Monday, May 7, 2012

Podcast Episode 1

Mauro Sambo – 21/3/2012
Pandit Pran Nath – Raga Yaman Kalyan (from “Raga Yaman Kalyan Raga Punjabi Berva”, 1971)
Free Gagaku Ensemble - FreeGagaku present and presently remembered – 1
Sam Rivers Trio – Flute Section (from “Streams”, 1973)

Mauro Sambo’s music (Venice, Italy, 1954) can be compared in many ways to Ives Klein paintings, even if he's not that much a surrealist. Multi-instrumentalist (electric and acoustic bass, alto sax, bass clarinet, percussions, samplers, wind controller, Akai S3000XL), video artist and photographer, the art of Mauro Sambo has an attitude towards movement, creating a field of immanence in which music, visuals, sculpture, painting, photography, are not clashing but synthesized by a tactile quality of the space present also in some early NY minimalists, often former disciples of the Pandit Pran Nath. This is also clearly reflected by his videos, photos and sculptures. Sambo is tracing a trip right in between stagnation and movement, his idea of  'time'.
[text taken from my blog london_resonance, and issued in 2011]

Pran Nath's singing emphasized precise intonation and the gradual exposition of tone and mood. Pran Nath's students included a number of American composers of Minimal music, including La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Michael Harrison. He left home at the age of 13 and took up residence with legendary singer Abdul Wahid Khan of the Kirana gharana school. Both guru and disciple were much attracted to mysticism: Abdul Wahid Khan, a Muslim, to Sufism, and Nath, a Hindu, to a Shaivite sect in Dehra Dun. He eventually married and reentered the world at the request (guru dakshana) of his guru, in order to ensure the preservation of the Kirana style. In 1937, he became a staff artist with All India Radio. Nath stuck to a very austere singing style – heavy emphasis on alap, and very slow tempi – which suited his voice well, but was not very popular to the modern Indian taste. Nath supported himself as a music teacher, and worked at the University of Delhi from 1960 to 1970, travelling to New York to visit the American composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela. In 1972, he established his Kirana Center for Indian Classical Music in New York City and stayed in the U.S. until his death on June 13, 1996.

Wilhelm Matthies is a composer, videoartist and photographer living in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He builds and performs his original instruments, between which the kokeka, developed after years spent preparing guitars "in order to maximize the 'prepared' aspect of playing guitar". Listening to the eight tracks composing "RiverFoot-RealityRubs" (Field Noise Records, 2011), the first impression is that of a record staying at the crossroads of different streams of contemporary music. Matthies' Kokeka comes also from his studies on Japanese koto, Indian vina, Persian rebab and Chinese erhu; but there are also influences from John Cage's preparations and Iannis Xenakis' dry quality of microtones. Free Gagaku Ensemble is Wilhelm Matthies on rhythm stick and kokeka, Jaime Rodriguez Matos on guitar, Matthias Boss and Megan Karls on violin, Paul Mimlitch on alto clarinet.
[part of this text originally appeared on my blog london_resonance in 2011]

Sam "Rivers's music is rooted in bebop, but he is an adventurous player, adept at free jazz. The first of his Blue Note albums, Fuchsia Swing Song, is widely regarded as a masterpiece of an approach sometimes called “inside-outside”. The performer frequently obliterates the explicit harmonic framework (”going outside”) but retains a hidden link so as to be able to return to it in a seamless fashion. Rivers brought the conceptual tools of bebop harmony to a new level in this process, united at all times with the ability to “tell a story” which Lester Young had laid down as a benchmark for the jazz improviser." [Sam Rivers profile on AAJ] Sam Rivers with his Studio RivBea based in Bond Street was the beginner of the so-called 'loft era' [see my three part essay on that topic], started around 1972, with the counter-festival to George Wein's Newport in New York, and ended in 1983 approximately with the triumph of the Reaganomics. Striving to take control over shows and records and to manage independent careers, the 'loft era' was the zenith of the spirit of the Big Apple. “Streams” was issued in 1973. On this track, the multireedist is streaming his consciousness on flute, with all the sections – recorded live at the Montreux jazz festival – flowing coherently from one into the other. Cecil McBee on double bass, Norman Connors on drums
[text partly from my post on london_resonance blog]

To listen to the podcast, go to Podomatic website and search for 'completecommunion'.

To send me material to be featured on the podcast, email me at galasi.g [at] or gianpaolo.galasi [at]

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