Monday, March 19, 2018

▶ Menez Tan "Totentanz"

[submission] :: Menez Tan's new music video
– The song is named „Totentanz“ (Dance oft the Death) . It is an old Melody, Menez Tan wrote the Lyrics.
It is a Lovestory and begins when a man is walking in deep winter through snow and wind to his love, who is waiting for him for beeing taken to dance.
But he has a bad message to bring her. He has to go to war. During his journey the death is near.
Both, he and his maid, who is spinning at home while she is waiting for him, are remembering the first time they met.
When he reaches the House of his sweetheart they are happy to see each other but very sad about the message. They are afraid about the death who is waiting beside of his chance .
But they don´t want to give up hope, either he will come home alive or - they promised each other- they will dance together in their next lives.


Warum Menez Tan, warum Vulkan? Ein Vulkan bedeutet rohe, ursprüngliche Energie. Wie ein Vulkan kehrt Musik das Innerste zu äußerst, wie bei einem Vulkan tritt Verborgenes zu Tage, werden Verbindungen zwischen der Unter- und Überwelt hergestellt.

Das Instrumentarium mit Gesang, Drehleier, Flöten und Percussion spiegelt sowohl das Unter- als auch Überirdische wieder: Trommeln und Bordune bringen erdige Noten, Flöten entführen in luftige Gefilde. Dazwischen stehen der Gesang und die Melodie als Bindeglied zwischen den Welten.
Menez Tan (bret.: volcano) play medieval and contemporary folk music from various times and regions in sentimental arrangements with both female and male vocals, thereby turning their inside out - just like a volcano.

Why Menez Tan,why volcano? A volcano means raw, primal energy. Like a volcano, music turns the innermost out, like a volcano it reveals what had been hidden, and connections are established between the underworld and the open air.

The choice of instruments, including vocals, Hurdy Gurdy, whistles and percussion, reflects both the underworld and the air. Drums and drones bring earthy notes, whistles lead to airy regions. Between them, the vocals and melody form a link between the worlds.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

#HGWeekly :: Hurdy Gurdy Events on Facebook

Germán Díaz picks up #MestreMateo18 in the category of Best Original Music by Dhogsfilme.

Germán Díaz recolle o #MestreMateo18 na categoría de Mellor música orixinal por Dhogsfilme. Una banda sonora compuesta íntegramente con zanfona *

* Germán Díaz picks up #MestreMateo18 in the category of Best Original Music by Dhogsfilme. A soundtrack composed entirely of zanfona!

Opera prima de Andrés Goteira, protagonizada por Melania Cruz, Carlos Blanco, Antonio Durán 'Morris', Miguel de Lira, Iván Marcos y María Costas. Dhogs señala a los malos, en un mundo perverso de amos y esclavos. Donde los crímenes se suceden ante una sociedad pasiva, insensible, que todo lo permite. Un reflejo de la realidad más oscura.**

** Opera prima by Andrés Goteira, starring Melania Cruz, Carlos Blanco, Antonio Durán 'Morris', Miguel de Lira, Iván Marcos and María Costas. Dhogs points to the bad guys, in a perverse world of masters and slaves. Where crimes occur in the face of a passive society, insensitive, allowing everything. A reflection of the darkest reality. (google translate)

Germán Díaz updated their cover photo (Facebook)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

▶ Hurdy Gurdy in Korea | 계피자매 Gyepi Sisters | Hurdy Gurdy Players in Asia Facebook Group

There a new group on Facebook – Hurdy Gurdy Players in Asia!
"This is a place for hurdy-gurdy players in Asia to connect."

계피자매 Gyepi Sisters –

월드뮤직 밴드 계피자매 |

계피자매는 허디거디 연주자 강희수와 중동 퍼커션 연주자 성현구로 구성된 월드뮤직 밴드입니다. 
허디거디, 다르부카, 리코더, 휘슬, 프레임드럼, 리크 등 세계의 다양한 민속악기들을 연주하며 색다른 음악적 접근과 실험을 통해 국내에서 유례없는 조합의 앙상블을 만들어가고 있습니다.
World Music Band Cinnamon Sisters
The Sisters of Cinnamon are world music bands composed of {Hendigger} dancer Kang Hee-soo and Middle Eastern percussionist Sung Hyun-koo.
It plays various folk musical instruments of the world such as Hurdigeri, Darbuka, recorder, whistle, frame drum, and Leak, and it creates an ensemble of unprecedented combination in Korea through various musical approaches and experiments.

Medieval Hurray
on youtube

Chanconeta Tedesca_중세만세 - YouTube

A Renaissance for an Instrument of Melancholy Magic - The New York Times

HAMBURG, Germany — At the end of Schubert’s great song cycle “Winterreise” stands the Leiermann, a tattered hurdy-gurdy player so repellent that even dogs only growl at him from a distance. And yet there is something about this old beggar, and the endlessly looping tune he cranks out, that fascinates the narrator of this bleak cycle — so much so that the narrator is ready to join him in what promises to be permanent exile, or perhaps death.

Schubert’s Leiermann came to life with startling immediacy at a recent performance of “Winterreise” by the vocalist Natasa Mirkovic at the Elbphilharmonie here. Ms. Mirkovic was accompanied not by a pianist, as usual, but by Matthias Loibner, one of a growing tribe of hurdy-gurdy masters who are ushering this thousand-year-old instrument into its latest reincarnation…

more: A Renaissance for an Instrument of Melancholy Magic - The New York Times

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Two Score and More Scores Review by Quentin Budworth

'Two Score' (Cat No: Blowzabella4) 

'Two Score'– Blowzabella’s latest album is a joy holding a cornucopia of great tunes and songs. Each track is very different to the others reflecting the contrasting musical voices and interests within the band and this keeps the listener on their toes which of course is a great thing for any dance band.

The band’s line-up features world class traditional musicians playing to their strengths with wit, musicality and panache. The price of the album is a small one to spend time in the company of Andy Cutting, Jo Freya, Paul James, Gregory Jolivet, David Shepherd, Barn Stradling and Jon Swayne playing beautifully together throughout proceedings.

Two Score side steps the earlier Blowzabella wall of sound approach, having a much more dynamic approach to arrangements often featuring duets and trios within the music and this really works. The band create lovely dynamics and textures keeping the sound interesting and constantly changing, with different players and instruments taking their turn to come to the fore.

There are four songs on the album and Jo Freya is in fine voice throughout. The pared down instrumentation of ‘Blackberry Fold’ providing a perfect backdrop for her emotive singing. Another favourite is ‘The Uttoxeter Souling Song/Turners’ which features close harmony vocals from Jo Freya and Paul James and which segues seamlessly into Andy Cutting’s big jig ‘Turners.’

One of the stand out tracks is ‘The Lark Descending / Bushes & Briars.’ ‘The Lark Descending’ originally composed by Paul James as a 'rant step' dance and companion to his tune ‘Falco’ is played beautifully by Dave Shepherd as a fiddle led intro to set the scene for the song ‘Bushes & Briars’ sung by Paul James.

But what of the dance tunes I hear you ask? Well the album abounds with them from Gregory Jolivet’s tune ‘Cé’ a fuzzy pentatonic rock waltz which flips between minor and major in a most balletic way. Jo Freya’s SCCS Polka set is a delight, some future session favourites to be found here. Dave Shepherd’s rearrangement of his father’s tunes for ‘The Grenoside Processional’ will keep the folk dancers and English traditional musicians entertained whilst ‘Conteeta’ a 3/8 bourree by Paul James dazzles us with its fiery opening and fierce virtuosity. Jon Swayne’s ‘481’ delights the ear with its ease and relaxed musicality whilst ‘Juggler’s Jig,’ composed by Barnaby Stradling, was written in memory of the shining star who was Jasper King: Chipolata, entertainer, nutcase and gentle man.

Two Score is a great album by a remarkable band. It really is a joy to listen to from start to finish. I can’t wait to see the band playing the material from the new album live. Blowzabella are immersed in English and European folk traditions and over the years have written much new music to delight audiences and players from all over the world. This album has something for everyone and I’m sure many of the tunes will be played in sessions throughout Europe.

I had the pleasure of listening to the album with the accompanying tune book ‘More Scores’ in front of me which really was fantastic experience. ‘More Scores’ is beautifully laid out book and features the tunes and songs from the albums: ‘Two Score’ and ‘Strange News’ hats off to Jon Swayne for his sterling work scoring, editing and compiling it. Dance instructions are by Dave Shepherd and songs are also included in the book which at £12.00 or £6.00 for the pdf is a bargain.

You can preview or purchase ‘Two Score’ and ‘More Scores’ direct from the Blowzabella shop on the band website as a download mp3s or PDF, or in physical form CD or book – here’s the link:

Go on you know you want too! In my opinion the ‘Two Score’ CD at £10 is probably the best tenner you will spend this year. Maybe this year will see Blowzabella get a well-earned lifetime achievement award. After all it takes a certain bloody mindedness, gritty determination and abundance of talent to artfully champion drone based folk music for two score years whilst adding to and developing the living tradition.

Quentin Budworth
Lens-based artist & musician

40 years – Celebration, New Album and Tune Book Launch on 24 March at Cecil Sharp House, London

Blowzabella this weekend. Fri 23 Feb - Stamford Arts Centre. Sat 24 Feb - Diss Corn Hall. Sun 25 Feb - Chorlton Irish Club, Manchester. Advance booking advised.
Blowzabella on Facebook