Something to dance to; well, dance everyday.
Tag Archives: music video
Roughly in this picture of the two of us, Abdullah Ibrahim is the age I am now. Twenty years ago, on the sidewalk in Middlebury, Vermont.
Although we’re no longer in touch*, my beloved friend Abdullah Ibrahim, turn 75 today. He is, to put it simply and also grandly, the deepest musician the continent of Africa has produced so far. To say “so far” with the musical Africa, is to imply a long period of time: the expressly musical sound world of humans may well have begun in Africa many hundreds of thousands of years ago.
As a composer, bandleader, instrumentalist, he has over a 50+ year career created an immense body of work aimed by his deep intelligence at the receptive human heart. This is a very serious operation! For him, music comes to the manifest world from its origin in the divine vibratory chain of becoming. So, his intention attends to the possibility presented by the sensitive and receptive listener. Well, this is as I have heard it. From this, the possibility of transmission is realized. So, for example, his people’s music synched up with his people’ struggles, and, struck THE chord.
Dr. Ibrahim’s capabilities extend beyond music. He is an educator in diverse fields that include history, martial arts, nutrition, and other healing arts. He is a poet and a world class raconteur. When he returned to Africa after its liberation, it once again became his home base.
In 1996, I commenced a web site, Abdullah Ibrahim’s Mantra Modes, devoted to his artistry, and six years later stopped updating it when his own official web site came online. At the Mantra Modes link there’s lots of content, including some recollections evoked by our brief association.
On the nogutsnoglory studios blog I have, today, delineated a very concise recommendation of recordings.
*he emailed me this year a single sentence: “Is that you?” Given a history of his providing me with learning opportunities, I couldn’t take it as just a simple question! I give my self low marks for how I handled those opportunities way-back-when, yet, nevertheless, I have retained some of the threads. His impact on me remains great, and I remain grateful.
From 1989 until I left Vermont in 1991, I lived in a farmhouse in Waltham with Ron and two fine Ethiopian gentlemen and musicians, Seleshe and Kiflu. The latter was known as the ‘world most handsome man.’ The two were brothers and musicians and dancers. During the summer of 1990, I played color percussion very quietly in the four person rhythm section of The New Nile Orchestra on three occasions. Kflu told me with a wink–before the orchestra took the outdoor stage at The Discover Jazz Festival, “You’re okay as long as I can’t hear you.”
We had an immense amount of fun as roommates even if Selesshae Damessae, an internationally famous ex-patriot folkloric musician, wasn’t around much. I’ve never ate as well as I did back then. Ron and Kiflu melded vegetarian and ethiopian cuisine and often Breakfast was the main deal.
Once a month or so during the summer the Jehovah’s witnesses would come by and we’d hang with them on the front porch until they got jumpy as tourists in their own land sometimes do. You have to picture Ron and myself with our long hair, the coal black adonis Kiflu, the Jehovah’s men with us on the porch, with wife and daughters sitting in the car. We extracted their agreement: we’d listen to their scripture reading if they’d partake of our own. However, they’d always book once one of us went into the house to get our book.
Ethiopian music is ancient. Here’s two music videos from the brave and poor land that capture the two sides of the this most unique of countries.
The Rhythm River pages are up at squareONE. I made a quickee montage to promote this latest tool; albeit the development unfolded over twenty years.
[flashvideo filename=http://squareone-learning.com/video/RhythmRiver2.flv /]
Music is Kayyam, from my 2002 recording In Khorasan. It can be streamed in its entirety over at nogutsnoglory studios, at the bottom of the world hed music page.
. . .something about the time when Americans gather to celebrate some birthday? Lessee, three days ago I went into the mall once but not to shop. Not pleasant. Today is Christmas and I’ve got a few creative projects to push over the finish line so I can offer gifts for the purpose of saying goodbye to the old year. It’s a crisp sunny day and not even a dusting of white yuletide vapor.
Here’s a fast one. DJ Shantel, as Shantel, put out one of my favorite records of the last ten years, Great Delay. Then he parlayed his interest in gypsy music to become the most prominent auteur of the Balkan Beat. His story is a fine example of entrepreneurial drive and DIY vision. Starting with a modest club platform in Frankfurt, Stefan Hantel turned his Club Bucovina into a globetrotting phenomena. He’s promoting the thumping big beats of his Club Bucovina Orkestar along with other electric gypsy ensembles.
Have a safe holiday and a great new year.