May 30

Simon Shaheen, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt – Saltanah (1996) [Reissue 2001]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 40:15 minutes | Scans included | 3,08 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,14 GB
Genre: World

Two master musicians engage in a fascinating dialogue, blending the Indian rag with the Arabian maqam. These two musical forms are beautifully complementary, but also contrast enough to make things interesting.

Tracklist:
01. Dawn
02. Ghazal
03. Saltanah
04. Mists
05. Dusk

Personnel
Simon Shaheen – ud & violin
Vishwa Mohan Bhatt – mohan veena
Ronu Majumdar – flute
Sangeeta Shankar – violin

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May 25

Simon Shaheen, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt – Saltanah (1996) [Reissue 2001]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 40:15 minutes | Scans included | 3,08 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 1,14 GB
Genre: World

Two master musicians engage in a fascinating dialogue, blending the Indian rag with the Arabian maqam. These two musical forms are beautifully complementary, but also contrast enough to make things interesting.

Tracklist:
01. Dawn
02. Ghazal
03. Saltanah
04. Mists
05. Dusk

Personnel
Simon Shaheen – ud & violin
Vishwa Mohan Bhatt – mohan veena
Ronu Majumdar – flute
Sangeeta Shankar – violin

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May 03

Eleni Karaindrou – Euripides: Medea (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:45:17 minutes | 837 MB | Genre: World
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © ECM

Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou’s collaborations with stage director Antonis Antypas have generated some of her most powerful music. Medea, like the earlier Trojan Women, comes out of this association. Created to accompany performances at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the music vibrates with emotional intensity. Karaindrou gives her themes to a small ensemble, its sound-colours creating an ambiance both archaic and contemporary, as textures of santouri, ney, lyra and clarinets are combined and contrasted. Even with reduced instrumental forces the composer seems to imply an orchestral scope. Giorgos Cheimonas’ Modern Greek adaptation of Euripides provides the lyrics, movingly sung by a 15-piece chorus under the direction of Antonis Kontogeorgiou and, on two pieces, by the composer.

Euripides’ play, first staged in 431 BC, counts amongst the darkest of the dramas of antiquity, a harrowing tale of betrayal, rage, retribution, madness, and infanticide. When Jason abandons Medea to marry Glauce, daughter of King Creon, and thereby strengthen his political influence, Medea responds with a fury that knows no bounds. In a programme note for the Epidaurus production, Antonis Antypas writes “Medea’s divine lineage [in Greek mythology she was the niece of Circe, granddaughter of the sun god Helios] and preoccupation with the heroic code of honour gird her and put the knife in her hand. Her passion for Jason has humanized her, but when Jason’s betrayal reveals her sacrifice to have been in vain, she regains her divine stature and the right to punish her mortal husband for his hubris.”

Karaindrou counterpoints the plot with music that builds tension also through restraint and silences. Already the pulsing of the bendir on “Ceremonial Procession” and the baleful melodies for ney and clarinet seem to anticipate the misfortunes ahead. The themes passed from clarinet to cello in “On The Way To Exile” are laden with melancholy. In her liner note Eleni praises the commitment of the players, “travelling with me through Euripdes’ bleak world of poetry, unfolding their song, compassionate toward the play’s characters.” They convey “sounds of the Orient, Greek but also global” to underline the drama of the barbarian Medea, “whose love for the Greek Jason made her renounce her homeland, father and mother.”

Eleni Karaindrou’s is the first voice heard on the album, singing Medea’s laments. Thereafter the chorus take up the tale, enumerating the consequences of “love’s great malevolence”.

Tracklist
01. Argo’s Voyage 1:41
02. Ceremonial Procession 3:47
03. On The Way To Exile 4:51
04. The Haze Of Mania 1:14
05. Medea’s Lament I 1:46
06. Woman Of Mourning 1:20
07. Medea’s Lament II 1:45
08. Loss 1:43
09. Backwards To Their Sources 3:40
10. A Sinister Decision 3:55
11. Love’s Great Malevolence 3:22
12. For The Sake Of A Greek’s Words 1:51
13. Do Not Kill Your Children 4:30
14. An Unbearable Song 1:21
15. All Hope Is Lost Chorus 3:24
16. The Night Of Killing 2:48
17. Silence Chorus 2:09

Musicians
Socratis Sinopoulos – constantinople lute & lyra
Haris Lambrakis – ney
Nikos Guinos – clarinet on 1, 2, 6
Marie-Cecile Boulard – clarinet on 1, 2, 6
Alexandros Arkadopoulos – clarinet
Yiorgos Kaloudis – violoncello
Andreas Katsigiannis – santouri
Andreas Papas – bendir
Eleni Karaindrou – voice on 5, 7
Choir directed by Antonis Kontogeorgiou

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Apr 23

Anoushka Shankar – Land Of Gold (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:57:49 minutes | 629 MB | Genre: World
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Deutsche Grammophon

Land of Gold is Anoushka Shankars fervent response to the humanitarian trauma of displaced people fleeing conflict and poverty.

The virtuoso sitar player explores an expressive range, conveying an evocative journey infused with a message of enduring hope. With exquisite arrangements blending genres and musical collaborations, Land of Gold is a narrative communicated with conviction and poetic beauty.

Land of Gold originated in the context of the humanitarian plight of refugees. It coincided with the time when I had recently given birth to my second child. I was deeply troubled by the intense contrast between my ability to provide for my baby, and others who desperately wanted to provide the same security for their children but were unable to do so. Anoushka Shankar.

The narrative thread carried throughout the album evokes themes of disconnection, vulnerability and the underlying hope that persists in our darkest experiences. My instrument is the terrain in which I explore the gamut of emotional expression evoking shades of aggression, anger and tenderness, while incorporating elements of classical minimalism, jazz, electronica and Indian classical styles. Anoushka Shankar

Produced by Anoushka and her husband Joe Wright, whose film-making sensibilities helped to shape and add depth to the mood and energy of the album.

Produced by Anoushka and her husband Joe Wright, whose film-making sensibilities helped to shape and add depth to the mood and energy of the album.

Notable electronic producer Matt Robertson (who is a long-term collaborator of Bjork) added cinematic soundscapes and textures, enhancing the initial compositions. Anoushka worked with a core-team of gifted musicians: At its base the album is designed as a trio of Anoushka, the famous Hang Drum player Manu Delago who performs on and co-wrote many of the pieces, and Sanjeev Shankar who was a student of her father Ravi Shankar, playing the Shehnai, a beautiful reed instrument from India.

Top notch female guest artists lend their voices to the album: M.I.A. with the Song, Jump In (Cross the Line), the wonderful singer Alev Lenz on Land of Gold and the actress and activist Vanessa Redgrave on Remain the Sea (reading a poem by Pavana Reddy). Not only do they add different musical styles and voices of different generations but all of them represent strong women known for using their voices for equality and against injustice. The last song Reunion features a girls children choir Girls for Equality.

The music is mainly based on western harmonics, features great electronic programming, string arrangements, hip hop elements, beautiful songwriting and virtuoso sitar performances embedded in exciting contemporary arrangements.

Tracklist:

01. Boat To Nowhere ( 5:46)
02. Secret Heart ( 5:17)
03. Jump In (Cross The Line) (Feat. M.I.A.) ( 2:55)
04. Dissolving Boundaries ( 5:16)
05. Land Of Gold (Feat. Alev Lenz) ( 4:39)
06. Last Chance ( 4:42)
07. Remain The Sea (Feat. Vanessa Redgrave) ( 4:11)
08. Crossing The Rubicon (10:58)
09. Say Your Prayers ( 4:48)
10. Reunion ( 4:59)
11. Land Of Gold (Instrumental / Bonus Track) ( 4:19)

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