Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Listening to this with the knowledge that we'd lose him so soon after its creation still makes one's skin tingle. It would have the same affect without that knowledge, though. "I don't sing just to sing," go the lyrics. "I sing because the guitar makes sense and has a reason... The song that is brave will always remain a new song."
Only last summer did Pedro Barrientos, the army officer who murdered Jara and who had escaped to Florida in the late 1980s, face a trial. The jury found him guilty, moving his eventual extradition to Chile a few steps closer.
Victor Jara - "Manifiesto"
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
The John Berberian Ensemble - "Oud Solo" (1966)
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Marsyas - "Studená Koupel"
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Why do the liner notes, written by Doris Stone, go out of their way to keep the suave-sounding performer of "Corrido a Honduras" a mystery? This is a mystery in itself. Is it to preserve an aura of authenticity for Peter K. Smith's field recordings? Performing credits go to "Instrument: Guitar," and a footnote cranes its head in to point out that the contracted usage of "que ellos" is typical of songs "not sung by a professional singer." Writing credit, though, is given to a man named Antonio Giron, so I'll assume that the performance, worthy of much better recognition and respect, is also by him.
Antonio Giron - "Corrido a Honduras" (1955)
Friday, August 5, 2016
Mazhar and Fuat - "Adımız miskindir bizim" (1974)
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
The song tells of hollyhocks and nightingales who "cling to the flowers" like dew and "exchange glances." It's written by Atai Ogonbaev, the region's best-known bard, who lived from 1904 to 1949. Songs such as this, according to the notes, express a general optimism wafting through early thirties Kyrgyzstan, notwithstanding Soviet occupation. ("Our spirits rise and we open up [like fine flowers] in this new era," goes the final verse.)
Listening to this mountain music, with its sunny strums and falsetto phrase-endings, I wonder how it might sound coming from an Appalachian interpreter.
Zainidin Imanaliev - "Gül (Flower)" (2006)
Monday, August 1, 2016
Lionel Loueke - "Rossignol" (2007)