25.2.15

Octavian Nemescu - Gradeatia / Natural (1983)


Octavian Nemescu - ur. w 1940 r. w Paşcani (Rumunia). Ukończył studia kompozytorskie w klasie Mihaila Jory na Uniwersytecie Muzycznym w Bukareszcie. Obecnie jest profesorem kompozycji w tej uczelni. Będąc zwolennikiem łączenia różnorodnych zjawisk muzyczno-estetycznych, wykorzystuje w swojej twórczości elementy formy otwartej, sztuki konceptualnej, elevator music, muzyki spektralnej, wprowadza także różnego rodzaju archaizmy. Głównym przedmiotem jego zainteresowań jest przywracanie pierwotnych modeli znaczeniowych. Pod wpływem nawarstwianych meta muzycznych poziomów znaczeniowych, które przedstawiają różne stopnie świadomości i opisują symbolikę wyobrażenia muzycznego, z dzieł Nemescu emanuje rytualny nastrój skupienia. Siła i witalność muzycznego dyskursu jest wynikiem wyboru komunikacji muzycznej, dążącej nie do immanencji, lecz transcendencji, komunikacji odwołującej się do magicznych funkcji, które muzyka niegdyś posiadała. Nemescu opublikował książkę Semantyczne możliwości muzyki (1983). (warszawska-jesien)



Octavian Nemescu (b. March 29, 1940, Paşcani, Romania). Esteemed Romanian composer of orchestral, chamber, choral, electroacoustic, multimedia, metamusic, and imaginary works that have been heard throughout Europe and elsewhere.

Prof. Nemescu studied composition with Mihail Jora, harmony with Paul Constantinescu and orchestration with Alexandru Pascanu and Anatol Vieru at the National University of Music in Bucharest from 1956-63. Much later, he earned his DMus in musicology at the G. Dima Conservatory in Cluj-Napoca in 1978.

His honors include the Aaron Copland Prize (USA, 1970), six prizes from the Romanian Composers Union (1970, 1981, 1984, 1987, 1992, 1995) and two prizes from the Concours International de Musique Électroacoustique de Bourges (1980, 1982). He has also earned the Prize of the Romanian Academy of Arts and Sciences (1981) and the Prize of the International Confederation for Electroacoustic Music (ICEM) (1985).

His music has been performed throughout Romania, as well as in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Moldova, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland, and has been broadcast throughout the world.

Prof. Nemescu initially taught at the University of Brasov, where he was an assistant from 1971-74 and a lecturer on analysis and counterpoint from 1974-78. From 1978-90, he was a professor of counterpoint, harmony and music history at the George Enescu Art High School in Bucharest and since 1990, has been Professor of Composition and doctoral advisor at the National University of Music in Bucharest.

23.2.15

VA - Eskimo Songs from Alaska (1966)


Recorded on St Lawrence Island by Miriam C. Stryker in 1966 this album features songs from the "Yupik" Eskimos that have long occupied the Island and who live in two separate villages Savoonga and Gambell. Eskimo legend tells of the Island’s formation: "The Sea Goddess, picking up a handful of ooze from the bottom of the sea, squeezed it between her fingers, forming mountains that are part of its interesting terrain." This rugged terrain means a hard life for a people who live off the land. The songs relate through subjects such as hunting, fishing, boats, animals and the like. The lyrics are often very sparse and sometimes the song consists solely of chanted syllables. Liner notes include history of the Yupik Eskimos and song information. (folkways)


22.2.15

Ariel Kalma - Le Temps des Moissons (1975)


Born and raised in Paris, France, Ariel started playing the recorder at age 9 and saxophone at 15. During his successive studies of Electronics, Computer Science, Music and Art in Paris, Ariel performed with several bands, then toured the world and visited Europe, Japan, India, Eastern Canada, and parts of the USA. Apart from rhythm & blues, pop and jazz, he acquired assorted experiences in middle-age French, electro-acoustic, and modal music. All the travels broadened Ariel's musical horizons tremendously; listening to and playing with different styles, people, and instruments, intricate scales, techniques, timing and rhythms.

Ariel Kalma playing guitarAfter learning circular breathing from a snake charmer in India, Ariel practiced it on soprano sax - for many sleepless nights - in the basement of a cathedral in New York (when he was not playing upstairs on the large harmonium). Returning to France in late '76, Ariel could include those endless notes into his own long-delay-effect system with which he toured, playing solo concerts. Ariel contributed to the birth of (then) new music genres: minimalist, space, ambient, new age, electronic etc.

With his passion for recording and sound, Ariel always had a home studio and was also technical assistant to some of the composers at Paris' GRM - Musical Research Group part of the INA (Audiovisual National Institute), where he recorded some of his compositions.

Over 3 decades, Ariel Kalma published several vinyl LP's, cassettes, and CD's, many older ones out of print. His compositions have been used for modern dance-theatre, films, musical poetry, guided meditations, transformational groups. Ariel Kalma has also played on many albums in France - even throughout Europe, the US and recently Australia, where he lives. (ariel-kalma)



This has been the first solo recording LP from Ariel Kalma, recorded in 1975. After a long journey to India where he learnt the basics of modal music and singing, Ariel was inspired by the fusion of ancient and modern ways of playing music in the 70s with saxophone, ethnic instruments, effects, electric instruments and electronic filters. As making a record was expensive at that time, when the first thousand records were pressed Ariel run out of money so he bought blank sleeves and one by one, he drew the shape of his hand and numbered each LP. This first pressing is now rare and sought after!

Another detail made this LP memorable because it had not been done before: Ariel convinced the pressing engineer to loop the groove at the end of side 2 - thus creating an endless loop - and although it was casually mentioned on the cover, it caused surprises sometimes by sending listeners into trance. or on some occasions burning the motor of their turntable after endless hours! On this CD, Ariel included a loop of several minutes only, because the LP loop had an audio advantage: as time passed the sound of the loop changed because the diamond eroded the groove.

To the 3 compositions originally on the LP have been added 2 other ones from that period of time. Note from Ariel : Saxophone is powerful. It has raw sounds that are often filtered, polished for easier listening. I like to let my saxophone sing and when I play, I hear high-pitched, teasing sounds that I like so much. they titillate my senses. If it is too sharp for your ears, adjust your EQ till you are comfortable.
This has been the first solo recording LP from Ariel Kalma, recorded in 1975. After a long journey to India where he learnt the basics of modal music and singing, Ariel was inspired by the fusion of ancient and modern ways of playing music in the 70s with saxophone, ethnic instruments, effects, electric instruments and electronic filters. As making a record was expensive at that time, when the first thousand records were pressed Ariel run out of money so he bought blank sleeves and one by one, he drew the shape of his hand and numbered each LP. This first pressing is now rare and sought after!

Another detail made this LP memorable because it had not been done before: Ariel convinced the pressing engineer to loop the groove at the end of side 2 - thus creating an endless loop - and although it was casually mentioned on the cover, it caused surprises sometimes by sending listeners into trance. or on some occasions burning the motor of their turntable after endless hours! On this CD, Ariel included a loop of several minutes only, because the LP loop had an audio advantage: as time passed the sound of the loop changed because the diamond eroded the groove.

To the 3 compositions originally on the LP have been added 2 other ones from that period of time. Note from Ariel : Saxophone is powerful. It has raw sounds that are often filtered, polished for easier listening. I like to let my saxophone sing and when I play, I hear high-pitched, teasing sounds that I like so much. they titillate my senses. If it is too sharp for your ears, adjust your EQ till you are comfortable.

19.2.15

Quicksilver Messenger Service - At the Kabuki Theatre (1970)


Released legally 36 years after the fact, the double-disc set At the Kabuki Theatre presents a recording of Quicksilver Messenger Service's 1970 New Year's Eve performance in San Francisco; the sound quality is surprisingly good, because the show was broadcast live that night by local radio station KMPX, resulting in a relatively clear recording. The concert came at a late point in Quicksilver's history. Exactly one year earlier, on New Year's Eve 1969, the existing band consisting of guitarist John Cipollina, bassist David Freiberg, drummer Greg Elmore, and pianist Nicky Hopkins had been rejoined by guitarist Gary Duncan, who had left the group after its second album, Happy Trails, and singer/songwriter Dino Valente, who had been intended to be a member of Quicksilver at their formation in 1965, but was forced to serve a jail sentence for drugs instead. By now, with 1970 coming to a close, the band had made two albums full of Valente's songs, Just for Love and the newly released What About Me, and Hopkins had departed, leaving the group a quintet. Not surprisingly, the set was dominated by the recent material, and even looked forward to the next two Quicksilver albums. The opener, "Fresh Air" (which had climbed halfway up the Billboard Hot 100, Quicksilver's biggest hit single), Cipollina's instrumental "Cobra," and the closer, "Freeway Flyer," were from Just for Love; What About Me contributed five songs, "Baby, Baby," "Subway," "Call on Me," "Local Color," and the title track; "The Truth" and "Song for Frisco" would appear on Quicksilver 11 months hence; and "Mojo" would be held for 1972's Comin' Thru. The pre-Valente era was accounted for only by "Pride of Man" from 1968's Quicksilver Messenger Service, "Mona" from Happy Trails, and "Too Far" from Shady Grove. As such, this is very much a performance by the Valente version of the band, making it more of a singer-with-backup-band show than the kind of jamming effort Quicksilver were known for from 1965 to 1969. Old-time fans might disdain it almost as much as they did the Valente-led albums, even though there is some excellent guitar playing by both Cipollina and Duncan, and, of course, Valente's songs are well written and sung. Any doubt about who was in charge is erased by the inclusion of excerpts from a Quicksilver rehearsal that fill out the second disc; here, Valente is running the show, directing the players in no uncertain terms. (It turned out that, whatever the original intentions, there wasn't enough room in the band for all these players; in the year after the Kabuki Theatre show, both Cipollina and Freiberg left Quicksilver.) --- William Ruhlmann



18.2.15

Howling Black Soul (2014)


Howling Black Soul are a power house trio like they used to do. Free meets Black Sabbath with a 1972 valve amp thrown in for good measure. Turn this up loud" Mark Elliot EMP studios. 

Check their soundcloud.




Various Artists - The Psychedelic Scene (1998)


The 25 tracks on this single-CD title have been derived from the mid-'60s archives of U.K.-based Decca Records and associated subsidiaries, such as their progressive and psych-intensive offshoot, Deram. The Psychedelic Scene (1998) is a key entry in the label's critically respected and listener-lauded "scene"-related releases. This installment thematically links harder-to-find cuts from a variety of groups, many of whom issued only a handful (if that many) of 45s. In some cases, the artists left more in the vaults than ever made it to store racks. In fact, all but the most scholarly enthusiast probably won't be familiar with the vast majority of the featured names. However, what is lacking in instant recognition is more than compensated for by the consistently clever and sonically stimulating sides. Producers likewise chose to highlight exceedingly obscure songs from the "name" acts as well. The Moody Blues' trippy pop fare "Love & Beauty" dates prior to the band's virtual re-invention on Days of Future Passed (1967). "Turn Into Earth" is one of singer/songwriter Al Stewart's earliest efforts, although it would be a decade before he garnered success stateside with "Year of the Cat." While the mournful waltz was not really a precursor to his more lucrative direction, Stewart's ethereal voice is unmistakable. "That Man" is a "lost classic" in the sense that while the Small Faces may not have been fundamental contributors to the British psych movement, the strength of material such as this demonstrates the combo's uncanny versatility. "14 Hour Technicolour Dream" is from the short-lived Syn, whose personnel at one time or another included future Yes men Peter Banks (guitar) and Chris Squire (bass). Among the other appealing platters are the Accent's proto-punk-ish "Red Sky at Night," the Poets' "In Your Tower," Virgin Sleep's soulful and catchy "Secret," and the Societie's (sp) "Bird Has Flown." Interestingly, the latter band was discovered by the Hollies' Allan Clarke. Although some may find the 12-page liner booklet a bit sparse on discographical and biographical information, there are plenty of photos and vintage graphics amid the text. The Psychedelic Scene is recommended for inclined parties and is likewise a copious and worthwhile primer.  --- Lindsay Planer

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