Monday, December 14, 2015

Ravi Shankar (discography)

Ravi Shankar (IPA: [ˈrɔbi ˈʃɔŋkɔr]; 7 April 1920 – 11 December 2012), born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury, his name often preceded by the title Pandit, was an Indian musician and composer who was one of the best-known exponents of the sitar in the second half of the 20th century as a composer of Hindustani classical music.
Shankar was born to a Bengali family in Benares, British India, and spent his youth touring India and Europe with the dance group of his brother Uday Shankar. He gave up dancing in 1938 to study sitar playing under court musician Allauddin Khan. After finishing his studies in 1944, Shankar worked as a composer, creating the music for the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray, and was music director of All India Radio, New Delhi, from 1949 to 1956.
In 1956 he began to tour Europe and the Americas playing Indian classical music and increased its popularity there in the 1960s through teaching, performance, and his association with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and Beatles guitarist George Harrison. Shankar engaged Western music by writing compositions for sitar and orchestra, and toured the world in the 1970s and 1980s. From 1986 to 1992, he served as a nominated member of Rajya Sabha, the upper chamber of the Parliament of India. He continued to perform up until the end of his life. In 1999, Shankar was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.
Shankar was born on 7 April 1920 in Varanasi, British India, to a Bengali family, as the youngest of seven brothers. His father, Shyam Shankar, was a Middle Temple barrister and scholar from East Bengal (now Bangladesh). A respected statesman, lawyer and politician, he served for several years as dewan (chief minister) of Jhalawar, Rajasthan, and used the Sanskrit spelling of the family name and removed its last part.[2][6] Shyam was married to Shankar's mother Hemangini Devi who hailed from a small village named Nasrathpur in Mardah block of Ghazipur district, near Benares, and her father was a prosperous landlord. Shyam later worked as a lawyer in London, England, and there he married a second time while Devi raised Shankar in Varanasi, and did not meet his son until he was eight years old. Shankar shortened the Sanskrit version of his first name, Ravindra, to Ravi, for "sun". Shankar had six siblings, only four of whom lived past infancy: Uday, Rajendra, Debendra and Bhupendra. Shankar attended the Bengalitola High School in Benares between 1927 and 1928.
At the age of ten, after spending his first decade in Varanasi, Shankar went to Paris with the dance group of his brother, choreographer Uday Shankar. By the age of 13 he had become a member of the group, accompanied its members on tour and learned to dance and play various Indian instruments. Uday's dance group toured Europe and the United States in the early to mid-1930s and Shankar learned French, discovered Western classical music, jazz, cinema and became acquainted with Western customs. Shankar heard the lead musician for the Maihar court, Allauddin Khan, in December 1934 at a music conference in Kolkata and Uday convinced the Maharaja of Maihar in 1935 to allow Khan to become his group's soloist for a tour of Europe. Shankar was sporadically trained by Khan on tour, and Khan offered Shankar training to become a serious musician under the condition that he abandon touring and come to Maihar.



Training and work in India

Shankar's parents had died by the time he returned from the European tour, and touring the West had become difficult due to political conflicts that would lead to World War II. Shankar gave up his dancing career in 1938 to go to Maihar and study Indian classical music as Khan's pupil, living with his family in the traditional gurukul system. Khan was a rigorous teacher and Shankar had training on sitar and surbahar, learned ragas and the musical styles dhrupad, dhamar, and khyal, and was taught the techniques of the instruments rudra veena, rubab, and sursingar. He often studied with Khan's children Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi. Shankar began to perform publicly on sitar in December 1939 and his debut performance was a jugalbandi (duet) with Ali Akbar Khan, who played the string instrument sarod.
Shankar completed his training in 1944. Following his training, he moved to Mumbai and joined the Indian People's Theatre Association, for whom he composed music for ballets in 1945 and 1946.[4][14] Shankar recomposed the music for the popular song "Sare Jahan Se Achcha" at the age of 25.[15][16] He began to record music for HMV India and worked as a music director for All India Radio (AIR), New Delhi, from February 1949 to January 1956. Shankar founded the Indian National Orchestra at AIR and composed for it; in his compositions he combined Western and classical Indian instrumentation. Beginning in the mid-1950s he composed the music for the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray, which became internationally acclaimed. He was music director for several Hindi movies including Godaan and Anuradha.

Style and contributions

Shankar developed a style distinct from that of his contemporaries and incorporated influences from rhythm practices of Carnatic music. His performances begin with solo alap, jor, and jhala (introduction and performances with pulse and rapid pulse) influenced by the slow and serious dhrupad genre, followed by a section with tabla accompaniment featuring compositions associated with the prevalent khyal style. Shankar often closed his performances with a piece inspired by the light-classical thumri genre.
Shankar has been considered one of the top sitar players of the second half of the 20th century. He popularised performing on the bass octave of the sitar for the alap section and became known for a distinctive playing style in the middle and high registers that used quick and short deviations of the playing string and his sound creation through stops and strikes on the main playing string. Narayana Menon of The New Grove Dictionary noted Shankar's liking for rhythmic novelties, among them the use of unconventional rhythmic cycles. Hans Neuhoff of Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart has argued that Shankar's playing style was not widely adopted and that he was surpassed by other sitar players in the performance of melodic passages. Shankar's interplay with Alla Rakha improved appreciation for tabla playing in Hindustani classical music. Shankar promoted the jugalbandi duet concert style and claims to have introduced new ragas Tilak Shyam, Nat Bhairav and Bairagi.


Mainstream Success

In 1954, Shankar gave a recital in the Soviet Union. In 1956, he debuted in the United States and Western Europe. Also helping his star rise was the score he wrote for famous Indian film director Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy. The first of these films, Pather Panchali, won the Grand Prix—now known as the Golden Palm or Palme d'Or—at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. The prize is been awarded to the best film of the festival.
Already an ambassador of Indian music to the Western world, Shankar embraced this role even more fully in the 1960s. That decade saw Shankar's performance at the Monterey Pop Festival, as well as his set at Woodstock in 1969. Additionally, in 1965, George Harrison began studying sitar with Shankar, and even played the instrument on the Beatles' track "Norwegian Wood."

Concert for Bangladesh

Shankar's partnership with Harrison proved to be even more significant years later. In 1971, Bangladesh became a hotbed of armed conflict between Indian and Muslim Pakistani forces. Along with the issues of violence, the country was inundated with ferocious flooding. Seeing the famine and hardship faced by the country's civilians, Shankar and Harrison organized the Concert for Bangladesh. The concert took place at Madison Square Garden and featured performers such as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Shankar and Harrison. Proceeds from the show, which is largely considered to be the first major modern charity concert, went to the aid organization UNICEF to help Bangladeshi refugees. Additionally, the album made for the benefit by the performing artists won the 1971 Grammy Award for album of the year.

Later Career

From the 1970s to the early 21st century, Shankar's fame, recognition and achievement continued to grow steadily. In 1982, his score for Richard Attenborough's film Gandhi earned him an Oscar nomination. In 1987, Shankar experimented with adding electronic music to his traditional sound, sparking music's New Age movement. All the while, he continued to compose orchestral music blending Western and Indian instrumentation, including a collaboration with Phillip Glass: the 1990 album Passages.
Throughout his career, Shankar received criticism for not being a classical purist from some Indian traditionalists. In response, the musician once said, "I have experimented with non-Indian instruments, even electronic gadgets. But all my experiences were based on Indian ragas. When people discuss tradition, they don't know what they are talking about. Over centuries, classical music has undergone addition, beautification, and improvement—always sticking to its traditional basis. Today, the difference is that the changes are faster."

Death and Legacy

Shankar won many awards and honors throughout his career, including 14 honorary degrees, two Grammy Awards, and a membership to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Shankar died on December 11, 2012, in San Diego, California, at the age of 92. The musician had reportedly suffered from upper respiratory and heart ailments throughout 2012, and had undergone surgery to replace a heart valve in the days leading up to his death. Shankar was survived by two daughters who are also musicians, sitar player Anoushka Shankar and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Norah Jones.
Known fondly today as the "godfather of world music," Shankar is remembered for using his wealth of talent to infuse Indian culture into the world's forever-growing music scene, and is largely credited with building a large following for Eastern music in the West. 

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Yoyo - Pierre Étaix (1965)

Yo Yo is the son of a 1920s billionaire who, although having everything he fancies and living in a cavernous old castle, is not happy, fancying the simple life of a beautiful circus actress. When the stock-exchange crashes, rendering him both poor and free. Thus, he joins the circus where his love interest is performing, and fall madly in love. They have a son who starts in the circus as a clown, but later becomes a successful actor star and uses his new wealth to buy back his father's castle.

all movie 

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Monday, November 9, 2015

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. It stars Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch and Mary Badham in the role of Scout.
The film, widely considered to be one of the greatest ever made, earned an overwhelmingly positive response from critics. A box office success, it earned more than 10 times its budget. The film won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Peck, and was nominated for eight, including Best Picture.
In 1995 the film was listed in the National Film Registry. It also ranks twenty-fifth on the American Film Institute's 10th anniversary list of the greatest American movies of all time. In 2003, AFI named Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero of the 20th century.
To Kill a Mockingbird marked the film debuts of Robert Duvall, William Windom, and Alice Ghostley.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Frente Cumbiero meets Mad Professor (2010)

Frente Cumbiero have pushed themselves to the front of the international cumbia scene after releasing their Pitchito 7″ last year. Now they have followed it up with Frente Cumbiero Meets Mad Professor, a record that will surely solidify their status as ones to watch.
Frente Cumbiero Meets Mad Professor is a collaboration between Frente Cumbiero, dub producer Mad Professor and a number of other Bogotá-based artists such as Liliana Saumet (Bomba Estéreo), Javier Fonseca (Alerta Kamarada), Kiño (Kmusic) and Shaun Turner.
Mad Professor – who hails from Georgetown, Guyana – is renowned for working with artists such as Lee “Scratch” Perry, Massive Attack and The Orb.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

HAWKWIND (discography)

Hawkwind are an English rock band, one of the earliest space rock groups. Their lyrics favour urban and science fiction themes. Formed in November 1969, Hawkwind have gone through many incarnations and styles of music. Dozens of musicians, dancers, and writers have worked with the group since their inception.

1969: Formation

Dave Brock and Mick Slattery had been in the London-based psychedelic band Famous Cure, and a meeting with bassist John Harrison revealed a mutual interest in electronic music which led the trio to embark upon a new musical venture together. Seventeen-year-old drummer Terry Ollis replied to an advert in a music weekly, while Nik Turner and Michael 'Dik Mik' Davies, old acquaintances of Brock, offered help with transport and gear, but were soon pulled into the band.
Gatecrashing a local talent night at the All Saints Hall, Notting Hill, they were so untogether as to not even have a name, plumping for "Group X" at the last minute, nor any songs, choosing to play an extended 20-minute jam on The Byrds "Eight Miles High". BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel was in the audience and was impressed enough to tell event organiser, Douglas Smith, to keep an eye on them. Smith signed them up and got them a deal with Liberty Records on the back of a deal he was setting up for Cochise.
The band settled on the name Hawkwind after briefly being billed as Hawkwind Zoo, Hawkwind being the nickname of Turner derived from his unappealing habit of clearing his throat (hawking) and excessive flatulence (wind). Another version of the origin of their name says they took it from one of Michael Moorcock's stories. Moorcock himself denies this story, however, and points out that there is no story of that name. An Abbey Road session took place recording demos of "Hurry On Sundown" and others (included on the remasters version of Hawkwind), after which Slattery left to be replaced by Huw Lloyd-Langton, who had known Brock from his days working in a music shop selling guitar strings to Brock, then a busker.

1970–1975: United Artists Era

Pretty Things guitarist Dick Taylor was brought in to produce the 1970 debut album Hawkwind. Although it was not a commercial success, it did bring them to the attention of the UK underground scene finding them playing free concerts, benefit gigs, and festivals. Playing free outside the Bath Festival, they encountered another Ladbroke Grove based band, the Pink Fairies, who shared similar interests in music and recreational activities; a friendship developed which led to the two bands becoming running partners and performing as "Pinkwind". Their use of drugs, however, led to the departure of Harrison, who did not imbibe, to be replaced briefly by Thomas Crimble (about July '70 - March '71). Crimble played on a few BBC sessions before leaving to help organise the Glastonbury Free Festival 1971; he sat in during the band's performance there. Lloyd-Langton also quit, after a bad LSD trip at the Isle of Wight Festival led to a nervous breakdown.
Their follow up album, 1971's In Search of Space, brought greater commercial success, reaching number 18 on the UK album charts, and also saw the band's image and philosophy take shape, courtesy of graphic artist Barney Bubbles and underground press writer Robert Calvert, as depicted in the accompanying Hawklog booklet which would further be developed into the Space Ritual stage show. Science fiction author Michael Moorcock and dancer Stacia also started contributing to the band. Dik Mik had left the band, replaced by sound engineer Del Dettmar, but chose to return for this album giving the band two electronics players. Bass player Dave Anderson, who had been in the German band Amon Düül II, had also joined and played on the album but departed before its release because of personal tensions with some other members of the band. Anderson and Lloyd-Langton then formed the short-lived band Amon Din. Meanwhile, Ollis quit, unhappy with the commercial direction the band were heading in.
The addition of bassist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister and drummer Simon King propelled the band to greater heights. One of the early gigs this band played was a benefit for the Greasy Truckers at The Roundhouse on 13 February 1972. A live album of the concert Greasy Truckers Party was released, and after re-recording the vocal, a single "Silver Machine" was also released, reaching number 3 in the UK charts. This generated sufficient funds for the subsequent album Doremi Fasol Latido Space Ritual tour. The show featured dancers Stacia and Miss Renee, mime artist Tony Carrera and a light show by Liquid Len and was recorded on the elaborate package Space Ritual. At the height of their success in 1973, the band released the single "Urban Guerrilla" which coincided with an IRA bombing campaign in London, so the BBC refused to play it and the band's management reluctantly decided to withdraw it fearing accusations of opportunism, despite the disc having already climbed to number 39 in the UK chart.
Dik Mik departed during 1973 and Calvert ended his association with the band to concentrate on solo projects. Dettmar also indicated that he was to leave the band, so Simon House was recruited as keyboardist and violinist playing live shows, a North America tour and recording the 1974 album Hall of the Mountain Grill. Dettmar left after a European tour and emigrated to Canada, whilst Alan Powell deputised for an incapacitated King on that European tour, but remained giving the band two drummers.
At the beginning of 1975, the band recorded the album Warrior on the Edge of Time in collaboration with Michael Moorcock, loosely based on his Eternal Champion figure. However, during a North America tour in May, Lemmy was caught in possession of amphetamine crossing the border from the USA into Canada. The border police mistook the powder for cocaine and he was jailed, forcing the band to cancel some shows. Fed up with his erratic behaviour, the band fired the bass player replacing him with their long-standing friend and former Pink Fairies guitarist Paul Rudolph. Lemmy then teamed up with another Pink Fairies guitarist, Larry Wallis, to form Motörhead, named after the last song he had written for Hawkwind.
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Friday, April 3, 2015

Boards of Canada (discography)

Boards of Canada (commonly abbreviated BoC) are a Scottish electronic music duo consisting of brothers Michael Sandison (born 1 June 1970) and Marcus Eoin (born Marcus Eoin Sandison, 21 July 1971).
They have released several works on Warp Records with little advertising and few interviews, while also having an elusive and obscure back-catalogue of releases on their self-run Music70 label. They have also recorded at least four tracks under the alias of Hell Interface.

Growing up in a musical family, brothers Mike Sandison and Marcus Eoin began playing instruments at a young age. They experimented with recording techniques at around the age of 10, using tape machines to layer cut-up samples of found sounds over compositions of their own.
In their teens they participated in a number of amateur bands. However, it was not until 1986 when Marcus was invited to Mike's band that Boards of Canada was born, naming themselves after the documentary TV films by the National Film Board of Canada that they watched as children. By 1989, the band had been reduced to Sandison and Eoin. In the early 1990s, a number of collaborations took place and the band put on small shows among the "Hexagon Sun" collective.


Major releases

Studio albums


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Saturday, March 14, 2015

GONG (band)

Gong is a Franco-British rock band formed by Australian musician Daevid Allen. Other notable band members include Tim Blake, Didier Malherbe, Pip Pyle, Gilli Smyth, Steve Hillage, Francis Moze, Mike Howlett and Pierre Moerlen. Others who have played in Gong include Bill Bruford, Brian Davison, Don Cherry and Chris Cutler.

Gong was formed in 1967, after Allen—then a member of Soft Machine—was denied re-entry to the United Kingdom because of a visa complication. Allen remained in France where he and a London-born Sorbonne professor, Gilli Smyth, established the first incarnation of the band. This line-up, including Ziska Baum on vocals and Loren Standlee on flute, fragmented during the 1968 student revolution, with Allen and Smyth forced to flee France for Deià in Majorca.
They allegedly found saxophonist Didier Malherbe living in a cave in Deià, before film director Jérôme Laperrousaz invited the band back to France to record the soundtrack of his movie Continental Circus. They were subsequently approached by Jean Karakos of the newly formed independent label BYG and signed a multi-album deal with them. Albums Magick Brother/Mystic Sister (1970), Camembert Electrique (1971), and Allen's solo album Bananamoon (1971) were all released on BYG.
Gong played at the second Glastonbury Festival in June 1971 (the performance being issued as a side-long track on the 3-LP vinyl festival record release Glastonbury Fayre, later re-mixed and re-edited and released by GAS in 2001 as Glastonbury 1971), followed by a UK tour in Autumn. In late 1972 they were one of the first acts to sign to Virgin Records, getting first pick of the Manor Studio's time ahead of Mike Oldfield. By that time, a regular line-up had been established, and Gong released their Flying Teapot album in May 1973. The following year 1974, Camembert Electrique (1971) was given a belated UK release, priced at 59p which was the price of a typical single, a promotional gimmick Virgin had done before in 1973 on an album by Faust, and would do again for a reggae compilation in 1976. These ultra-budget albums sold in large quantities because of the low price, but this pricing made them ineligible for placement on album charts. The intention was that purchasers would be encouraged to buy the groups' other albums at full price.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pieta (2012)


Pietà (Hangul: 피에타) is a 2012 South Korean film. The 18th feature written and directed by Kim Ki-duk, it depicts the mysterious relationship between a brutal man who works for loan sharks and a middle-aged woman who claims that she is his mother, mixing Christian symbolism and highly sexual content.
It made its world premiere in the competition line-up of the 69th Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion. It is the first Korean film to win the top prize at one of the three major international film festivals — Venice, Cannes and Berlin.
The title refers to the Italian Pietà (piety/pity), signifying depictions of the Virgin Mary cradling the corpse of Jesus.


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Monday, January 19, 2015

Jani Christou

The function of music is to create soul, 
by creating conditions for myth,
the root of all soul.
Where there is no soul,
music creates it.
Where there is soul,
music sustains it.
Jani Christou
Chios, 23rd Aug 1968

On January 8th 1970, in a car accident a few kilometers outside Athens, the contemporary music world lost one of its most exciting and provocative talents. Although Jani Christou was only 44 when he died, he was regarded by many as one of the leading composers of his generation. He was controversial, highly talented, and greatly admired both in his own country and abroad. And yet although his name remains respected in contemporary music circles to this day, performances of his music are extremely rare. 

At the time of Christou's death, his music was being heard at some of the most prestigious international music festivals in the world, and he was also preparing to unveil the most ambitious project of his career - a large scale contemporary opera based on Aeschylus's Oresteia (1967-70). However, Christou's untimely death left many projects incomplete including the Oresteia which would have received its world premiere at the English Bach Festival in London in April 1970, with further performances scheduled for France, Japan, America and Scandinavia. 

Jani Christou was born at Heliopolis, N.E. of Cairo on January 9th, 1926, of Greek parents. He was educated at the English School in Alexandria, and began composing at an early age. In 1945 he travelled to England to study formal logic and philosophy at Kingâs College, Cambridge under Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell (he attained an MA in philosophy in 1948). At the same time he studied music privately with H. F. Redlich, the distinguished musicologist and pupil of Alban Berg, and in 1949 travelled to Rome to study orchestration with F. Lavagnino. He also travelled widely in Europe, culminating for a short period in Zurich, where he met and attended lectures in psychology with Carl Jung. Christou's studies in psychology were greatly encouraged by his brother Evanghelos (himself a pupil of Jung) whom Christou considered his spiritual mentor and who exerted a strong influence on his creative thinking. Christou was deeply affected by his brother's death in 1956 as the result of a car accident, and it was Jani who arranged the posthumous publication of Evanghelos's book The Logos of the Soul. 

He returned to Alexandria in 1951, and in 1956 he married Theresia Horemi a remarkable young painter from Chios who supported and assisted Christou in all his artistic and creative aspirations. Christou would compose for long hours at a stretch, and when not actually physically engaged in the act of composing would spend a great deal of time studying in his vast library of books and absorbing subjects from philosophy, anthropology, psychology, theology and comparative religions, history and pre-history through to occultism and art. Christou was as much a philosopher and metaphysician as he was a composer, and it is important to understand that all of his music sprang from his philosophical studies and theories. This is particularly so in the music covering the last ten years of his life, where his compositional techniques are at times transmuted beyond conventional music. In a series of Î130 Projectsâ (described by John G. Papaioannou as 130 metamusical, ritual works) Christou extends musical syntax to such a degree that the boundaries between music, theatre and everyday 'life', merge, coexist and sometimes become mutually independent one from the other: Anaparastasis III (The Pianist) for actor and instrumental ensemble and tapes (1968); Anaparastasis I, for baritone and instrumental ensemble (1968) and Enantiodromia are prime examples of this genre of Christou's late music. 

The large scale contemporary opera Oresteia, a massive stage ritual based on the text by Aeschylus, for actors, singers, dancers, chorus, orchestra, tape and visual effects (in which several of the Anaparastasis of the fifth period would have certainly been incorporated), would have served as a grand summation of Christou's life's work up to that point had the tragic accident on the 8th January 1970 not intervened and cut short the life of one of the musical world's most unique and highly talented creative spirits. A passage from Anthony Kenny's book Wittgenstein may provide us with a clue to the philosophy behind his latter works: 

What the metaphysician attempts to say cannot be said, but can only be shown. Philosophy, rightly understood, is not a set of theories, but an activity, the clarification of propositions. Above all, philosophy will not provides us with any answer to the problems of life. Propositions show how things are; but how things are in the world is of no importance in relation to anything sublime. 

'It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists.' 

from Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus 6.432, 644 - L. Wittgenstein 

Michael Stewart © 1999 



Vol. I: Phoenix Music / Six T.S. Eliot Songs / The Strychnine Lady / Enantiodromia ‎
Vol. II: Symphony No 1 / Tongues Of Fire / Anaparastasis I / Epicycle [II] ‎
Vol. III: Patterns And Permutations / Mysterion / Anaparastasis III [The Pianist] ‎
Vol. IV: Six T.S. Eliot Songs / Praxis For 12 / Epicycle (I) ‎