an album. It was a different and highly competitive world, with no room for boredom, repetition or coarseness.

HT: Maestro, the sad thing is that, while you sing about beautiful things, others compare themselves to a bus and yell stuff like “Oil and water, I’m a bus, get out of the way or I’ll run you down.”

Boza takes my hand and says:

FFB: Polo Motañez, born and raised in the Cuban sticks, was rescued from oblivion by a European label. The old men from the Buena Vista Social Club, that was a project put together very far away from here. I think you start to see where uniqueness is appreciated, where permanent success is found…

HT: So, Boza, what’s more important to you, school or life experience?

FFB: Life is a school, but it teaches you things in due course. When I was a student, I was young, I had less experience. Today, I have the experience that the school of life has given me, and that’s the reason I think the way I do.

interview source


 ¡Sucu-Suco!

14.10.15

Desde La Isla de la Juventud...

  
La Tumbita Criolla de Mongo Rives
"El Sucu Sucu"
1999

Tracks:

01. Yo Quiero Bailar Con María Elena
02. Candela Son Tus Ojos
03. La Campana
04. Candela Es Mi Sucu Sucu
05. Sucu Sucu Para Ti
06. Que Bella
07. Los Masajes No Tienen Cuevas
08. Chinito Que Vendes Tu
09. El Melon
10. Dame El Rabito Del Lechon
11. Que Rico Baila Clarita
  
♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

.ღ•:*´♥`*:•ღ.

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

  

"Different regional migrations of Cuban workers resulted in varations of the son. One such variation was born in the 1920s out of the Isla de Los Pinos. This style, called Sucu-sucu, gave a particular flavor in terms of sound and dance. Tres, machete (used as a scraper), seed shakers, and bottles played with spoons created an orginal sound. Unlike other son forms, the dancers of Sucu-sucu don't move their hips and shoulders. Instead, complex foot movements are emphasized."

- Bruce Polin
¡Recommended!

Ramon “Mongo” Rives
  
from Fidels :

The 'Sucu Sucu', a "rural Cuban" rhythm that is reputed to have originated by a Woman named 'Bruna Castillo'.
It was purportedly created in 1840 in a house called "La Tumbita" that was close to a "village" named 'Santa Fe' which is now the second largest city on La 'Isla Del Pinos'. (now called 'La Isla de la Juventud' since 1978)

The rhythm originally was known to have several names: "rumbita", "cotunto" up until the 1920's when it was named 'Sucu Sucu' based on the sounds made by the style of playing the 'bandurria' and the sliding and dragging of the feet on the wooden floor of the "bohios" and "conucos". (small houses of the campesinos/farmers at that time).

To my knowledge, one the only few Cuban musicians still playing 'Sucu Sucu' and keeping it alive commercially is Ramon “Mongo” Rives, a 'Laúd' player and the great grandson of 'Bruna Castillo'.


WHAT WAS THE SUCU SUCU IN CUBAN MUSIC?

by Maria del Carmen Mestas

The voice of the old man from Isla de la Juventud rose up in the night accompanied by the rhythm of a beautiful sucu sucu, and there, in that improvised get-together, was awakened the curiosity to investigate this rich expression of Cuban folklore.

Its origin dates back to 1840, in La Tumbita farm, close to the town of Santa Fe, in what is nowadays Isla de la Juventud, formerly Isla de Pinos. According to musicologist María Teresa Linares, the music is similar in its formal, melodic, instrumental and harmonic structure to a son montuno. It alternates a soloist with a chorus that sings a fixed passage, accompanied by the band. The soloist sings improvisations on a quartet or a ten-stanza verse.

The sucu sucu reached a greater standing around 1950, when the famous author Eliseo Grenet stylized it and composed pieces that achieved a huge popularity in Cuba and abroad. During that phase, the best-known one was called Felipe Blanco, which was promoted by the radio on a large scale and, later on, was prohibited because of the political jokes prompted by its lyrics.

The story says that Felipe Blanco was in service to Spain; his task was to cut off the ears of Cuban rebels.

On July 26, 1896, those participating in the uprising of the Evangelina Cossío conspiracy had dispersed themselves around the hills of the Sierras de las Casas and, worn out from the long treks, were sleeping in some caves close to the La Concepción ranch.

Felipe Blanco, using some tricks, attracted the rebels to his house and offered them food and shelter, before he betrayed them. They were all handed over to the Spanish and subsequently massacred.

The sucu sucu begins to spread around the 1920s and 1930s. By that date Jamaicans and people from the Cayman Islands, who work mainly in the recollection of grapefruit and other fruits, reach the North American haciendas established on Isla de Pinos. Workers from Niquero, Guantánamo, Manzanillo and other places from the eastern region also settle there, at the start of the construction of the so-called Presidio Modelo.

From 1948 to 1950 new elements enter into sucu sucu; in this way it breaks with the traditional scheme. The genre became more stylized, rapidly becoming commercialized. This was due to the work of Eliseo Grenet and Ramírez Corría, who introduced variations to that folkloric expression from Isla de Pinos.

There are two types of structure in the musical bands: one, made up by accordion, harmonica, kettledrum and güiro, violin or guitar; the other one, following the style of the traditional son bands, made up by marímbula, tres, guitar, bongo, claves and maracas.

Groups from Santa Fe and Jacksonville used a stool or conga drum in sucu sucu to mark the rhythm. More modern groups now use even trumpets. In the past, the machete was used as a rasper.

How is it danced? Many people describe sucu sucu’s choreography like that of the son, with the only difference that there is not a long and a short step, but two short shuffle steps with each foot. Older people tell us that in the past, the dancers used to light a candle to Saint Nicholas, and they would dance while it remained lit. The respite depended on giving a sieve to those who were awaiting the opportunity to join the dance.

What is true is that the choreography of this genre has been changing and that each generation has introduced its own modalities.

Several Cuban bands have worked for an international reach of sucu sucu in their albums as well as in their international tours. Among the best-known bands are Sonny Boy and Mongo Rives y su Tumbita. Nowadays this expression of great resonant strength arouses enthusiasm not only on Isla de la Juventud, but also abroad, thanks to the work developed by the Isla Caribe orchestra, directed by Frank Federico Boza.






 

13.10.15

El Hijo del Padre en la Casa de Nora : )

 
Elio Revé Jr y su Charangón
Changüí en la casa de Nora

2000

Tracks:

01. Changui En La Casa De Nora
02. Bueno, Bueno Y Que
03. Muevete Pa' Qui
04. Soy Reve
05. Iyabo
06. Pensamiento Absurdo
07. Al Principio
08. La Visita
09. El Trompo
10. La Duena De La Habana

Personnel:

Elio Revé Jr. - piano
Giovanni Cofiño - bass
Raúl Martínez - güiro
Carlos Rodríguez - timbales, batá, bongó del monte, quinto, campana
Humberto Sosa - congas
Fernando Revé - clave
Luis Ravelo - bongó
Eulises Benavides, Fidel Laniel, Orlando Montaner - trombones
Leonel González - tres
Dagoberto Vazquez, Rosendi Diaz, Abdel Rosalps and Pascual Matos Aguirren, Hector Vaentin, Felipe Valdes Flores - vocals

 ♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

.ღ•:*´♥`*:•ღ.

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫
  
The musical legacy of the father of changui, Elio Reve, lives on through his son Elio Reve Jr who, together with the legendary band of his father presents the rhythm of changui, both traditional and new. A big sound from a big band, Elio Reve Jr continues the tradition, leading the band that his father formed, the Orquesta Reve.
"The musical legacy of the father of Changüí, Elio Revé, lives on through his son Elio Revé Jr who, together with the legendary band, presents the rhythm of Changüí from a new and exciting angle."



Changüí, changüí, changüí, there are ten different changüí played here, all combining into a stylish, swinging presentation. Changüí en la Casa de Nora is a sizzling concept album brought into being by the people who most rightfully should be acknowledged. Created by Elio Revé, Jr., the son and heir to Elio Revé, Sr., the man who did most to bring the changüí from the province first into Havana, then into all of Cuba, and finally to the world. This is as authentic as it gets.

To think of changüí and where it came from, you must first think of the Eastern corner of island of Cuba. The Oriente’s most well-known province is Guantanamo, an area rich in musical culture, but unique because moving populations in the early 1800s brought many Bantu influences from the Congo and the Ivory Coast of Africa by way of nearby Haiti. At the turn of nineteenth century into the twentieth, the mountainous Oriente was a remote, rural area whose inhabitants had developed many traditions in music and dance. There and about then, the changüí settled into its recognizable form.

The changüí is a regional creation, a lively country music, with some Bantu rhythm influences. This is a pulsating earthy music, which sounds a little rough, but always seems spontaneous. The basic broad range of sound results from combining percussion from maracas, bongos, marinbola (a large wooden box with metal hoops which acts as a mixture of percussion and bass), and guiro (usually a metal can hit with a stick) all being driven by a tres (three stringed guitar) played aggressively. The lead singing I can only describe as acrobatic

The first song here “Changüí en la Casa de Nora” is how the changüí was traditionally played before Elio Revé, Sr. migrated to Havana in 1955. Nora was born in the same place as Revé, Sr. and maintains her home there where the jam sessions still take place. After hours of musicians playing and the country dance probably going all night until close to dawn, she is known to serve up her famous soup and seafood. The chorus, always sung rapidly in childish voices, says “Let’s go to Nora’s house to eat ajiaco”.

As a young man, Elio Revé, Sr. made his way to Havana and carried the changüí with him. He began experimenting, and began using trombones and piano to enhance the form, as heard here on the next track “Bueno, Bueno y Que”. He fused the changüí with son, which had made its way down from the Orientes a few decades earlier. In 1956, he formed the Orquesta Revé, which as well as becoming one of the most important Cuban bands has qualified as Cuba’s most important musical school, where many of the country’s top musicians began their careers. Revé, Sr. continued experimenting, adding the five-key timbale as well as the bata drum to the percussive mix, all of which earned his band the title of “Father of all Orchestras” and he became known as the “Father of Changüí”.

A few years back, the legendary and innovative musical director died in a road accident. His legacy lives on through his son, Elio Revé, Jr., who has since his first steps as a professional pianist has been a key element in his father’s band, Orquesta Revé, more commonly known as El Charagon.

Elio Revé, Jr. is musical director now and dedicates the record to his father, both as a tribute to his memory and a fulfillment of his wishes. Revé, Jr. has ladled up a wonderful serving of changüí. El Charagon is gifted with three different vocal soloists who genuinely soar and the chorus is a delight. “Soy Revé” is a solid dance tune, deserving of much play on Latin music stations. In “La Visita,” the singer bursts out with “toon, toon, toon” imitating the percussive sound of the clave to remind us the rhythm sticks are not found in the changüí. Whether you miss that particular rhythm spice or not, all the selections are pretty tasty.

For the best time, put this record on while you and your guests are preparing a friendly casual dinner at home. At over fifty minutes of play, it’s a pretty good serving, but there’s never enough changüí for a rhythm-hog.

Barbara Flaska

 

12.10.15

El Changüí se dice así...

 
Orquesta Revé
El Ritmo Changüí
1994
 
Tracks:
 
 01. Yo soy el changüi
02. Yateras changüi
03. Changüi morena
04. Juaniquita
05. La betea changüi
06. Pulmeron
07. Mi ritmo changüi
08. Conel diablilo
09. Sama
10. Rigodon
11. Changüi esta en la calle
12. Los Reve del changüi lamas
 
 ♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫

.ღ•:*´♥`*:•ღ.

♫☆`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫`*♥¸¸.•*¨*•☆♫
 
Elio Revé founder of Orquesta Revé and the one who re-invented changüi says:

I play son-changüi: they call me the father of changüi – although changüi has been around far longer than I have. Changüi is a very old and traditional form… The son left the eastern provinces and, via Havana, went around the world; but changüi has just stayed at home until I took it to town and dressed it up.
 
 Elio Revé Matos
 
***
 
Talking of Orquesta Revé, it’s talking of Changüi, a rhythm and a musical genre coming from the so musical Oriente of Cuba.
Changüi is Celebration, Party, Country Feast, an encounter where music and dances are celebrating happiness and friendship.
The guantanamera province is the birthplace of this genuine festive expression of country music.
It is possible to indicate very precisely its birthplace in the areas of Yateras, El Salvador, Manuel Tames and in the very famous guantanamero district of the Loma Del Chivo.
Some improvised groups were gathering spontaneously in these places to play the primitive forms of Changüi with rudimental instrumentation.
During the genesis of this musical form, that according to musicologist sources goes back to 1860, were combined Hispanic-European, African and also afro-French elements, maybe the most fertile ones, due to the Haitian presence in that region.
The original core of instruments used to play Changüi was composed of the Tres, the Guayo and the Bongo De Monte, different from the traditional Bongo.
Over the years other instruments were added such as the Botjia, the Marimbula and the Maracas but the Tres and Bongo continued being the main protagonists.
This is the constant dialogue between the Tres and the Bongo that makes the originality and the rhythmic-harmonic wealth of this musical form that turns out to be much more syncopated than the Son.
In other words Changüi is a precursor of the Son with which it combined itself to become nowadays considered as one variant in the generic complex of the Son.
The first expressions of Changüi were nothing more than a ditty song reiterative that, like some other ancestors of the Son such as the Nengon, the Regina, the Kiriba, present itself like a Montuno built on the elementary Tumbao of the Tres and its dialogue with the Bongo.
The singing of the lead singer who begins expressing himself using quatrains or decimas, is then followed by the traditional scheme of call and response, between the soloist and the coro.
In the history two different ways to play Changuì can be identified: the traditional Changuì (played by Conjunto bands) and the orchestral Changuì (played by Charanga ensemble). Among musicians and groups that represent the traditional style, one can highlight “Changuì de Guantanamo”, group founded on 1945 with legendary figures like Pedro Speck, Cambron, Arthur and Chito Latamblèt and “Estrellas Campesinas of Yateras”, founded on 1952 in Yateras and directed by Eduardo Goulet (Pipi).
The other changuisera variant is represented by the work of the brilliant guantanamero Elio Revé who was able to innovate deeply this musical gene, dressing it with new colors.
The traditional Changüi under the direction of Revé, even if it have been maintaining its typical characteristics, does no longer sound the same due to the change of orchestral format. Revé brought numerous innovations to the Changüi in its execution, in the instruments used, opening Changüi to other national and foreign rhythms and more recent expressions of the Son (Salsa and Timba).
Revé was also the great ambassador of the Changüi that made it well-know worldwide.
Although Orquesta Revé represents Changüi’s most outstanding protagonist, today like yesterday, many musicians remain Changui’s best admirers and perpetuate its tradition in the Cuban musical panorama.
Even the great Benny Moré recorded in 1958 the track " Maracaibo oriental" that is perhaps the most famous Changüi song of history.
Also the Salsa movement explored the Changuì in several occasions leaving behind recordings of famous figures like Ray Barreto and Celia Cross.
In Cuba Los Van Van, Issac Delgado, Sierra Maestra, Felix Baloy, Pancho Amat, and last but not least, Oderquis Revé, the brother of Elio Revé and ex- member of the Charangon, have developed and continue cultivating the Changüi.
 
 

 
  

11.10.15

Low Class Dance Music : )


Grupo Changüí
and
Estrellas Campesinas

Changüí
Recorded live in Cuba
1998

Tracks:

 01. Mi Son Tiene Candela
02. El Güararey de Pastora
03. Mujeres
04. Chubi Chubi
05. La Rumba Está Buena
06. Hoy Es el Día
07. Lidia
08. Mayumbe
09. Los Animales
10. Vengan Mujeres Para Bailar
11. Fiesta en Cecilia
12. Maria Guevara en la Cumbancha
13. El Güararey de Pastora
14. Soy la Tradición

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 Grupo Changüí and Estrellas Campesinas

In the era of sound recording, the music of Cuba has had an impact out of all proportion to the size of the country; its influence on jazz, and on the musics of South America and Africa, and its role as the source of numerous of this century's dance crazes (mambo, rhumba, cha-cha, conga), are well known. That said, I came to this CD as someone who has never been bitten by the bug; the Cuban tunes I can whistle are The Peanut Vendor and Guantanamera, and when I play the scattering of Cuban CDs in my collection, I re-hear them as pleasant sounds, rather than greeting the tunes, rhythms and arrangements as old friends. In other words, I approached changüí (the music) and Changüí (the CD) with a severe lack of context, and my account here is heavily reliant on Dita Sullivan's excellent notes.

I don't expect to be adding to the repertoire of Cuban tunes I can whistle, but listening to this CD is certainly a challenging and rewarding experience, and one that I expect to be repeating often. play Sound ClipSince I came to it with little idea of what I would hear, it seems appropriate to play part of the first track, Mi Son Tiene Candela; the title means My Son Is Hot, and the song proclaims that 'the son is traditional in our country, linked to the chords of changüí that we must never forget.' The clip gives a good picture of the sound of changüí, and in particular of its polyrhythms, and their division among the various instruments (which are discussed below) and the vocal line. Since this is dance music, the basic pulse is pretty clear, but it's equally obvious how much else is going on rhythmically, and listening to changüí is, for these ears at least, an exercise in being constantly surprised by the twists and turns of the music.

Changüí is defined by Cassell's Spanish-English Dictionary as a 'low-class dance' - and that may be recommendation enough. The distinction being made is a pre-revolutionary one, between salon music, played for the middle and upper classes, and known as puerta cerrada (closed door), and the dance music of the rural and urban working classes, played in aire libre (in the open air). Changüí is the dance music of Guantanamo, in the extreme southeast of Cuba. While it uses similar instrumentation to son, the arrangements and tunings are quite different; the tres is common to both, as are maracas and bongo, but in changüí the maracas are high-pitched and the bongo low-pitched, while the reverse is true in son. The guiro in changüí is made of metal, rather than being a hollowed-out gourd. Probably the most obvious difference between changüí and son is in the use of the marimbula as simultaneous bass and percussion instrument in place of son's bass and congas. The marimbula is clearly of African derivation - it's a bass mbira - and it is also found, under other names, in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic; Dita Sullivan observes that changüí's instrumentation most closely resembles the perico ripiao of the Dominican Republic. (Perico ripiao may be heard for comparison on the splendid Corason CD Essential Merengue: Stripping the Parrots (CORA122), although the use of the accordion as lead instrument makes a considerable difference to the sound).

Other distinctive features of changüí are accounted for by sociohistorical factors. Changüí's African component 'is not the Yoruba-Ibo culture of Nigeria, but the Bantu culture of Congo and the Ivory Coast. The different language, though no longer widely spoken in Cuba, produces a different rhythm.' In addition, Guantanamo's cultural history is one of immigration and syncretism; the province was founded by French refugees from the Haitian revolution in 1804, and the construction of the US naval base in the early years of this century led to an influx of workers from the English- and French-speaking islands.

Of the two bands heard on this CD, Grupo Changüí was founded in 1945, and is a professional dance band, while Estrellas Campesinas are designated by the Cuban government as un grupo aficionado (an amateur group), a description which Dita Sullivan rightly calls 'odious,' as indeed is the mindset that feels it's the business of the state to fit musicians into bureaucratic pigeonholes. Despite its roots being very specific to Guantanamo, changüí has not been without influence on the wider Cuban music scene. Elio Revé, founder of Orquesta Revé, was a Guantanamero, and the band's music, among the most popular in fifties Cuba, had a changüí inflection. For a few years Orquesta Revé's bass player was Juan Formell, who left to found Los Van Van, one of whose first hits, in 1973, was Pastorita, which Formell had picked up at a dance where he was sharing the bill with Grupo Changüí. This CD includes two versions of El Guararey de Pastora, as the song was originally called, and Grupo Changüí and Estrellas Campesinas give the song very different deliveries, as may be heard by comparing their respective tracks.

Changüí lyrics typically invite listeners to dance, while celebrating good times, recounting local history, and boosting the importance of changüí and its traditions:

I don't care if you criticise my traditional changüí
It flows in my blood because I'm Cuban.
How groovy [sic] that the changüí of the past returns
Everybody dance and enjoy my changüí.


That said, I want, as Dita Sullivan does, to single out the complex layers of meaning in Mayumbe which, while functioning as dance music, is also a mambo in the original Bantu meaning: an invocation, in the syncretic religion palo monte, of the many aspects of Changó, the African god of thunder and lightning, in whose name the singer speaks. I give a summary of Sullivan's translation and comments in brackets:

Yo soy siguaraya (I am a sacred plant)
Yo soy siete rayos (I am seven rays of sun and lightning, also an 1823 anti-Spanish conspiracy)
Yo soy palo monte (I am [a priest of] palo monte)
Yo soy Bonifacio (a local palero)
Yo soy Lucumí (a reference to the Yoruba tribe, and to St Barbara, patron saint of the Lucumí, who represents Changó in santería)
Yo soy Lucifer (another palero)
Yo soy tumba yaya (a sacred tree)
Yo como candela (I eat fire)
Yo soy el diablo (I am the devil)
Yo soy palo caja (another sacred tree)
Yo soy mata ceiba (I am the leaves of the ceiba tree, sacred to Changó)
Yo soy mata siete (I am the leaves of the magic tree 'seven rays', also the nickname of a radio announcer in the late fifties[!])
Yo soy Santa Cecilia (patron saint of musicians, and the name of the recording location)
Sí, ven a parrendearlo! a guaracharlo! aha, ven a cantarlo! (Come dance and sing at the party!)


It only remains to say that the recordings, made on a rooftop by Stuart Deutsch in June 1988, are of absolutely outstanding technical quality. I've been trying to find a way that won't sound like damning with faint praise, to say that even people who, like me, aren't hugely interested in Cuban music, will find this CD compelling listening and great fun. On second thoughts, maybe that will do it.

Chris Smith - 2.4.1999 

Instrumentos del Changüí
bongó, maracas, guayo, tres y marímbula. 
(Foto: Ileana Pinedo, Archivo Centro Inciarte)
 
source of the picture above : ) 
 
 
 

10.10.15

Rincón Campesino

 
Cuba
Música Campesina
Musique Populaire
Folk Music 
1992

Tracks:

01. Zapatéo (1:52)
02. Décima (3:36)
03. Punto cubano (4:23)
04. Tonada menor (1:52)
05. Tenada camagüeyana (1:53)
06. Son montuno (2:48)
07. La guantanamera / J. Martí ; J. Fernandez (4:23)
08. Madrigal (3;58)
09. Guajira amorosa (2:14)
10. El verdor de la campiña (4:41)
11. Guajira moruna (3:48)
12. Son del Angelito (4:30)
13. Son de la loma / M. Matamoros (5:35)
14. A belgica (4:34)
15. Décima (2:21)
16. Yo no te pido / P. Milanès (3:16)
17. Solo de percussions (8:57)
18. El cataclismo (3:01)
19. Flores de pueblo nuevo (5:13).

Recorded 1985-1988 in Cuba by Herman C. Vuylsteke

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Review by John Storm Roberts:

All the attention given to Afro-Cuban music certainly is merited. But the equally important and splendid campesina (country) tradition is grossly neglected. This is a gorgeous collection of tonadas, puntos, décimas and other forms from the Euro-Hispanic half of the continuum (though much affected by Afro-Cuban input), mostly backed by tres, guitar and percussion.

  
Short History of Cuban Music
   
  
The Caribbean island of Cuba has been influential in the development of multiple musical styles in the 19th and 20th centuries. The roots of most Cuban musical forms lie in the cabildos, a form of social club among African slaves brought to the island. Cabildos preserved African cultural traditions, even after the Emancipation in 1886 forced them to unite with the Roman Catholic church. At the same time, a religion called Santería was developing and had soon spread throughout Cuba, Haiti and other nearby islands. Santería influenced Cuba's music, as percussion is an inherent part of the religion. Each orisha, or deity, is associated with colors, emotions, Roman Catholic saints and drum patterns called toques. By the 20th century, elements of Santería music had appeared in popular and folk forms.

Cuban music has its principal roots in Spain and West Africa, but over time has been influenced by diverse genres from different countries. Most important among these are France, the United States, and Jamaica. Reciprocally, Cuban music has been immensely influential in other countries, contributing not only to the development of jazz and salsa, but also to Argentinian tango, Ghanaian high-life, West African Afrobeat, and Spanish "nuevo flamenco".

Folk Music

The natives of Cuba were the Taíno, Arawak and Ciboney people, known for a style of music called areito. Large numbers of African slaves and European immigrants brought their own forms of music to the island. European dances and folk musics included zapateo, fandango, zampado, retambico and canción. Later, northern European forms like waltz, minuet, gavotte and mazurka appeared among urban whites.

Fernando Ortíz, a Cuban folklorist, described Cuba's musical innovations as arising from the interplay between African slaves settled on large sugar plantations and Spanish or Canary Islanders who grew tobacco on small farms. The African slaves and their descendants reconstructed large numbers of percussive instruments and corresponding rhythms, the most important instruments being the clave, the congas and batá drums. Chinese immigrants have contributed the cornetín chino ("Chinese cornet"), a Chinese wind instrument still played in the comparsas, or carnival groups, of Santiago de Cuba.

Guajira

The original guajira was earthy, strident rural acoustic music, possibly related to Puerto Rican jibaro. It appeared in the early 20th century, and is led by a 12-string guitar called a tres, known for a distinctive tuning.

Música Campesina

Música campesina is a rural form of improvised music derived from a local form of décima and verso called punto. It has been popularized by artists like Celina González, and has become an important influence on modern son. While remaining mainly unchanged in its forms (thus provoking a steady decline in interest among the Cuban youth), some artists have tried to renew música campesina with new styles, lyrics, themes and arrangements...