Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Balkan Journeys Close to Home
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
Listen to Samples
Wild and Wonderful Macedonian Traditional Music
Erika Borsos | Gulf Coast of FL, USA | 12/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the type of Macedonian music I longed to own and *finally* discovered! Who would have guessed it was played by Toronto musicians? (Although several have Balkan roots). The first group, "Staro Selo" ("Old Village") start slowly and power up in rhythm, speed, and interpretation. Two of the most remarkable pieces include the bagpipes (gaida) and tambura (lute) as key instruments, along with the highly stylized female vocals. This music is unparallelled for its magnetic appeal. The kaval (end-blown flute) and tapan (type of drum) complete the village-like root sound. The music is from Central Macedonia, one is in the 11/8 rhythm, others are in the 7/8 and one is in 4/4. Two of the musical tracks originate from Pirin, Bulgaria. The liner notes explain that all are love songs with playful lyrics. Unfortunately, the lyrics are omitted. Brennna MacCrimmon and Jayne Brown provide beautiful spine-tingling authentic Balkan vocals. They sound like the Bisserov Sisters or the Trakia Ensemble, with absolutley natural inflections! Each track sounds better than the previous one! This CD has some of the best selections of Balkan and Macedonian rhythms and sounds produced in this unique region of the world.
The second group, "Neda Voda", is my favorite. They sing Roma (Gypsy) tunes which have Turkish roots. The musicians chose to play the Turkish saz, a tambura, and some zurnas or clarinets. This pulsating and addictive music is enhanced with the beat of several darbukas and a tar drum. The rhythms are primarily 7/8, one is in 9/8 and one is 4/4. The music is sensuous and undulating, with Middle Eastern tsiftetelli (belly dance) undertones ...
The third group called "Mastika" play "Lupchevo", "Trip to Bulgaria" and "Pumpkin Paidushko" with a semi-jazzy improvistion that is most appealing and contagious. They primarily play stringed instuments with outstanding percussion.
The fourth and last group is called "Altin Yildiz Orkestar" ("Gold Star Band"). They play a series of evocative songs that make me sing, dance and shout joyfully ... no exaggeration! Track #14 "Rumelaj" is hypnotically spell-binding. It was originally played by Kalyi Jag, a Hungarian Roma group. #15 is of Turkish roots but from Macedonia, has all the undulating rhythms of the region. I can hear the makams but am unable to identify which ones are being used. #16 originated in Kosovo, first played and sung by the Roma singer Ibrahim Semsi. #17 has unique twists and turns, created by a famous Greek Roma clarinet player. #18 has a great beat played on the tabla that hooks the listener from the start. It also includes passionate accordion music . The last track, #19 is totally mesmerizing, a Turkish recording, translated in the liner notes as a beseechment to the Creator ... to provide the singer "the way" or a direction in life. This CD contains some of the most outstanding Macedonian music I have ever heard. It will not disappoint anyone who loves the music of the Balkans. Other similar CDs recommended are: "Kurbeti" (Albanian Roma), "Balkanarama" (Seattle, WA based American band with authentic Roma sound), and "Songs frorm the City of Roses" (Albanian). Erika Borsos (erikab93)"