16 February 2011

Arthur Koestler wrote about the wisdom of following a thought to its logical conclusion. Recently a listener complained that Wednesday mornings have become a "black hole" for him. "The music is relentless" from 8-11am CT on 101.5 FM in Winnipeg and http://www.umfm.com/ in the stream. Extraordinarily, the show starts an hour earlier this week.

Set #1 - 7:00am - 10:00am

1. Richard Burdick: I Ching Arpeggios, op.99 for solo French horn with a background of tuned wind chimes (2001)
Richard Burdick - French horn & wind chimes
I Ching Music, CD2
(Composer Richard Burdick is also Principal Horn of the Regina Symphony Orchestra. Burdick's description suggests a carefully thought-out relationship between musical elements: "Sixty-four pieces using [the] I Ching scales system organized into an arpeggio pattern based on the relationship between the artificial scale and the natural overtone series. Presented from fastest to slowest, with the tempo determined by the vibration of the key.... The I Ching is sort of a fortune telling system of the ancient Chinese. Being a binary system, it suggests scale intervals of either half steps or whole steps. It is ideal for scales structures."

I purchased this CD, sight unseen, on the premise alone. Burdick's sound-world is ambient, but not cheap New Agey. As always, I'd be interested in hearing listeners' thoughts.

For those of you who wonder how he can play French horn and wind chimes simultaneously, without using his feet, he explained: "I played the wind chimes after the horn track was recorded. I made a four octave set of wind chimes from special aluminum tubes. For each track I used only the chimes in the key of the scale in a harmonic series pattern, then basically improvising these 'bells.'")

Set #2 - 10:00am - 11:00am

2. Raga Malkauns
Rash Behari Datta - sitars & tanpura, Sarvar Sabri - tabla

(Rash Behari Datta is an innovator: 1) He opens with a fast gat, a rhythmic movement that usually appears in the middle of your standard Hindustani raga. 2) Datta has overdubbed himself into a virtual orchestra of 20 sitars, 14 better than Wagner, who used just six harps for the Entry of the Gods into Valhalla. 3) And so we get a little polyphony(?) and harmony(?) [heterophony?] as the strands of the Malkauns melody overlap. For more on mystical Malkauns, mosey on down to some of my older blog posts.)

3. Raga Shobhavari
Baluji Shrivastav - sitar, Sanju Sahai - tabla

Tracks 2-3
Rash Behari Datta: 20 Sitars
ARC Music, EUCD 2312

Where to buy CDs featured on today's show:
Richard Burdick - CDBaby
Rash Behari Datta - CD Universe

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