Acclaimed guitarist Todd Mosby joins me for the latest episode of Harmonious World. We all need perspective right now, and there's a lot of that in Todd's latest album - Aerial Views . Todd's comment about creating music that musicians will love to perform on is very apt and I finish with Aether, one of my favourite tracks of 2021. Harmonious World Podcast gives many thanks to Todd for allowing me to feature clips from Aerial Views alongside our conversation.
Over the last half decade, Shabaka Hutchings has established himself as a central figure in the London jazz scene, which is enjoying its greatest creative renaissance since the breakthroughs of Joe Harriott and Evan Parker in the 1960s. Hutchings has a restlessly creative and refreshingly open-minded spirit, playing in a variety of groups-most notably, Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, and Shabaka & the Ancestors-and embracing influences from the sounds of London's diverse club culture, including house, grime, jungle, and dub. "The common theme in my career as a jazz musician has been wondering if what I'm doing is the thing that I should be doing," says Hutchings, who studied classical clarinet at college at London's prestigious Guildhall School of Music & Drama. "Me learning about jazz, how to play and interpret, was always a case of just trial and error. I think where I've come to recently is I've stopped trying to think ‘Is what I'm doing valid? or ‘Is what I'm doing part of the jazz tradition?' and just see myself as a musician."
Hutchings is featured on the cover of the May issue of Downbeat. SEE COVER IMAGE
Skope's Sasha Lauryn writes....."A world in which people seek the uncertainties, and possibilities, of art" is the vision of one of the most innovative ensembles to be gracing the popular music landscape right now. With the recent release of their latest album, it's undeniable that Art Of Time Ensemble is bringing that vision to life. Led by the artistic direction and vision of Andrew Burashko together with arrangements by Jonathan Goldsmith who reinterpreted a wide array of songs that qualify as standards. Goldsmith stays faithful to the original melodies and form and then pushes the boundaries as far as possible in every conceivable way. After immersing myself in the deeply sensory sonic landscapes, mesmerizing motifs and hypnotic storytelling that their recent album ‘Ain't Got Long' boasts, I can say with certainty they do just that. The Canada based collective have been breaking archaic genre boundaries since 1998, as their eclectic mix of musicians has attracted captivated crowds on multiple tours. Honestly, I'm just waiting for them to announce their next road trip. This album features the phenomenal pipes of Madeleine Peyroux, Gregory Hoskins, Jessica Mitchell and Sarah Slean. Perhaps it's Andrew's perfect pairings of soundscape with singer or the astounding arrangements of the songs themselves that sets this album apart from anything I've experienced.
Whatever it is, I can't get enough.
READ THE FULL Skope Magazine REVIEW
WRTI's SUSAN LEWIS writes......The Catalyst Quartet uncovers music and the stories of the people who wrote it in its new recording series UNCOVERED. The first volume focuses on music by late 19th-century English composer, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
The Catalyst Quartet, founded in 2010 by the Sphinx Organization, aims to "reimagine" the classical music experience. "Sometimes classical music is presented like a museum piece," says violist Paul Laraia. "We want to make sure everything we do has relevance to today," and so the ensemble's programs reach out to a diverse audience, with diverse repertoire.
This new project, Uncovered, featuring music of composers who have been overlooked because of race or gender, begins with an album of music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a Black English composer born in the late 19th century, the child of an English mother and an African father from Sierra Leone.
Ironically, Coleridge-Taylor, who was born in 1875 and died suddenly at the age of 37, was acclaimed during his short lifetime. Raised in England, he started violin at 5, joined the Royal College of Music at 15, and at 23, had a triumphant premiere of his cantata, Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, set to the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He toured the U.S., where he visited The White House at the invitation of President Teddy Roosevelt. He was so successful, the story goes, that New York musicians in the early 1900s began referring to him as "The Black Mahler;" others are said to have called him "The Black Dvorak."
And while Hiawatha's Wedding Feast remains familiar to many choral ensembles and you may recognize his melodies such as Deep River, much of his over 80 compositions, including operas, ballet music, songs, a symphony, violin concerto and chamber music are unknown today.
Volume 1: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor includes one quartet, and two quintets, one featuring pianist Stewart Goodyear, and one with clarinetist Anthony McGill.
LISTEN & WATCH THE 90.1WRTI: Philadelphia INTERVIEW
'SOMETHING came from Baltimore's' Thom Gouker......Yeah! This was a big thrill for me. I was nervous interviewing one of my favorite artists of all time, Joe Lovano, so I decided to ask him 20 goofy questions to see how he handled them. He easily accepted the challenge and spun junk questions into gold. It's very impressive and that it why I suggest that you check out the Youtube interview, we chatted for 1 1/2 and must of it make it to tape.
"Garden of Expression" is the sent album with the trio Lovano/Crispell/Castaldi, the first was the 2018 release "Seeds of Change"
Do we have to explain who Joe Lovano is????? This is copied from Wiki. Joseph Salvatore Lovano (born December 29, 1952) is an American jazz saxophonist, alto clarinetist, flautist, and drummer. He has earned a Grammy Award and several mentions on Down Beat magazine's critics' and readers' polls. He is married to jazz singer Judi Silvano with whom he records and performs. Lovano was a longtime member of a trio led by drummer Paul Motian.
LIMELIGHT Magazine's Clive Paget writes......Superlative soloists and compelling chamber music from a quartet on a mission.
One of the revolutions set in progress by last year's Black Lives Matter protests has been the refocusing of the classical music industry's attention of composers of colour, many of them historical figures formerly the preserve of the curious collector and rarely programmed live.
New York-based Catalyst Quartet was founded in 2010 by the Sphinx Organization, an outstanding Detroit-based social justice organisation dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. The ensemble (Karla Donehew Perez, violin; Abi Fayette, violin; Paul Laraia, viola; and Karlos Rodriguez, cello) build programs and projects accordingly and this excellent release of music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is the first in a projected series of "Uncovered" CDs focussing on composers overlooked because of race and/or gender (others releases will include music by Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de Saint-Georges, William Grant Still, Florence B. Price, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and George Walker).
CLICK HERE FOR THE LIMELIGHT PAGE
Spellbinding Music's GUILLAUME writes....Born in Chicago and based in Palo Alto, California, William Susman is an American composer and pianist whose work encompasses orchestral, chamber, vocal and soundtrack music informed by western classical, jazz, African and Latin American traditions as well as contemporary minimalism. Constantly toying with instrumental permutations – from solo performance to his scaled-down big-band formation Octet – the music of William Susman is a continuous exploration of harmonic and rhythmic patterns. Released in October 2019 and January 2021 respectively on his own Belarca label, Collision Point and A Quiet Madness introduce works spanning over 25 years.
This is "music for moving pictures" – to paraphrase the title of his documentary soundtrack released in 2009 – an astute and contemporary sonic expression of the "quiet madness" playing out on 24-hour news TV channels or as an infinite scroll on our smartphone screens.
READ THE FULL Spellbinding Music REVIEW
Icelandic pianist and post-classical composer Eydís Evensen has confirmed details of her debut album, BYLUR, which will be released on 23rd April, 2021 by XXIM Records, Sony's new imprint for innovative, post-genre instrumental music.
On 26 March 2021 the ambitiously multifaceted musician/composer Clark presents his chillingly affecting ninth studio album Playground In A Lake, on which he broadens horizons and tries new things, with profound results.
Three-time GRAMMY Award-nominated pianist Joey Alexander follows his major-label debut album, WARNA (Verve Records), with three new singles "SALT" (March 19: LINK), "Under the Sun" (April 23), and "Summer Rising" (May 28) set for global release on Verve.
The cosmic operatic chants of Shunia featured on the 'Echoes Podcast'
Posted: March 25, 2021 12:00 AM
| By: Admin
Shunia is a duo that combines addictive melodies, ancient chants and polycultural rhythms into a sound that feels both new and timeless. Their music captures and conveys deep energies and spirit. The state of "shunia" means stillness, receptivity. Shunia's members, Lisa Reagan and Suzanne Jackson both performed with the Washington National Opera for 20 years before finding continued success in their solo careers. Coming together as Shunia, they combined their influences, inspirations and experiences to create genre-defying music with the power to transform and to connect you to the energy within and around you. It can put you in touch with something as simple as your five senses or as mysterious as the infinite.
It's the sound of the spirit when the Echoes Podcast talks with Shunia, as the two operatic singers talk about going the atmospheric Kirtan route, turning Hindi chants into serene dream pop on an their eponymous album produced by Jamshied Sharifi. Echoes Podcast also discusses being Miss Oklahoma, yoga, and dialing down operatic chops to tune in the spirit.
Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo is used for "tuning in" to the divine flow and self-knowledge within each of us. It brings us out of the earthy frenetic energy to an inward focus. Shunia feels that the vibration that is created in the body while singing is centering and healing. It is believed that the mantra actually causes the energetical and physical bodies to change their inner vibrational frequency level, becoming more attuned with the divine energy.
As we were composing the music, Suzanne wanted to add the English translation words, "I bow to the divine wisdom, I bow to the Guru within." At first, Lisa resisted because she didn't want it to take us out of the hypnotic, mesmerizing feel of the music, but in the end we all agreed that the English words created another level of meaning.
We wanted to honor the ancient nature of this chant and the millions of people who have chanted these words all over the world for thousands of years. Fortunately, Shunia's producer, Jamshied knows several world musicians who play rare and ancient instruments. Their sound takes you to another time, to another world. It reminds us of how we as humans have stood on this earth for millennia and looked up to the heavens for understanding and wholeness.
When Shunia was putting their new album together they decided to include a song based on the Akal mantra. It has a special meaning and purpose: To help guide the departing soul on its journey out of the worldly realm.
Here are Shunia's thoughts about" Akal":
"As we were composing the track, we thought it'd be beautiful to have a more classical counter melody line going over the top of the chant. As we worked on it, it came to us that using the Italian phrase, "risposa in pace", which means, "rest in peace" would not only be a beautiful musical line to sing but would also be appropriate to the true meaning of the mantra. It would also give an Eastern and Western connection to this human expression of mourning, and desire for our souls to have eternal life.
Shunia's latest release is taken from their forthcoming self-titled album. "Har Hare Hari Wahe Guru" is based on a mantra that encourages your creative expression and lights the spark of artistry within.
Working with album producer Jamshied Sharifi and many excellent global musicians, Shunia creates a genre-defying track with the power to connect you to the energy within and around you. Collaborating again with renowned Moroccan artist Hassan Hakmoun, Shunia said, "Hassan's performance on this song takes us to where we can feel the spirit and beauty of the life force."
"Har Hare Hari Wahe Guru" uses the primal force of creativity to bring one through any block and awaken your own creative potential within.
Taking a fresh approach to singing "Alleluia" -- one of the most well recognized and universal chants in the world -- the classically-trained duo, Shunia, adds layers of depth with the 23rd Psalm performed in Latin as well as Gregorian chant and global instruments. Beautiful, yet haunting, Shunia's "Alleluia" is another unique yet timeless offering that is perfect for the season of lights.
Dominus regit me, et nihil mihi deerit: in loco pascuæ, ibi me collocavit.
Super aquam refectionis educavit me; animam meam convertit.
Deduxit me super semitas justitiæ propter nomen suum.
Nam etsi ambulavero in medio umbræ mortis, non timebo mala, quoniam tu
Virga tua, et baculus tuus, ipsa me consolata sunt.
WHO IS SHUNIA? Shunia is a duo (Lisa Reagan and Suzanne Jackson) that combines addictive melodies, ancient chants and polycultural rhythms into a sound that feels both new and timeless. Together, they create genre-defying music to transform and connect you to the energy within and around you.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell. Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep.
Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi's influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions. People of many countries have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy for the past seven centuries. Rumi has been described as the "most popular poet" and the "best selling poet" in the United States.
Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. Rumi encouraged listening to music and twirling, or doing the sacred dance. The dance represents a mystical journey in which the seeker symbolically turnstowards the truth, grows through love, and finds the truth. The seeker then returns from this journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without regard to beliefs, races, classes and nations. It was from these ideas that the practice of whirling Dervishes developed.
Rumi's poems have been widely translated into many of the world's languages and today Rumi's poems can be heard in churches, synagogues, Zen monasteries, as well as in the downtown New York art/performance/music scene. Recordings of Rumi poems have made it to the USA's Billboard's Top 20 list. A selection of his love poems have been performed by artists such as Madonna, Goldie Hawn, Philip Glass and Demi Moore.
Shunia Releases a New Genre-Defying Album of Chants and Music
Moroccan artist Hassan Hakmoun and producer Jamshied Sharifi join Lisa Reagan and Suzanne Jackson, aka Shunia, for a new album that blends Sanskrit chants, Latin prayer, ancient poetry, and exquisite orchestration into a sound that feels both new and timeless.
This album features the fusion of classical instruments from different countries, multiple styles of vocals, and the focusing energy of ancient chants, to bring feelings of joy, hope, and awareness to Western culture at a crucial moment in time.
In advance of the album's launch, Shunia is releasing the track, "Sa Re Sa Sa." To create their self-titled album of transcendent music and melodic harmonies, Shunia, music duo Lisa Reagan and Suzanne Jackson co-composed with Grammy nominated producer Jamshied Sharifi. The album takes the listener through mantra melodies, energetic vocals, and dynamic compositions worthy of a feature film score (www.shuniasound.com). They are joined by renowned Moroccan artist Hassan Hakmoun on two of the tracks.