Articles

Frank Zappa and Prague

[Petr Dorůžka, Los Angeles, California] Lecture and screening on Frank Zappa and Prague at the Czech Consulate in Los Angeles, 10 May 2024. You might find it strange, that a person from a faraway, non English speaking country, talks about Frank Zappa in his home city Los Angeles. So – I should explain a few things in the next hour, with a help of a documentary film about Zappa’s visit to Prague and his meeting with president Havel.

12. 5. 2024 | read more...

Hiram Salsano: Bringing new life to the old songs from Campania.

[Petr Dorůžka, Praha] How would collectors like Béla Bartók or Leoš Janáček work if they lived today? Endangered traditions that they managed to capture have definitely disappeared in some regions, but they still live elsewhere. Hiram Salsano was born in Agropoli, a seaside resort 120 km south of Naples. Since 2005, she has been visiting rural farms in the interior and recording the songs of the oldest living witnesses.

15. 2. 2024 | read more...

Mehmet Polat’s  ud serving as a bridge between East and West

[Petr Dorůžka, Praha] The ud, one of the most common instruments in the Middle East, is considered to be the forerunner of a whole host of stringed instruments, including the European guitar. Unlike the guitar, it does not have frets and therefore is not limited by European scales. Besides Arab countries, a number of excellent players live in Turkey, Israel or Armenia and, thanks to the migration in recent decades, also in Europe. The instrument has gained respect in jazz thanks to musicians as Anouar Brahem from Tunisia, who records for ECM, or Rabih Abou-Khalil from Lebanon.

1. 2. 2024 | read more...

Balkan music through American eyes and ears

[Petr Dorůžka, Praha] Shaun Williams started to explore East European music as a humanitarian volunteer in Ukraine 15 years ago. Currently he is working on Roma music in his doctoral thesis, and as an accordionist he formed an ensemble with Romanian singer Corina Sîrghi. The full name of their group is Corina Sîrghi și Taraful Jean Americanu.

4. 11. 2023 | read more...

Fira Manresa 2023: Old Alleys, New Sounds

[by Martha Hawley, Haarlem] The Fira Mediterrània was held in October 2023 for the 26th time, in celebration of Catalan traditional and popular culture, accompanied by performance and artistic contributions from around and across the Mediterranean. The pace of the festival is determined by the topography of its base in the hills north of Barcelona, in Manresa, all on an incline, very appealing to this visitor from the Lowlands.

17. 10. 2023 | read more...

Best of 2022

Intensive treatment for cancer prevented me working much on Prince Heathen – The Age of Carthy and England’s Folksong Revival for most of 2022. I resume work on Martin Carthy’s biography in 2023. The upside was spending much of the year thinking about and challenging what I had already written.

25. 12. 2022 | read more...

Best of 2021

[by Ken Hunt, London] Another strange year spent thinking, living, breathing and writing about Martin Carthy for Prince Heathen. All I shall say to the subject is Alan Garner’s Treacle Walker came out in 2021 after a fair few years of writing. A quote of Alan’ll probably appear in Prince Heathen as a watchword. Little of the 2021 assembly sounds on the face of it as if it ostensibly anything to do with Martin. Wait. (Much of it doesn’t much of it does.)

1. 1. 2022 | read more...

Eddi Reader, Kings Place, London, 1 October 2021

[by Ken Hunt, London] Even as she juggles an extensive repertoire and audience expectations, Eddi Reader is the sort of performer who gives one-off performances. Celebrating four decades as a professional musician whether as a name soloist, the lead vocalist in the successful group Fairground Attraction or going back to singing, apparently, with the likes of the Eurythmics and The Waterboys, what she delivers is bespoke and draws on an astoundingly impressive trove of material, traditional, original and covers.

18. 11. 2021 | read more...

Yorkston Thorne Khan, Kings Place, London, 11 March 2020

[by Ken Hunt, London] What was the last live gig you saw before Covid-19 brought live music in front of audiences juddering to a standstill? Mine was Yorkston Thorne Khan’s London concert on 11 March 2020. It was the start of their tour promoting their third album, Navarasa: Nine Emotions. YTK are James Yorkston on nyckelharpa (Swedish keyed fiddle), 6-string guitar and vocals, Jon Thorne on double-bass, 6-string guitar and vocals, and Suhail Yusuf Khan on sarangi and vocals.

24. 10. 2021 | read more...

Best of 2020

[by Ken Hunt, London] 2020 will go down as the first year of Covid-19. It was the strangest year for making music..

31. 12. 2020 | read more...

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