Posts Tagged ‘folk music’

Black Earth / Kara Toprak – Fazıl Say

June 2, 2012

Black Earth was inspired by Kara Toprak, a popular song in Turkey. The composer of the song, Aşık Veysel (1891-1973), was one of the last great Turkish balladeers and the final link in a thousand-year tradition.

Veysel went blind during childhood following an attack of smallpox. He subsequently began to learn to play the Saz, a Turkish lute, and to study poetry, initially for his own amusement. He made acquaintance with a variety of folk poets, and, after 1928, also travelled from village to village with his songs. Through the years, he became a cultural symbol of the Turkish Republic.

In the song Kara Toprak, Veysel describes loneliness and loss. All that remains is the Black Earth, the color of the landscape in his native town of Sivas.

Fazil Say imitates the sound of the Saz through his selection of a muted effect in the Introduction and Epilogue of Black Earth – a meditation on the themes of a ballad. In contrast, folklore, Romantic piano style and jazz are entwined in the central sections to form a large-scale outburst. Fazil Say performs this works in both concerts of classical music and a jazz festivals: particularly in the folkloristic sections, he employs the improvisatory freedom which is inherent to both folk music and jazz.

Where are the Arms

February 13, 2012
Where are the Arms - Gabriel Kahane

Where are the Arms - Gabriel Kahane

In his review Album of the Week on the Bandcamp blog, Andrew Dubber is full of praise for Where are the Arms:

Kahane’s latest release, Where are the Arms, is not only clever, interesting and musically satisfying – it’s a Great Record. To me, the difference between a really wonderful album (of which there are many) and a Great Record (of which there are very few), lies somewhere in the work’s ambition, depth of emotion, honesty, complexity, immediacy, warmth, timelessness, personality and universality.

I would not disagree, Where are the Arms by Gabriel Kahane is excellent.

Comparisons, if comparisons are to be made, would be with early Simon and Garfunkel.

Simplicity of style, brings to mind the writing of Paulo Coelho, simple but elegant, and within that elegant simplicity lies layers of complexity.

Gabriel Kahane, an earlier album by Gabriel Kahane, is also excellent.

Also see

Simon and Garfunkel – Central Park – The Sound of Silence

October 26, 2010

From a free live concert in New York 1981.

Simon and Garfunkel – Central Park – America

October 26, 2010

From a free live concert in New York 1981.