Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Powerspot 19 April 06

On the show tonight, musical treats and delights from the following.

(Artist- CD- Track- Label- website)

Satsuki Odamura- Koto Dreaming-Makura-Orpheus Music-( &

Satsuki Odamura's new CD, Koto Dreaming is a collection of innovative and uniquely Australian multicultural compositions for koto. Koto Dreaming breaks away from the traditional sounds and compositions for koto, and includes Satsuki's own collaborative compositions with Australian artists. It is a synthesis of her inspirations gained by her working closely with Australian artists and a culmination of her fifteen years accumulative experience as a koto virtuoso based in Australia. Koto Dreaming begins with a work commissioned by celebrated Australian composer Ross Edwards and includes pieces by composers Caroline Szeto, Anthony Briggs, Linsey Pollak, as well as Satsuki herself, in collaboration with Sandy Evans and Tony Lewis – who together comprise the trio Waratah.

Jon Hassell- CD Fascinoma- Caravenesque- Water Lily Acoustics -

Jon Hassell—trumpet
Ry Cooder—guitar
Jacky Terrason—piano
Ronu Majumdar—bansuri
Rick Cox—guitar, bass clarinet, samples
Jamie Muhoberac—zendrum
Joachim Cooder—drums
Rick Masterson—tambura
Rose Okada—tambura

After twentysome years of recordings and performnaces, this is the first time I've ever played someone else's song. With this recording I locate myself squarely within that aspect of music which is fundamental and irreducible: the beauty of the sound. This is what Dane Rudyar calls "tone-magic" — a concept derived from ancient practice wherein the quality of the tone itself communicates meaning quite apart from any further arrangement of an "artifice" of music. At the same time I celebrate here my first contacts with musical exotica in the form of certain songs and melodies heard as a child on the radio or in movie scores. This music created a kind of permanent technicolor oasis in my spirit — a place where I always want to stop for a cool refreshing drink, whether from Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol's "Caravan", or Ravel or raga or gamelan or Gil, or Joao or Joujouka — and a place which became the underlying spring from which flowed my "fourth world" musical paradigm. Jon Hassell
Marc Anderson- Cd Time Fish- Asylum Downs

Knut Hamre & Steve Tibbetts - CD A- Olav Bergsland- Hannibal- (

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Miichael Brook Remixed CD Star Rise- Nitin Sawhney- Tracery Remix- Real World- (

V/A-Eastern Uprising: Dance Music from the Asian Underground [compilation]- Krome Assassins- Return of the Shankar- Higher Ground-

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Miichael Brook Remixed Star Rise-Asian Dub Foundation- Taa Deem Remix- Real World- (

Various Artists- Music of Laos- The Buddhist Tradition- Sep Naichangva Khamenpaktho / Pheng Kaonok- Celestial Harmonies-

Laos has remained a mystery to most Westerners even after the names of its neighboring countries—Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand—have become commonplace. Music of Laos: The Buddhist Tradition is the result of a collaboration between the University of Applied Sciences in Emden, Germany, and the Ministry of Information and Culture of Laos. If Laos is still a mystery to the West, its music is even more obscure. As producer Gisa Jähnichen points out, little research has been done on musical practises in Laos. She determined that only 22 albums were ever issued of Lao music—some on cassette only, many of dubious quality, and most generally unavailable. Apart from the khen, most types of Lao music were woefully underrecorded. Buddhism has greatly affected both the ‘classical’ ceremonial ensembles and the rural or ‘folk’ singing and playing of the farmers and villages. Music happens at all the major events in the Lao calendar, especially at the beginning of the New Year and during full moons, and at weddings, funerals, and other special occasions. The songs performed at these events are not haphazard; there is a strong tradition of prayer and thanksgiving that can be heard at a village wedding as clearly as at a grand temple festival. It is this tradition that is represented on this recording. Recording the ceremonial ensemble of Champasak in Champasak province (which is the source of the first four tracks on this collection) offered an opportunity to record a fabulous set of instruments that had been made in 1750 and are still in use. But in Xieng Khuang, Jähnichen’s crew spent three days without water and electricity, and automotive repair seems to have been as much a part of the production team’s job as the actual recording. The infrastructure of Laos is not up to modern standards, and while the area of Luang Prabang was served by a new road, unregulated irrigration by local farmers made it difficult to get very far without having to alter course several times. Jähnichen also found that the religious/ritual music of the province was far less accessible than the classical court and entertainment styles. The last five tracks on this collection come from Luang Prabang, featuring the Pi Mai ensemble, and while they clearly feature a ‘classical’ ensemble and some fairly obvious ‘popular’ tunes, they nevertheless show the pervasive influence of Buddhism, as they were all part of the Buddhist New Year celebration held in April. Through it all, Jähnichen recorded as much as she could. “We made a cross-section of actual music practices; it was not our aim to record the whole musical history of a particular ethnic group.” With her crew she documented 24 different ethnic groups in Laos between June 1999 and May 2001. They made nearly 1000 audio recordings totaling almost 80 hours of material. Music of Laos: The Buddhist Tradition is obviously just a sample of the resulting archives. This volume, as the title indicates, serves merely to hint at the enormous presence and impact of Buddhist thought in various forms of Lao music.

Rokia Traore- Live at Le Cigale Paris 2004 (DVD) - Audio extract- Label Indigo-

I also did a quick interview with local musician, sound explorer and healer Vicki Hansen from the group IndiaJiva who have a special event coming up May 6 at Eastside Arts Centre. She spoke about her new label Medicine Music which will be officially launched on the night. More information at Music in this section from her albums Global Roots-The Odyssey & Sacred Ragas. The interview will run for 14 minutes. The interview will be available for download over at the Powerspot blog by Thursday and will be online for a month.