31 July 2010
Kromata was my first serious band. It was also the place in which I started to experiment with the idea of world-fusion. It has been inactive for a while now, we have all moved on to different projects and stages of our lives, but I think we all loved the experience. In my case, this band was my kickstart into composition and music in general.
The members were*:
Alex Daniels - Accordion
Polen Iñaki Pérez - Flute
Charly Daniels - Darbuka, Congas and Bodhrán
Axel Tamayo - Bass Guitar and Double Bass
We recorded two demos, one in 2005 which was sort of home made, and one in 2006, in a studio. I really like the 2006 demo, we recorded it after a two month season of weekly playing in a nice bar called Zaza, so we had the momentum in our favour. These two demos had been gathering dust in my hard drive for some time, I thought they'd do better out in the open.
I was thinking of uploading each demo in a separate post, but while doing some research on the copyright status of the songs, the list sadly became thinner and thinner :( As I want to remain out of any copyright trouble I'll only upload original pieces and pieces in the public domain. So a single post will be enough.
I particularly regret leaving out our rendering of Autumn Leaves. It had beautiful solos by Axel and Polen. I might have time later to edit the theme out and publish only the solos.
From Demo 2005:
Basasón is a composition of mine which mimics cuban son. Polen's solo was amazing!
· Rights of Man.
A beautiful irish Hornpipe.
From Demo 2006:
· El Tigre (The Tiger).
We got this from an Ibro Lolov record called Gypsy Music from Bulgaria. The tune is marvelous. I'll post in the future about ARC, which is my favorite world-music label.
· A Camello.
This is another of my compositions. It's the sort of calculated fusion I try not to do anymore, basically a strange mixture of Balkan and Cuban music. My solo was nice (I think), but Cha's incredible conga solo takes the spotlight :)
· Happy Zenkov.
I consider this song one of my best things I've done. It was the first fusion I made not thinking of mixing this with that, it was a natural and intuitive invention that certainly has some Balkan and Irish things but not in an artificial way.
When we were rehearsing this, I remember the moment we overcame the technichal dificulties and could focus for the first time on the music and the feeling, as one of the happiest moments of my life. :'-)
Listen to and download the demo at Archive.org
* The Attribution in any of these works should contain this list.
24 July 2010
This is the first song in which I understood for the first time the beautiful sound of the music with quarter-tones. At first, that Arabic and Turkish scales have scales with neutral seconds and thirds (halfway between major and minor) was more of an amusing fact to me. But when I listened, they felt out of tune :(
This is the piece that changed everything :D
Maybe it's because the melody is sung in perfectly tuned octaves or because of the noble and pure sound of everything, but the neutral second sounds not only right, it is necessary.
This piece opened a world to me of enjoyment and inspiration to compose.
Here's Erkan Oğur's MySpace.
20 July 2010
I just arranged some things so that it is now possible to subscribe to my music log as a podcast.
The address is:
To subscribe in iTunes, you can copy the URL and paste it in the "Subscribe to Podcast" option, in the "Advanced" menu.
There is a small bug if the feed is opened in Google Reader (and I would imagine it happens in other RSS Feeders), and that is that there are two players with the same file. The one I embed in the posts of the blog and an automatically generated one for the enclosure link. Twice the fun! (...?)
19 July 2010
I recorded this with an old dusty kalimba I hadn't used for a while. I'm saving up for a Mbira dzaVadzimu, so until I get hold of one this kalimba should do.
In true "messy music" fashion, I recorded the same thing seven times, diverging occasionally from the cycle. Once chaos ensues, a clear concertina melody appears, floating above the disorder.
15 July 2010
I had been listening to a lot of Shostakovich before this improvisation :) I'm usually a bit scared of putting too much energy into an impro, I fear the mistakes will become too apparent. They did! But I think it was worth it.
13 July 2010
It seems the Kopimi site is down. I'm not sure if it will be up again anytime, as the creator of the concept, Ibi Kopimi Botani sadly died some time ago.
As I "license" (if the term even applies) all of the Ephemeral Music posts with Kopimi, I'll wait for a week to see what happens with the site.
For the moment I'll leave the posts as they are.
I intended this as another attempt to improvise a Prelude & Fugue. The music led me in a different path, the Prelude got longer and longer and became a stand-alone, free movement.
The whole thing is bound by a small idea, the motif with which the music begins. As I lost myself in the flow of the improvisation, this little motif journeyed across different colours and places. I even surprised myself with some impressionistic maj7 and add6 chords at the end, which I don't use very often but simply felt right.
This improvisation was really natural and effortless, I was in an almost trance-like state during the second half and I felt as if the music was making the choices, not me. It's an amazing feeling!
8 July 2010
This little piece is an exploration of a nice sounding symmetric scale I discovered by accident: G Ab B C# D F. It sounds to me as somewhere between Messiaen, some of the strange scales in Hungarian folk and an Indian Raga.
It has two parts, a slow intro and a rhythmic section.
6 July 2010
In this post I started exploring what I call "swarm-melody". Basically many melodies move more or less in the same direction but in a disorganized manner. In each melody I tried to follow the previous one as close to unison as I could. The imperfections in my imitation and the reaction time create a strange mixture of dense heterophony and canon. Powered by Ligeti & Vuvuzela co.
1 July 2010
I really, really love this piece and this performance. From the beginning to the end there's a "bell toll" hidden in the middle voices. I love the "cyclicness" in this music, it's rare in Western music and is one of the reasons I'm in love with African music. Anyway, no words will do as much justice to the music as just listening to it. Beautiful.
I couldn't find any records by Kaung-Ae Lee or a homepage. She's featured a lot in this YouTube channel.