Palladam S. Venkataramana Rao

Here is a new member in the modern instrument player family of carnatic music, Palladam S. Venkataramana Rao’s electronic organ. The man strives in a flawless and successful way to substitute a Yamaha DX100 to the traditional harmonium. A kind of W. Carlos’ alter ego in classical indian music!

Elara Sri Krishna - Tape rip {Sangeetha} /


L'homme à la caméra - Pierre Henry

This piece of Musique Concrète by Pierre Henry was composed in 1993 for a unique screening of Dziga Vertov’s 1929 futurist film (Человек с киноаппаратом / The Man With A Camera). Mainly composed with the use of sitar and piano wire loops, buzzing like swarms of bees, the whole work can be considered quite minimalist in the repertoire of the french composer (see Gymnastique for instance).

— 1994, Mantra + Studio Son/Ré (Bernadette Mangin) - screening at Théâtre de la Ville in Paris 12 nov. 1993 >


Trio Erik Marchand - An Tri Breur {Silex}

Erik Marchand (who took part in the previous Silex CDs I published earlier) was at the beginning of his musical experiments when he released this smart album with Thierry Robin (’ud) and Hameed Khan (tabla) in 1997. Before he ventured with romanian taraf or rock musician Rodolphe Burger, here is a minimalist and successful attempt to gather Brittany traditional songs with eastern instruments. Needless to say it has with nothing to do with the cheesy new-age lounge music that was hype at that time!

Trio Erik Marchand with Yann-Fañch Kemener, Youenn Le Bihan, Fañch Landreau - "An Tri Breur (three brothers)" Chants du Centre-Bretagne {Silex Y225008} - 1997 >


Quintet Clarinettes - Musique Têtue + Bazh Du {Silex}

Quintet Clarinettes was the association of five french musicians: Michel Aumont, Dominique Jouve, Dominique Le Bozec, Erik Marchand and Bernard Subert who created a new sound for the breton traditionnal music. They ingeniously mixed the sound of classical clarinet and bass clarinet with the Treujenn Gaol from Brittany. This rudimentary clarinet (translated as Black Stick or Bazh Du, for it looks like the stalk of a cabbage) in just one octave, is played along the bombarde during Fest-Noz. Of course they had to ask Louis Sclavis to be on a few titles. I used to listen days and nights to these albums, and I must say, I even learned to play the clarinet thanks to these guys!

France - Silex Y225001 (1990) and Y225031 (1993)


Trio Violon — La concordance des temps {Silex}

That's another gem from Silex I've regularly been listening to for a few decades (two basically, since it was released in 1991).
Three french fiddlers, or 'violoneux', Jean-Pierre Champeval, Olivier Durif and Jean-François Vrod have set a great menu of compositions inspired by the traditionnal repertoire from Limousin and Auvergne, the geographical heart of France. Although not as jazzy as the André Ricros recording I mentioned earlier, I always found this CD hypnotizing for an obscur reason, maybe it has to do with those slow overlapping loops…

France 1991 — {Silex Y225005}


Kantele {Martti Pokela - Eeva-Leena Sariola - Matti Kontio}

A sort of zither (close to the latvian kokles) the kantele is a mainstay in Finnish music, a popular folk instrument par excellence. It appeared in the epic Kalevala, fallen in disuse at the beginning of the 20th century and then rediscovered by passionate musicians. This brilliant CD contains compositions recorded in the 60's and 70's by Martti Pokela, pioneer among the pioneers, inspired by Lapp traditional songs. The metallic sound, quite close to the harpsichord or the harp (horses’hairs were formely used for the cords) and the lonely solo playing give a kind similarity to the sound of musical boxes, with their melancholic tunes, as if this was funfair music from old times.

1990 - Finlandia records FACD 018
+ english booklet