New Reviews: July 26, 2004
Reviews by Matthew J. Forss
Talvin Singh & Rakesh Chaurasia
The classical music of North India meets modern sound technology on Vira
(Brotherhood). Tabla maestro, Talvin Singh, offers his drumming techniques
and electronic know-how to create an atmospheric, yet energetic album of
contemporary Indian music. Rakesh Chaurasia, a renowned Bansuri flute player
from India, adds contemplative flute stylings that ultimately draw in the
listener. Overall, five long classical raags (defined melodic structures)
from North and South India are performed in a contemporary setting. A "Best
Pick" album for fans of contemporary, instrumental Indian music!
Sacred Mantras Of India
The ancient practice of sacred chanting is one of the world’s oldest vocal
tradition. Sacred Mantras Of India continues in that tradition. Rakesh Chaurasia
(flute), Sunil Das (sitar) and Bhavani Shankar (pakhawaj) are responsible for
the instrumentation for the mantras (verses). Other instruments include guitar,
tanpura and keyboards. Also, meditative vocals are present on most of the tracks.
Love, life and peace are all general connotations moralized by the sung mantras.
Five raags (Bhatiyar), (Parmeshwari), (Bilawal), (Gorakh Kalyan) and (Bhairavi)
are all explored on Sacred Mantras Of India. Another high quality recording from
Sona Rupa. A welcome addition to any mantra fan or contemporary Indian music aficionado!
Eternity: The Soul Of India
The music of North India is showcased in the Mind/Body/Soul collection from Sona
Rupa on Eternity: The Soul Of India. Various musicians including Rakesh Chaurasia,
Rupak Kullkarni, Sunil Das, Ustad Liyakat Ali, Bhavani Shankar, Jayantilal Gosher,
Ulhas Bapat and others, brings us music from Punjab, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat
and Rajasthan. Many popular folk instruments in the repertoire are the shehnai,
tabla, sarangi, sitar, guitar, santoor, flute, bass, dholak, and also the keyboard
and vibraphone. All of the tracks are fairly buoyant, yet very meditative and
instrumental. A truly wonderful album that energizes the mind, body and soul!
Master Of The Diatonic Accordion
A native of Belgium and world traveler, Daniel Thonon, plays the diatonic accordion.
Daniel performs traditional tunes, waltzes, marches, reels and medieval or early
music renderings - all on accordion. However, other musicians accompany Daniel on
drums, keyboards, harpsichord, Irish flute, guitar, double bass, bagpipes, recorder
and piano. All tunes are composed and performed as folk music, with beautiful, flowing
melodies. Each track is instrumental, but Daniel lends his vocals on the final track.
Overall, Daniel Thonon is truly a ‘master of the diatonic accordion.’ A must-have for
accordion fans everywhere! An informative booklet in English, French, Spanish and German
translations is included.
Matthew J. Forss is currently a full-time student at
Lakeland College-Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He is majoring
in Biology and German Language/Culture. Since 1998, he
has collected numerous musical instruments and CDs from
around the world. Also in 1998, he wrote a paper on
Mongolian Ethnomusicology, entitled: How Does Music
Play An Important Role In The Life And Culture Of
Mongolia? Currently, he has collected over 100 CDs that
represent dozens of different countries. His general
interests include ethnomusicology journalism and
researching the traditional/contemporary ethnic music
of various cultures from around the world. His specific,
geographic areas of study include the traditional and
popular music from Central Eurasia (especially Mongolia,
Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.) In November of
2000, he accepted the position of writing world music CD
reviews for this site.