Sunday, February 26, 2017

Changes: Anoushka Shankar and "Metamorphosis"

Our random song for today is called Metamorphosis and is by the daughter of a legend. Anoushka Shankar is the daughter of Ravi Shankar, who was an Indian sitar player and companion to The Beatles. She is also the half sister of performer Norah Jones. Anoushka Shankar is a famed sitar player in her own right. She began training to play sitar under her father at age seven, and by age ten she was accompanying him on tanpura in his performances. She gave her first public performance on sitar at 13, accompanied by tabla player Zakir Hussain. At fifteen, she assisted in the production of Ravi Shankar's landmark Chants of India, and producer George Harrison put her in charge of notation and conducting the accompanying musicians. She signed her first record deal at 16, and released her first album, Anoushka, in 1998. After her second album, she took time off from recording to concentrate on building a career outside of her father's ensemble. In 2007, she collaborated with Karsh Kale on an album mixing classical Indian sitar with electronica. Since then, she has had a prolific and very creative period as an artist and performer. Metamorphosis can be found on her 2013 album Traces of You, which was nominated for a Grammy award in 2014 for Best World Music Album.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Playing in Water: Cirque du Soleil and "Jeaux D'Eau"

The random tune for today comes from Cirque du Soleil. Jeux D'Eau, along with the entire soundtrack of Cirque du Soleil's Las Vegas (Bellagio Hotel) water and stage show O, was composed by Canadian Benoit Jutras. Jutras' eclectic music combines worldbeat, classical, rock, trip hop and electronica, and the score of O is no exception, with instrumentation that includes classical Western, erhu (Chinese violin), bagpipes, African guitar, African kora (harp), Colombian guitar, cello, ancient woodwinds and a wide variety of percussion instruments. Jeux D'Eau can be found on the soundtrack for O, released in 1998.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Sing of the City: Khaled and "Wahrane"

Today's random song is by by Khaled Hadj Ibrahim, an Algerian raï singer and songwriter known by his stage name Khaled. He started recording in his early teens under the name Cheb Khaled and since has become a superstar and the most well-known Algerian performer in the world - he is usually labeled "The King of Raï." This song, Wahrane, can be found on his 1994 album Khaled. The song is about his native city of Oran.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Usual State: Da Lata featuring Baba Maal and Nina Miranda with "Distracted Minds"

Today's tune is called Distracted Minds and is performed by British band Da Lata and features Baba Maal and Nina Miranda. Da Lata, formed in 1994, combines Afro-Brazilian influences with music inspired from London. They have released three albums as well as supplying remixes of other artists' work. Baaba Maal is guitarist and percussionist who is known as one of Senegal's most famous musicians. He sings primarily in the Pulaar language and is the foremost promoter of the Pulaar-speaking community. He has released seventeen solo albums, and was also one of the founders of the Afro-Celt Sound System. Nina Miranda is a British singer-songwriter. A native of Brazil, she was raised in England and France. She has worked with a variety of other artists, including Nitin Sawhney, Cirque du Soleil, Bebel Gilberto, and others, and was a member of the bands Smoke City, Shrift and Zeep. Distracted Minds can be found on Da Lata's album Serious (2003).

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rajasthani Mystery: Saraswati Devi Dhandhada and Heeralal Dhandhada with "Dasi Mharo Maroodo"

We have some Indian classical music from Rajasthan today for your random tune. The musicians are Saraswati Devi Dhandhada and Heeralal Dhandhada, and the tune is called Dasi Mharo Maroodo. However, I can't find any information on the musicians or the song. So, sit back and enjoy the song, which can be found on the 2008 album Mehala the Palace: Classical Music of Rajasthan.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

French Flamenco: Gaspar Claus and Pedro Soler with "Sale la Aurora (Por Serrana)"

Today's song, Sale la Aurora (Por Serrana), is an instrumental that mixes the contemporary with flamenco. It is performed by a father/son duo. Gaspar Claus (son) is a French cellist who plays improvisational, contemporary, flamenco and pop music and who has collaborated with a number of well known musicians. Pedro Soler (father) is a celebrated French flamenco guitarist who learned and performed with the great masters of flamenco guitar with an emphasis on an "archaic" style that emphasizes dynamics and sonority. Sale la Aurora (Por Serrana) can be found on their 2016 album Al Viento.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Go with the Gut: Dissidenten and "Instinctive Traveler (Funk.Ed Up Mix)

One of the bands that is considered a leader of the worldbeat movement is on tap for our random tune for today. Dissidenten are a German rock/electronic band known for their collaborations with Middle Eastern, African and Indian musicians. The band was founded in 1981 by German musicians, and the band released their first album in collaboration with Indian musicians after a one year tour of India. They then moved to Morocco to record their second album in 1982, again collaborating with local musicians, particularly the band Lem Chaheb. In 1986, they moved to Spainand repeated the process, and again in 1989 when they moved back to Morocco. The band, which had a hiatus, reunited in 1995 and released another album. Since then, they have toured and performed at festivals, and have participated in a documentary and an opera. Their song Instinctive Traveler can be found on their 1997 album of the same name. This version, Instinctive Traveler (Funk.Ed Up Mix) can be found on the 2001 album Dissidenten Remix.ed: A Worldbeat Odyssey and on the compilation Putumayo Presents: World Lounge CD (2002).