New Reviews: January 9, 2001
Soul Catcher Music
On Soul Catcher, his debut recording, Gregory has created an audible
landscape in which the listener is invited to spiritually explore. Beneath
the electronic melodies emerges a Native American essence, primarily through
percussive color. This inspirational CD serves well as a centering point in
meditation. While they remain introspective, the compositions herein are
anything but dull and lifeless, an oft too common problem in new age or ambient music.
Big Brazos: Texas Prison Recordings
John A. Lomax and Alan Lomax
This remarkable CD is a collection of original field recordings by the well-known
father-son Lomax ethnomusicologists of the call-and-response prison work songs of
African American men in Texas prison farms in 1933-1934. As similar functional
songs of the old plantations and railroads, these served not only to keep the human
spirit alive but also to coordinate work movements for increased efficiency and safety.
With extensive historical liner notes, the CD is a valuable archive and teaching tool.
Nomads of the Silk Road
The nomads of the well-traversed 7000-mile trade route from China to the Mediterranean
Sea had a rich musical tradition. Stemming from Mogul Chinese roots to that of new
homelands in Persia, the Caucusus, and Anatolia, the music of a people who remained
culturally intact and itinerant until the twentieth century has become seriously in
danger of disappearance. It is the effort of Turku to preserve the overwhelming
musical history that united a people through fifteen centuries across vast territories
in the spirited rendition of their traditional folk music.
Jenece Gerber is a perpetual student of culture, religion and music,
with a BA in ethnomusicology from Bowling Green State University, Bowling
Green, Ohio USA. An avid composer, Ms. Gerber writes from her musical
travels in the context of sociocultural realities and dreams. She is the
winner of the 1995 Music Teachers National Association student composition
competition for her work employing the Indonesian flute (suling). Ms. Gerber
is also soon to have a work entitled The Night of Brahm published by Earnestly Music.