October 17, 2008

Gurdjieff, Tsabropoulos - Chants, Hymns and Dances

Artists:Gurdjieff, Tsabropoulos
Album: Chants, Hymns and Dances
Year: 2004
Genre:Piano, Neo-classical, Minimalism
Bitrate:320 Kbps

The music is simple, yet subtle; Anja Lechner on violoncello, and Vassilis Tsabropoulos on piano together weave a full texture of unforgettable music. Most of the album us based on melodies by Gurdjieff, around a trio of pieces by Tsabropoulos. The whole is serene, mournful, inspiring.
This is a quiet, peaceful disc, and yet it's not the kind of thing you'll probably play as background music. Something about these melodies works its way right *below* your consciousness, so that you want to really listen to it, really lose yourself in it. There are no lyrics, no voices, and yet these "chants" seem to strive to communicate something exquisitely beautiful, something tragically forgotten.
Perfect. Impossible. Heartbreaking
"Philosopher, seeker after the truth, reconciler of science and religion, teacher, guru to artists, writers and musicians, Gurdjieff was an enigmatic figure; even his birthdate is uncertain: 1866 or 1877. He taught movements "to alter or heighten consciousness" at his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, located outside Paris---a highly improvisatory process for which he composed equally improvisatory music. Technically untrained, he depended on skilled assistants to realize and write down his ideas, and found one in a devoted disciple: Ukranian pianist/composer Thomas de Hartmann, who selflessly suspended his own career and, after Gurdjieff's death in 1948, privately published and recorded some of their collaborations. As a composer, Gurdjieff, born at the border of Armenia and Turkey, was influenced by the region's ethnic and cultural diversity, by his childhood memories of the religious and philosophical songs improvised by his father, a Greek troubadour, by the hymns of the Greek Orthodox Church, and by his extensive travels through Europe and Asia. For this recording, the performers themselves arranged his compositions for cello and piano, adding five pieces by pianist Tsabropoulos, including three based on Byzantine hymns. Both players have been involved with Armenian, Ukranian and Greek Orthodox music; both are expert improvisers. Their strong feeling and affinity for the material allows them to approach it with both reverence and freedom; the playing is primarily subdued and inward. The piano texture ranges from delicate tinkling to full-blooded chords and arpeggios; the cello, playing mostly in the low and middle register, often in unison with the piano, sounds dark, warm and beautiful. The music, except for one lively dance, is slow, solemn, and mournful, in the minor mode. Melodies featuring oriental intervals are elaborated but not developed; based on single-note drones, harmonies are static or move in stepwise progressions but do not modulate. This lack of contrast and variety creates an otherworldly, disembodied atmosphere, despite several buildups of motion, dynamics, and intensity. "--Edith Eisler

October 15, 2008

Yann Tiersen - Black Session (video)

Artist: Yann Tiersen
Album: Black Session (video)
Year: 1999
Genre:Indie, Rock

Recorded by France Inter on the 2nd of december 1998 in the Salle Serreau at the TNB (Théâtre National de Bretagne) in Rennes, France.

Collaborations: Neil Hannon (of The Divine Comedy), Bertrand Cantat (of Noir Désir), Françoiz Breut, The Married Monk, Têtes Raides and a string quartet.

It's an absolute must have for all Yann Tiersen and piano fans.

1 Sur Le Fil (3:07)
2 Geronimo (1:56)
Vocals - Neil Hannon
3 Life On Mars (3:09)
Vocals - Neil Hannon
Written By - David Bowie
4 La Rupture (2:44)
Vocals - Claire Pichet
5 Monochrome (3:29)
Vocals - Dominique A.
6 Les Bras De Mer (3:07)
Vocals - Dominique A.
7 Roma Amor (4:00)
Featuring - Married Monk, The
8 Tout Est Calme (3:27)
9 A Ton Etoile (3:46)
Vocals - Bertrand Cantat
10 La Crise (2:35)
11 Les Forges (4:01)
Vocals - Françoiz Breut
12 La Noyée (2:26)
Featuring - Têtes Raides
13 Ginette (4:49)
Featuring - Têtes Raides
14 La Terrasse (3:40)
15 Bon Voyage (2:25)
Vocals - Mathieu Boogaerts
16 Le Quartier (2:17)

part 1
part 2
part 3

October 10, 2008

Adele - 19 (2008)

Album: 19
Year: 2008



9 debuted at number one on the UK charts on its first week.
The album was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Prize in the category of Best Album.
The song "Hometown Glory" has been featured in the British and American television shows Skins, Grey's Anatomy, One Tree Hill, Hollyoaks, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and most recently danced by Katee Shean and eventual winner, Joshua Allen on So You Think You Can Dance.

Adele recently joked in an interview with GMTV that the album was named "19" after her weight in stone, but in actual fact it was her age at the time of release.

October 7, 2008

Sidsel Endresen & Bugge Wesseltoft - Duplex Ride

Artist: Sidsel Endresen & Bugge Wesseltoft
Album: Duplex Ride
Year: 1998



his is a CD that appears to respect no boundaries! Norwegian vocal artist Sidsel Endresen has emerged as one of the foremost Nordic voices in the last decade with avant-garde jazz albums on the ECM label such as 'Exile' and 'I Write'. Bugge Wesseltoft, a respected jazz pianist and synthesiser artist, has always been at the leading edge of contemporary musical exploration, achieving considerable success lately with his 'new Conception of Jazz' series. (Amazon.com) Absolute poetry!

October 5, 2008

Espers - Espers II

Artist: Espers
Album: Espers II
Year: 2006
Genre:psych folk
Bitrate:320 kbps (VBR)

more on Wikipedia..

Myspace page

his philadephia sextet sounds like an english folk-rock group from the late 60'/early 70's. pentangle with shades of fairport convention come to mind. singer meg baird has a hauntingly fine voice that weaves through the forest of instruments on this album with subtle beauty. and there IS a forest of instruments here. many instruments that i have never heard of: like, the echo plex, the crumar toccata, the crumar performer, the univox mini-korg, the arp odyssey, the omnichord, the doumbeck, the dholak, singing bowls, and the crybaby. i have heard of the martin 6-string acoustic guitar, which is beautifully layered into the mix all throughout the recording. there is also cello, recorder, flute, sleigh bells, and gongs here. mojo magazine selected this as the 22nd best album of 2006 and who am i to argue. great album, indeed. (Amazon.com)


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