Kudsi Erguner & Xavier Bellenger ‎– Conférence Des Roseaux (Ney & Kena), 1984

Another one in a collection of recordings made in locations with amazing natural reverb. This one was recorded over the course of two days in September of 1982 at the Abbaye de Senanque, a Cistercian abbey in Provence. Kudsi Erguner is a Paris-based Turkish ney-flutist, composer, and musicologist, and has contributed to a handful of Ocora records. Xavier Bellenger (here on the kena, or quena, flute) is a French ethnologist and musician who went on to collaborate with Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis. As far as I know, Conférence Des Roseaux was completely improvised.

With the details out of the way, this is music that speaks for itself. Crystalline, deeply expressive, bird-like flute duets that, despite having been recorded indoors, evoke huge space. To me, the audible joy of two very skilled musicians having fun making sounds together is what makes this such a special record.


[Mix for NTS Radio] Getting Warmer Episode 13: Joanna Brouk Tribute

My newest mix for NTS Radio is a two hour tribute to Joanna Brouk, who passed away this month at 68. Considered one of the early founders of New Age, Brouk never referred to herself as a composer, but rather insisted that she was a vessel for the music that flowed through her. Her work sat somewhere in between new age, drone, minimalism, and classically inclined ambient, with a curiosity and a roughness reminiscent of pioneering early electronic music. You can buy her excellent compilation released last year by Numero Group here. There’s also a great interview with her here in which she talks about her early processes and her work in sound healing.

She often said that it was the space between the notes in which interesting things start to happen, and that music has to slow down in order to get there. I put this mix together of things that, to me, are similarly interested in space and silence. Some of these songs were written by her contemporaries; others are just things that I hope she might have liked. If you like it, you can download an mp3 version via dropbox here. Thank you for everything, Joanna!

1. Joanna Brouk – Healing Music (excerpt)
2. Francesco Messina – Prati Bagnati Del Monte Alalogo (excerpt)
3. Kudsi Erguner & Xavier Bellenger – Apu-Caylioch / Le Seigneur Des Étoiles
4. Kevin Braheny – Lullaby for the Hearts of Space (excerpt)
5. John Clark – The Abhà Kingdom (excerpt)
6. Masahiro Sugaya – 水-(1)
7. Craig Kupka – Clouds II (excerpt)
8. Iasos – The Winds of Olympus
9. Daniel – Quartz Crystal Bells (Side A) (excerpt)
10. Daniel Kobialka – Planetary Mysteries
11. Ojas – Shiva Dance (excerpt)
12. Jansen / Barbieri – The Way The Light Falls
13. Hiroshi Yoshimura – Water Planet
14. Alice Damon – Waterfall Winds
15. Joanna Brouk – Golden Cloud Layers

[Mix for NTS Radio] Listen To This!

We made a two hour mix for NTS Radio. Tracklisting below. If you like it, download it here. Enjoy!
0:00 Richard Burmer – Physics
3:31 Masami Tsuchiya – Nevermind (Excerpt)
6:28 Carlos Maria Trindade – The Truth
9:09 Joe Hisaishi – The Winter Requiem
13:49 Bill Nelson – Pansophia
14:41 Anna Homler & Steve Moshier – Celestial Ash (Excerpt)
20:09 Toshifumi Hinata – Chaconne
24:45 George Wallace – Electric Night
31:23 Danyel Gérard – La Vieux de la Montagne
35:41 Steve Tibbetts – 100 Moons
40:50 Hector Zazou & Dead Can Dance – Youth (Excerpt)
42:26 Codek – Tim Toum
46:22 Şenay – Doy-Doy-Doymadım
51:57 Joan Bibiloni – Sa Fosca
58:45 Jaco Pastorius – Okonkole Y Trompa
1:03:00 Blue Gas – Shadows From Nowhere
1:06:58 Rasta Instantané – Kylyn
1:11:56 Boban Petrović – Zajedno Srećni
1:16:52 Saâda Bonaire – More Women
1:21:51 Christy Essien Igbokwe – You Can’t Change A Man
1:25:34 Hiroshi Sato – Awakening
1:29:06 Love, Peace & Trance – Hush – A Mandala Ni Pali
1:33:15 Asha Bhosle & Ghulam Ali – Roodad-E-Mohabbat Kya Kahiye Kuchh Yaad Rahi Kuchh Bhool Gaye
1:38:52 New Musik – Areas
1:43:00 CFCF – Vermont
1:47:45 Hiroshi Yoshimura – Time After Time
1:56:27 Gervay Briot – Science

Selda Bagcan – Selda, 1976

Selda Bağcan got real big in the 70s as one of Turkey’s most well-known politically-minded musicians, and from what I understand, became somewhat of a household name. Her sound was a progressive wash of psychedelic guitar funk and angular synth heat, applied liberally to Turkish folk songs as scorching backdrops for her emotive, razor-sharp vocals and political critiques. Unsurprisingly, she was thrown in jail three times and was stripped of her passport, but was eventually freed and went on to tour extensively. She resurfaced again in 2006, when Finders Keepers reissued her self-titled LP with some previously unreleased tracks. That’s when I first heard this record–my sister gave it to me, and it just about blew my 16-year-old brain open, since I didn’t have much of a grasp on the roots of psychedelic music, or what Turkey was. This record is a classic for many, so I hope this serves as a friendly reminder that it’s still bubbling hot (with the exception of string-infused weeper ballad “Dam Üstüne Çulserer,” flecked with fountain sounds and spiny percussives, which is more of a slow-burner). Note: I’m posting the original album, without the rerelease tracks and with the songs in a different order. It sounds better than ever, almost 40 years later. Enjoy!