Category Archives: World Music

Happy Together

This concert happened on the border between Finland and Russia, it was a celebration of the end of the long Cold War. It was put on by the Finnish joke rock group, The Lenigrad Cowboys featuring the ol’ Red Russian Army Choir. See all the people!

Notice that they are singing, in English, the classic USA Boomer’s anthem: Happy Together!

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Filed under Comedy, Inspiring, Multicultural, VIDEOS, World Music

Electric Guitar Prayer

Reflecting my cultural background and my generation within my cultural background, my favorite musical instrument is the electric guitar. I love all the sounds it can make – well not all of them actually…but the electric guitar offers a great range of depths and heights, and oceans, forests and streams, in between, to modern world musicians.

I do not actually care much for harmoniums which are often used in Sikh Kirtan – much prefer electronic keyboards where excellent Ragis can design the sound of each note if they wish. The harmonium is a colonial thing. A wheezy little organ thing.

Now tablas on the other hand……wow. wow guru.

Here is one of my favorite electric guitar pieces performed by a young Larry Carlton. It was obviously filmed as the final number of as televised concert, so credits roll at the end, and they even cut off the last few notes of the song!

Still it is an excellent example of praying with music, I feel – called “Emotions Wound Us So”.

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Smoke On The Water – Japanese version

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Union Songs!

The fight is between the down and the up, not the right and the left.

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Filed under Fighting Authoritarian Groups, Inspiring, Multicultural, VIDEOS, World Music

Reunion with a Friend Of Mine – Kate Wolf

I am so very pleased to find a couple Kate Wolf videos suddenly out on YouTube. I never met Kate Wolf personally, rather I am a huge fan of hers. I raised my children on Kate Wolf. I grieved tremendously when she died so young of cancer.

Kate Wolf kept right on writing and playing USA folk music, when most of her generation went out and created other musical traditions. She succeeded, especially on the West Coast USA, because she wrote songs about our relationship with Nature, and our experience of deep friendship. I have wanted to perform “Like A River” my whole life, or so it seems now. I love songs that are about Nature and not so much about people.

Like a River:

The young dark haired woman mandolin player is Nina Gerber. When she was a teen she attended a small Kate Wolf concert and she decided that she would learn to play guitar and mandolin so well that Kate Wolf would want her as an accompanist. Nina pull off her dream and also became one of the greatest folk “pickers” of this world.

Here is a Kate Wolf love song about friendships between musicians.

Friend of Mine:

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Filed under Inspiring, Multicultural, Pacific Northwest, VIDEOS, World Music

Tabla!

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Filed under Inspiring, Multicultural, Sikhi, World Music

Glory, Peace and Goodwill Towards All

angel-cloud.jpg

Kamalla Rose Kaur

In memory of Clarice Wills, dancer, teacher, public speaker, peace activist, chef and art collector – fearless feisty performer.

As I entered the lobby of an elegant retirement center a couple days before Christmas a group of lively elder residents started caroling around the gigantic Christmas tree. I headed right to the elevator and traveled to the third and top floor.  I was there to escort an elder friend, age 91, to a party.  My husband waited outside in the car.

But that didn’t stop me from taking a moment after leaving the elevator, to trot over to the balcony rail and gaze down from three tall stories onto the huge and fabulous artificial Christmas tree and the festive elders below.

Enchanting, the world suddenly lit up with an infinitude of little white sparkling lights with gold dust mixed in, accented by reds and greens.

Such a beautiful sight.  And then the caroling  stopped and there was a lovely hush.  No one looked up.

And I almost changed that.  I almost made a spectacle of myself.  I almost decided that I am a soprano – and when the need arises, I am, I am!  I almost proclaimed,  dramatically,  from on-high, the story of Christmas:

“There were shepherds abiding in the field,

keeping watch over their flocks by night.

And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them

and the Glory of the Lord shown round about them.

And they were sore afraid.

The angel said unto them, “Fear not!

For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

For born unto you this day in the City of David,

a savior, which is Christ the Lord!”

But I stepped away without singing and hurried to collect my elder friend.

That section from Handel’s Messiah  isn’t a solo. To really pull it off you have to do the whole passage, including the part where the choir of angels arrive. You must have a fine orchestra.

A grand cathedral works well.  Or maybe the top floor of a local retirement home, for years called The Pink Palace (now locals call it The Cream Castle) looking down over their bedazzling Christmas tree to an audience of big hearted elderly  carolers –  all  Christian and/or intellectual and/or simply  musical enough, to deeply appreciate Handel during the holidays.

In my imagination, it sounded like this:

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Filed under Honoring Our Elders, Inspiring, Multicultural, VIDEOS, World Music