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Archive for Music

Rise Festival London

It’s summer and I’m lazy, I wish I could say I’m enjoying the sunny weather, well at least for today that’s true. I’ve got a new story up on my other blog about London’s Rise Festival in Finsbury Park. 

You can access it via

www.myspace.com/elisavet_radio

and read more about CSS, Jimmy Cliff, Bassekou Kouyate, The Massukos and Emmanuel Jal.

Elisavet

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Massukos and Etyl

More music updates on my other blog on myspace: 

http://www.myspace.com/elisavet_radio

A live gig review of French singer Etyl, from her concert in Paris last week and a more recent review of the lovely Massukos who played at Hackney Empire. Also a short mention of a few other bands who played at the Hackney Empire gig, which contributed to one of the less fun music listenings experienced in a while, they were I am a Kamura, The Boycott Coca-Cola Experience and Mayming. 

Elisavet

Robyn and Sam Sparro

Robyn and Sam Sparro reviews are up on my site

http://www.myspace.com/elisavet_radio

You’ll find it on the blog on myspace, front page!

Robyn is a big surprise, fantastic performance, catch her while you can, still a few gigs in the UK!

Elisavet

Oslo in 19 pictures

One of the marinas

Sunshine and hot weather as I arrived, not great picture quality, as all pictures were taken with a poor mobile phone camera. This above is one of the marinas as you enter Oslo from the airport Torp.

As soon as I arrived I unloaded my bags and headed to a bar called Blå, in the trendier Grunelökka area of Oslo. But on the way I saw this copper spaceship where music was coming from. As you see this band is setting up for their gig, all around there were caravans, a hangout place for musicians? I didn’t have any time to stick around and ask as I was going to the soundcheck of Norwegian band Valkyrien Allstars.

Valkyrien had just started soundcheck as I walked into to this industrial looking venue, with discoballs and a globe hanging from its ceiling. Even though this is just soundcheck, it sounded brilliant.

Above you see the riverside terasse outside Blå and the colourful graffitti art all around the nearby area.

The surrounding buildings, most of them old style warehouses are used for rehearsal space and studios and there was a lot of music coming out of everywhere as I was walking down this street. Even NRK (Norwegian public broadcasting service) was here on this street, filming a tv-series.

As I said, poor quality on my phone camera. But in the picture above is Stor Overraskelse…. meaning big surprise! This is their name, a Norwegian, brilliant hip-hop band with an extremely talented beat boxer Julian taking a break, at the right of the picture.

The rappers where playing for an international crowd who were attending the Wergelandskonferansen this very night so they brought in extra reinforcment, Mr Anthony who was rapping away in English. The aim of the conference was to build bridges through the means of culture and art between the Middle East and the West.

This is a typical Norwegian fiddle, called Hardingfele, it has a set of strings, below the strings the musicians play upon, and they are vibrating and creating a sound that accompanies the other strings when they are played upon. A beautiful instrument!!

This is the Scream, by Edward Munch.

It was a sunny hot day, a lot of people resorted to the beach, here in Hukodden, just outside Oslo, no sandy beaches, but that didn’t seem to stop the Norwegian vikings from jumping into the water.

© Copyright Elisavet Sotiriadou, June 2008

Bassekou Kouyate and Umbrella

The latest entries on my other blog at: http://www.myspace.com/elisavet_radio

include a short story on Bassekou Kouyate, a musician from Mali who plays the ngoni, a West African desert lute that sounds amazing. Even though he’s been playing music for many years and worked with Toumani Diabaté, Ali Farka Touré and Youssou N’dour, it is only sometime last year that we started hearing of his own solo debut album Segu Blue and his fantastic music. The blog also includes details of how to access the radio feature I have done about him, his music and the griot traditions of Mali online. The programme aired on radio yesterday, but is available for another 29 days on the internet. 

My second story on the same blog is about Rihanna’s song Umbrella and its many different versions of that R’n’B hit from last summer. 

Enjoy the read and have a good week!

Elisavet Sotiriadou

Efficent at work or not..


Sokratis Malamas, photo Giorgos Vitsaropoulos
It took me a whole day to find a CD. I looked all over and could not find it. Found all the other things I wasn’t looking for but the one CD I needed for my radio feature was nowhere. I knew it was in here somewhere, so I wasted a whole day searching until i found it under a cardigan. I think it took something like 20 hours… with breaks of course.

In the meantime I was stressing like crazy thinking that I should be editing and editing and writing my script instead, but oh no, I had to look for the CD and during all this stress I came up with ten ideas for writing blogs and another ten for poems. So I gave in in the end and sat down and scribbled down some poems, they are also somewhere around here now, on pieces of paper, behind receipts, on napkins all being used as book marks. I bet when the time has come to look for these poems, I won’t be able to find them either unless I listen to that CD and write a few more poems…

In the end the album Dromoi, by Sokratis Malamas was in my hands. I have listened to it before, but now I needed to focus on the listening and figure out which songs I should use to illustrate the feature with and this music feature I was working on about him. Sometimes you have this favourite song, but for some reason it won’t fit in with the purpose of the show, or with the feature or there is some other production/editing reason that makes you leave out a song in favour of another.

This time I think I just decided that as it is a Greek singer to be featured on a radio station in a non-Greek speaking country, the most important thing is the melody and harmonies not the lyrics, as so few people will understand the lyrics. I also got help in getting a selection of his older songs from one of his record label representatives. 

I remember one of the first things Sokratis Malamas asked me was who was going to listen to this interview I was about to do? Was it going to be for Greeks in Sweden, or not? I said the show is not a language programme for minorities or immigrants, it is purely a music programme featuring music from all kinds of places in the world, so it is not exclusively a Greek audience, but a Swedish one. 

And then he asked me, but how will my music and my lyrics reach these people, if they don’t understand the language I’m singing in and I don’t understand theirs?

Well, he might have a point. If you do get to listen, you’ll find out if his music will reach you. I believe that music is universal and of course you get a better experience when understanding the language a song is sung in, but I have personally listened to many songs in foreign languages and love them, not because I understand the meaning of any of the words, but because I like the sound and the feeling a song sends out. If you would like to listen to the feature it runs on Swedish Radio and here is the link: 

http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/p2/program/arkiv.asp?ProgramID=2486&formatID=116&Max=2008-06-08&Min=2006-01-22&PeriodStart=2008-05-01&Period=3&Artikel=2071143

It’s available for up to a month after the show airs tomorrow Sunday 18th May 2008. You can access it via the link above. I hope you will enjoy listening to it and that it will introduce you to some new music.

Sokratis Malamas, photo Giorgos Vitsaropoulos 

Elisavet

Garage Band

I know I said I love music but don’t worry I have not started a band, at least not yet, am only referring to the audio editing programme on Mac computers called Garage Band, which I think can turn any garbage to music. I recently went to one of their workshops in hope of finding out how you use this software to edit sound on, but was amazed to see how easy it is to make up music…. Makes me wonder which of the musicians and artists out there uses this and if they are able to play any music at all on proper instruments?

Before anyone starts throwing rotten tomatoes at me or any other biodegradable food, yes of course there are musicians out there who can play, but the computers make it soooooo much easier, that even I, who cannot sing or play much anymore, have the ability and possibility to make music!

Another thing I heard from a musician and producer recently, was that some bands actually hire “proper” musicians to play when they record their albums, because the actual band members are not good enough musicians. They can get away with their playing on their live performances, but apparently on the album it has to be tight and perfect musically. So the image is more important than actually being able to play the guitar well or sing well. 

Hmm, again can’t help but wonder: who is behind the music? A person or a computer, or a person behind the computer in charge of the computer? I’m sure a lot of people go to concerts and see the computers and laptops as an integrated part of the band, they provide loops and some of the arrangements and maybe some of the instruments that cannot be played for practical reasons, not enough band members or not enough money to pay for more band members. In effect, these computers contribute to the full sound that reaches our ears!

Again makes it possible for people with not so much money to make music. But what about the ones who have the money and can afford to hire in all the musicians and still they use the computers?

And what about Milli Vanilli and Boney M, would they had made it big had we known from start they were selling an image and music, but not actually singing themselves?

Ok I better go back to what I should be doing, which is editing, but before I get there I should start with the transcpription of my one hour long conversation interview with one of the Greek modern philosphers around Sokratis..