Inventive blending of contemporary and indigenous music
Gwyneth Calvetti | West Salem, WI United States | 12/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The energy in the cuts from this CD is infectious. Percussion, local instrumentation and seamless vocals blend into a package that defies description. The world beat is evident, but Craddock has suceeded in using the Pygmy voices and music conventions in music that does not jar our Western ear. The rhythms are intricate. The vocals are smooth and blend beautifully on each track. It has become one of my favorite CDs to keep me company as I workout on the Nordictrack, driving me with the beat and energy to work just a little harder!Each time I listen to "Spirit of the Forest," I discover some new nuance that I'd not heard before. In these days of "CD of the week," the desire to hear it again months later speaks volumes to its creativeness."
e.m.wisser | nazareth,pa | 11/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"after seeing baka beyond live in concert recently we were compelled to pick up this recorded work. though it does not reproduce the unique energy of the concert,it pleases on other levels. when martin craddick and wife su hart lived with the baka pygmies in africa in 1992, it was no doubt a life altering experience. much of that comes through in the music presented on "spirit of the forest". craddick,who's resume includes OUTBACK, a similarly genre busting project,teams with hart(vocals),paddy le mercier(another veteran of OUTBACK on violin and flutes)and members of the baka people who play percussion and several african instruments, to create a mellow listening experience based on a fusion of musical ideas. i paticularly like using this as background music for various endeavors, but there is plenty here for those who wish to have a provacative listening session as well. the warm commraderie the participants shared really comes through. i don't see how any fan of acoustic based alternative music will be disappointed in this recording. as an added incentive to explore this work, it is stated in the liner notes that "all performance and compositional royalties due to the baka for this album will be collected for them to use to protect their forest and to develop in a sustainable way without losing their knowlege or their culture.""
#1 in my music library!
TropicSky@aol.com | Haleiwa, Hawaii | 01/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this a few years ago because I was drawn by the cover, without a clue to what was inside. What a great find! Raw, organic, lush, touches your spirit. The Meeting Pool is just as good. I'm just ordering Journey Between, and can't wait to get it."
M. Pierrat | California | 07/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I didn't purchase Spirit of the Forest first; no matter. I wound up buying everything Cradick is involved with in short order. The music is richly textured, rythmically fascinating and downright fun to listen to, even after scrutinizing the sounds and tracks. The mixing is well done. The cultural merging is artfully performed by skilled musicians. The story of the Baka, having greater sensitivity to sound and using music as ritualistic expression is enchanting. The cause is great! If only we all can experience the same trip to the forest, but no need! It's all in the music. If you listen carefully, you can return with this fine group to the forest whenever you can, even if a steering wheel is all you have to make noise; and you WILL make noise, if there's just the slightest musical inclination in you. If only Eleanor Churchlow were singing with Sue Hart.I saw a recent clip of Eeya Be live with Sue and Eleanor on vocals - what an addition! All the more reason to fly and see this group live, wherever they are. Greece would be nice.. But I digress; Top of the listening list for me, and an easy 5 stars."