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WORLD AND FOLK MUSIC NEWS

Moipei Quartet - In the Land of the Lion

Moipei Quartet - In the Land of the Lion

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Ireland’s Legendary Clannad Tour UK and Ireland Nationally in October/November

Ireland’s Legendary Clannad Tour UK and Ireland Nationally in October/November

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WOMEX 14 Announcement

WOMEX 14 Announcement

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Coimbra – Fado Ricardo Dias Ensemble

Coimbra – Fado Ricardo Dias Ensemble

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Contigo – ‘with you’ Marta Gomez Songs with Latin American Soul

Contigo – ‘with you’ Marta Gomez Songs with Latin American Soul

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NEWS

Moipei Quartet - In the Land of the Lion

Moipei Quartet In the Land of the Lion

Moipei is a family name for a set of singing triplets and their sibling, making up the Moipei Quartet who share their new album – In the Land of the Lion – with the world. The Moipei Quartet have much to sing about their beloved home – Africa; its people, environment, children, majestic wildlife and everything that is now fighting to survive within its shores.

The Moipei family hail from Kenya and since they formed the Moipei Quartet have been making quite a stir In the Land of the Lion. In June 2006, they were appointed as the first ever UNICEF Child Ambassadors from Kenya and their stated goal is to sing to the world advocating the rights of children throughout Africa and beyond.

In the Land of the Lion starts with an accapella Kenyan version of John Denver’s classic Country Roads which includes the

‘Masai maidens, by still waters/dark and dusty painted on the sky/mighty roaming tuskers bring tears to my eyes... back in Kenya, mountain mama/ take me home, oh country roads...’

Stunning four part harmonies are a vocal trademark of not only their version of Peter Tsotsi and Nashil Pichen’s ‘Pole Musa’, but run throughout In the Land of the Lion. The Moipei Quartet comprises the triplets – Mary Nenkai, Magdaline Namanyara and Marta Siteiua – accompanied by their younger sister Seraphine Setoon Moipei. Their parents – Nicholas and Christine Moipei – trained their daughters to sing since the age of 2 and a fine job they have done.

In the Land of the Lion is as much a dedication to the African lion as well as songs that celebrate the strength of a great continent. The African lion has come to symbolise a way of life for many people experiencing the changing landscape of their beautiful world.

What of the actual African lion today? It is estimated that there has been as much as a 90% reduction in the African lion population which in the 1980s was between 150,000-200,000 and in the last two decades less than 21,000 in the whole continent. Kenya – home to the Moipei Quartet – has about 10% of the total African lion population but it is feared that this may well reduce to extinction over the next 20 years due to climate change, hunting, disease, poaching and loss of habitat. As Kenya’s landscape becomes encroached on with modern development blocks pervading the city skyline, many fear that the Kenyan way of life, symbolised by a free roaming African lion will, just like the actual lion, die out over the years. Gone will be the nomadic lifestyle of many Kenyan farmers, herders and tribal groups.

Themes of praise and worship are central to In the Land of the Lion, perhaps best represented by the quartet’s stunning 4-part harmonies ofVeni Sanctus Spiritus as well many traditional songs and hymns re-arranged Moipei-style, such as Panis Angelicus, Kokoliko, Ashe Naleneg Enkai Ai, The Little Brown Church in the Vale and Nakupia Yesu. Alongside the traditional African chants there are stunning performances of the Latin text Ave Maria, the Christian hymns Amazing Grace, The Day Thou Gavest Lord is Ended and O Holy Night. The sound of the Moipei Quartet is as unique and as varied as the actual In the Land of the Lion from which they came. Out now through ARC Music.

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Ireland’s Legendary Clannad Tour UK and Ireland Nationally in October/November

Clannad Nádúr

Ireland’s legendary band Clannad start a national UK and Irish tour in October/November with 18 dates in just over 4 weeks. Hailing from County Donegal in 1970, Clannad’s career has spanned more than forty years attaining international success in the 1980s with their music for the TV show Harry’s Game and Robin of Sherwood. In 2013, Clannad recorded their first studio album – Nádúr – since their 1998's Grammy winning Landmarks. In 2014, Clannad were recipients of BBC Radio 2’s 2014 Lifetime Achievement Awards and were also nominated in the Songlines Music Awards 2014 for Best Group with their album Nádúr.

Clannad will be touring with their full original line-up – siblings Moya, Ciarán and Pól Brennan and their twin uncles Noel and Pádraig Duggan – now performing together again after Pól had left the band in 1990. Nádúr is a fitting title for the coming together of this legendary Celtic family band, being the Gaelic word for nature.

Clannad's national UK tour kicks off on Friday October 10th at the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northamptonshire and takes them to Coventry, York, Reading, London, Llandudno, Dunfermline, Belfast and many more locations including Liverpool Cathedral. The Irish leg of the tour culminates in Dublin at The Olympia Theatre on Sunday 2nd November.

Speaking about the band’s influence on Irish culture worldwide, the Irish Ambassador for the UK, Daniel Mulhall said, “ Clannad were really the first group who actually embraced our gaelic traditions, the Donegal Gaeltacht [Irish language], and turned those into part of the cultural heritage of the world.

Clannad’s achievements have been hailed by Bono, " Not since Seán Ó Riada gave birth to the nation has there been such a unique talent to remind us of who we are, who we were and who we can be, ancient and modern at the same time. Clannad, we owe you ." – Bono

For interviews please e-mail: angie@arcmusic.co.uk

For a full list of Clannad's tour dates click on link: http://www.songkick.com/artists/226055-clannad

Clannad National Tour Dates October/November 2014

Fri 10 Oct

UK

Northamptonshire

Royal & Derngate Theatre

Sat 11 Oct

UK

Coventry

Warwick Arts Centre

Sun 12 Oct

UK

York

Grand Opera House

Mon 13 Oct

UK

Liverpool

Cathedral

Tues 14 Oct

UK

Ipswich

Regent Theatre

Thurs 16 Oct

UK

Llandudno

Venue Cymru

Fri 17 Oct

UK

Reading

Hexagon

Sat 18 Oct

UK

London

Union Chapel

Tues 21 Oct

UK

Worthing

England Assembly Hall

Wed 22 Oct

UK

Dorking

Dorking Halls

Thurs 23 Oct

UK

Lincoln

The Engine Shed

Fri 24 Oct

UK

Carlisle

England Sands Centre

Sat 25 Oct

UK

Dunfermline

Scotland Alhambra Theatre

Wed 29 Oct

Ireland

Limerick

University Concert Hall

Thurs 30 Oct

Ireland

Cork

Cork Opera House

Fri 31st Oct

Northern Ireland

Belfast

Waterfront Hall

Sat 01 Nov

Ireland

Castlebar

Royal Theatre

Sun 02 Nov

Ireland

Dublin

The Olympia Theatre

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



WOMEX 14 Announcement

We are pleased to announce that ARC Music is included in the WOMEX Top Labels 2014 as we continue to preserve and promote traditional world and folk music from all corners of the globe, celebrating our 38th anniversary.

ARC Artists to perform at WOMEX 2014

Spain’s capital city of Galicia - Santiago de Compostela - in north western Spain will host WOMEX 2014. ARC artists that are confirmed to perform at WOMEX include the iconic Portuguese fado guitarist, Custódio Castelo at Teatro Principal on Thursday 23 October at 21.00 pm and Basque folk group Korrontzi at La Cruna on Friday 24 October. ARC Music will be releasing a new album from one of Cuba’s most notable singers – Mayito Rivera – in 2015 who will also be performing at WOMEX on October 23rd.

https://www.womex.com/

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Coimbra – Fado Ricardo Dias Ensemble

Coimbra – Fado - Ricardo Dias Ensemble

In 2013, the University of Coimbra in Portugal took its place as a UNESCO World Heritage listed building. Established in 1290, the University of Coimbra is not only one of the oldest operational universities in the world, but is considered the birthplace of Coimbra fado, cultivated by students and developed strongly in the 1880s to become the ‘Canção de Coimbra’ or ‘the songs of Coimbra.’

ARC Music is proud to release an album created by musical and lyrical masters of the Coimbra fado tradition – the Ricardo Dias Ensemble. Coimbra-Fado is produced, arranged and directed by Ricardo J. Dias (not to be confused with the second Ricardo Dias who plays acoustic guitar on the album). Dias – winner of the acclaimed José Afonso prize – is musical director to renowned ‘fadista’ (fado singer) Cristina Branco and the legendary Portuguese folk band, Brigada Victor Jara.

The Ricardo Dias Ensemble instrumental line-up is completed by Bernardo Moreira (bass) and Ni Ferreirinha (classical guitar). Ni Ferreirinha is a key figure in the development and spreading the songs of Coimbra, while singer and band member José Vilhena’s voice embodies some of the most beautiful fados/songs of Coimbra. This album also features some of the finest contemporary guest Coimbra fado singers including Nuno Silva and Antonia Ataide.

Ricardo Dias Ensemble have created a world-class Coimbra fado album that stretches tradition while maintaining the musical imprint of the early fado masters. Re Menor is an instrumental composed by the great Gonzalo Paredes, cultivator of the Coimbra guitar style, father of the late Artur Paredes and grandfather of Carlos Paredes.

Ricardo J. Dias’ goal with Coimbra-Fado is to raise the public profile of Coimbra fado and add new sounds to traditional themes. Homem So, Meu Irmao (‘man, my brother’) was written by the Coimbran poet, singer and composer Luiz Goes, and has been arranged with tastefully soft trumpet and piano accompaniment. Coimbra-Fado includes music previously unreleased on an album – Sede E Morte (‘thirst and death’) – penned by the Portuguese guitar master, Carlos Paredes, the ‘man of a thousand fingers.’

Verdes Anos (‘green years’) is an instrumental masterpiece originally written by Carlos Paredes for the Director Paulo Rocha and remains an iconic Portuguese anthem to which has been added double bass and accordion. The Ricardo Dias Ensemble continue the Coimbra fado tradition of making the instruments assume a prominent role while in Lisbon fado, the guitar is more an accompaniment.

The traditional applause for Coimbra fado is a clearing of one’s throat, a delicate cough, while Lisbon audiences opt for clapping. Expect a lot of throat-clearing after listening to Coimbra-Fado. Out now through ARC Music.

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Contigo – ‘with you’ Marta Gomez Songs with Latin American Soul

Marta Gomez - Songs with Latin American Soul

Contigo – Songs with Latin American Soul – is the latest Marta Gomez compilation album packed with award-winning original songs sung by the lady who smiles while she sings. Contigo – Portuguese for ‘with you’ contains songs taken from Solo es vivir – literally ‘only to live’– awarded one of the 10 Best Albums of 2003 by the Boston Globe; Musiquita (2009) and El Corazón y el Sombrero (2011). Contigo is a classy collection of Marta’s songs making them available on worldwide release through the ARC Music label.

Contigo contains five poems which Marta has arranged into songs taken from El Corazón y el Sombrero – a tribute album featuring poems written by the late Spanish poet/dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936). Garcia Lorca rose to international fame between 1923 and 1927 as one of the influential poets belonging to ‘Generation of 27’ but was later executed during the Spanish Civil War by Nationalist forces. El Corazón y el Sombrero was nominated in 2011 for The Latin Grammy Award for Best Recording Package. Granada is Marta’s own tribute to Garcia Lorca,

Let me tell you what my city smells like in spring / its two rivers, its voice / stop listening to your own steps so much / To then understand the six strings and the drums / And the rhythm of the holy, singing, water…

Contigo’s subtitle is Songs with Latin American Soul, of which Marta Gomez is an undoubted queen. Contigo features Argentinean zamba, Chilean cueucas, Bolivian carnavalitos and Peruvian festejos, while Gomez writes sweet melodies that cross all language barriers. Chicharra, Rio and Dejalo Ir feature the Colombian dance rhythm known as cumbia, a similar dance music to salsa. The traditional Colombian beat bambuco is found on Almita Mia, similar to the European waltz.

The title track Contigo is perhaps the most romantic song ever written by Marta. Marta’s songs normally express the way she connects with others but on Contigo, Marta reveals her own feelings. Not necessarily romantic love but her own fear to lose a lover, the pain of loving and the beauty hidden inside the simple things in a relationship.

Almita Mia – ‘my little soul’ – dedicated to Marta’s grandfather – is a highlight track on the album on which Marta is accompanied by piano, bass and flute, allowing her vocals to soar and shine. Marta Gomez may well be the first lady who smiles while she sings creating an audible warmth no matter the rhythm, no matter the lyrics, the listener will rise and fall with Marta’s unrestrained emotion.

Kris Kristofferson requested Marta Gomez to sing The Circle on his tribute album for Layla Al-Attar and her husband who were killed by US missiles in an attack on Baghdad in 1993. In his own words, Kris said, “ Marta lifted that song up to where it’s supposed to be, to where it belongs.”

Marta Gomez has shared the stage with Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer, Toto la Momposina and Mercedes Sosa, and was selected by Colombia’s Fucsia magazine as one of the ‘Five Most Representative Women of her Country.’ Marta’s 2004 Cantos de Agua Dulce – ‘songs from sweet water’ – received a nomination for Billboard Latin Music awards as Best Jazz Album among the works of such luminaries as Paco de Lucia, Nestor Torres and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Marta’s beautiful vocal warmth and soul fills Contigo with plenty of Latin American soul.

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Exploring Terra Australis Kamerunga-Style!

Terra Australis - Kamerunga

Terra Australis is an eclectic and zesty album packed with Kamerunga punch from start to finish. The songs on Terra Australis are rich in both cultural significance and musical prowess. Queensland Whalers features a guest performance from The Cat Empire’s trumpeter, Harry Angus, while Australian guitar legend Jeff Lang plays trademark slide on The Cameleers.

Terra Australis was recorded, produced and mixed by Nigel Pegrum – Kamerunga’s current drummer and former long-time drummer for premier UK folk-rock band Steeleye Span. Pegrum has this to say about Terra Australis:

The concept was not a million miles from the old Steeleye Span brief and with the instrumentation including keyboards and saxophones, the boundaries could be stretched further… Their music featured dynamic orchestral arrangements and we also wanted to use textural layering and multiple time signatures with Kamerunga.”

The name ‘Kamerunga’ itself derives from an Aboriginal name for a landmark gorge in Far North Queensland that lies between Cairns, where the band is based, and Kuranda, a town surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest on the Atherton Tableland. Mulligan is a rap-style song dedicated to explorer James Venture Mulligan, an Irish immigrant who first explored the Atherton Tableland and later discovered the Palmer River Goldfield in 1873. Mount Mulligan remains his namesake:

From Erin’s Isle with guts and guile in 1873 / Venture set his course for a foray north on a daring bush sortie / To the Cape he sped with his picks and pegs and a sparkle in his eye / He beat a track through the harsh outback under cloudless Queensland skies…

Kamerunga takes Australian folk music and heritage and infuses it with a melange of world music rhythms and other genres. Congress Reel, a traditional Irish reel given a jazzy makeover, and Burke’s Lament, a poignant band original based on the ill-fated explorer Robert O’Hara Burke’s farewell letter, are perfect examples of Kamerunga’s ability to mix folk with world music rhythms, as noted in Songlines:

“What makes their arrangements unusual is that their sprightly music is interwoven with creative time changes, Latin-Jazz touches and Middle Eastern instrumentation.”

South Australia Suite is the musical microcosm of Terra Australis and Kamerunga's unique modus operandi. Via band compositions and a very well-known Australian sea shanty, it takes the listener on a journey — a voyage from England to Australia on an 18th century sailing ship that encounters both stormy and calm seas. Instead of making 'South Australia' the focus, the song, in effect, is the 'middle eight' in a sea of orchestral music.

Leading Australian jazz musician and composer Paul Grabowsky’s statement that “Kamerunga breathes new life into Australian folk music” continues to hold true for the band’s third and latest album Terra Australis – now available on worldwide release through ARC Music. Both The Push and Worlds Kaleid earned Kamerunga critical acclaim and appearances at virtually every major roots musical festival in Australia. Earlier this year, Kamerunga were selected to record The Samba of the World – Australia track, which accrued in excess of 80,000 visits on Visa’s on-line soccer World Cup project.

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Elemotho sings and speaks on BBC Radio World Service programme ‘Focus on Africa’

Having just wowed a 12,000 strong crowd at WOMAD on July 26th, Namibian singer-songwriter Elemotho went onto the BBC London headquarters to record a radio interview for ‘Focus on Africa’ with presenter Bola Mosuro. The BBC World News also recorded an interview with Elemotho which will be airing on Thurs. 31st July during which Elemotho sang the track Broken Moon from his most recent release, My Africa.

The radio interview can be heard in full at:
https://audioboo.fm/boos/2357419-an-interview-with-nambian-musician-elemotho-gaalelekwe

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Bringing World Rythms Together – Sabla Tolo IV - Tak Raka Takum – Hossam Ramzy

Sabla Tolo IV - Tak Raka Takum - Hossam Ramzy

Between now and the end of 2014, belly dancers and audiences from England, Italy, Brazil, Finland, Portugal, Spain and France will be instructed and wowed by Hossam and Serena Ramzy’s special classes in belly dance and rhythm. While all tours have their special moments, this tour features the new dimensions of Hossam’s latest album in the Sabla Tolo series, Sabla Tolo IV, Tak Raka Takum.

The Sabla Tolo [a pun on ‘Solo Tabla’] series of albums – all composed and produced by Hossam Ramzy – started with Sabla Tolo I as ‘Journeys Into Pure Egyptian Percussion.’ Sabla Tolo II pursued ‘Further Journeys…’ with fiery hot solo pieces covering the whole gamut of rhythms from Egypt to Morocco, and Sabla Tolo III progressed even further into ‘Advanced Journeys into Pure Egyptian Percussion’ and ‘Rhythmic Illusions Unveiled.’

Sabla Tolo IV is an instrumental album of 13 new compositions Hossam produced for Egyptian tabla (darbuka) and percussion. It is a celebration of world rhythms integrated into Egyptian percussion. Hossam stretches the boundaries of his musical journeys in Sabla Tolo IV, as he says in his own words,

‘… this album is another journey into Egyptian rhythms… but this time it has gone further and further out into other percussive realms. I have always been able to bring rhythms from around the world to fit together… to see them gelling together as if they belonged to each other. Widening the sphere and narrowing the gaps between their home lands.’

The album’s title track Tak Raka Takum mixes Egyptian belly dance with salsa, samba and a rock/blues feel, and is full of variety and changes that are both ethnic and authentic. Says Hossam, ‘The name of the album came from the sound of the rhythm on track number 13. The sound is Tak Raka Takum… It is also going to be the song we will be teaching in many of our dance workshops this and next year, worldwide.

Flamenco music influences Flamenco Sweet while Samba Train to Cairo is an interplay between samba and Egyptian belly dance rhythms. ‘In Samba Train to Cairo , I have made this connection very clear by mixing the samba with fallahy and other Egyptian rhythms together with several other South American rhythms. Going all the way back to Egypt.’

In Eskandarany – The Alexandrian – Hossam uses the unique 6/4 Alexandrian rhythm which is very much part of the Baladi style from this region, while Rio Maharaja - a rhythm in 7 - includes Indian and Brazilian influences. Hossam includes Bakebbek Yasmek Eih – I love you thingi-mi-jig – a track dedicated to his ‘Queen of Tablas’ made in Cairo which features on all of Hossam’s albums to date including Sabla Tolo IV.

As the world’s leading exponent of Egyptian percussion, Hossam has worked with many of the great western artists such as Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel, Sting and Shakira as well as renowned Arabic musicians such as Rachid Taha and Khaled. Hossam produces solo albums as well as landmark studio collaborations such as Rock the Tabla with special guests A.R. Rahman, Billy Cobham, Manu Katché, Omar Faruk Tekbilek which earned Hossam a nomination for Best Artist in the Songlines Music Awards 2012. Hossam’s ability to integrate world rhythms with Egyptian percussion validates his title as the Egyptian Ambassador of Rhythm. Sabla Tolo IV is Hossam’s new release available through ARC Music.

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Review of Sakina’s album Roye Mi in July/August edition of R2, Rock ‘n’ Reel, written by Dave Haslam.

Sakina’s album Roye Mi

‘With Roye Mi the well-documented suffering of the Kurdish people is put into sharp focus by one of its finest musical ambassadors, Turkish Kurdish singer Sakina Teyna. Currently living in exile in Europe to where she was forced to flee after getting on the wrong side of the Turkish authorities, Sakina continues to fight to keep Kurdish culture alive despite continued persecution.

Given that persecution, it comes as no surprise to learn that the music of Roye Mi is shot with a sense of sadness, nostalgia, suffering and melancholy that’s reflected in songs the subject matter of which adds to the poignancy of this supremely crafted collection.

The extent of their persecution is such that a love song sung in Kurdish is considered an act of terrorism, so the distinction between these love songs and those that document the personal suffering of those involved is the fight for Kurdish autonomy is constantly blurred, as it is with ‘Berxam’ where a mother sings of her fears for her guerrilla fighter daughter, and the title track, a protest against Kurdish feudalism that stands in the way of love marriages.

Sympathetically supported by the superb collection of a band that includes guitarist Erdem Beyazgul, Sakina’s heartfelt vocals result in an album that speaks from, and to, the heart.’

Dave Haslam, R2 Magazine

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Review of Old Faith by Linas Rimsa in July/August edition of R2, Rock ‘n’ Reel, written by Dave Haslam.

Old Faith by Linas Rimsa

‘Recognised for his jazz, classical and film score compositions, Lithuanian composer Linas Rimsa was commissioned by the Pokrovskiye Kolokola Festival to write fourteen new songs for the folk group Arinushka. Based on the chants and poetic texts of the ‘old believers,’ a Lithuanian sect that broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1666, it’s those songs that appear on this extraordinary album.

Such a project could have been an exercise in dusty academia but Rimsa’s compositions use programming and sampling technology alongside traditional instruments and the powerful voices of Arinushka to create something that’s simultaneously ancient and modern.

Song titles are succinct and self-explanatory. ‘About Sanctity’ is a spiritual hymn about Jesus Christ; ‘About Rites’ is a song about walking around trees to ward off bad spirits; and ‘About Love’ (featuring a stunning vocal from Inga Fedaraviciute) is a song sung when a husband leaves for war.

Whatever they’re about, these fourteen songs and instrumentals are as varied as their subject matter, with voices, instruments and electronic combining beautifully, and no element threatening to overwhelm in a delicate balancing act that all involved pull off with considerable panache.’

Dave Haslam, R2 Magazine

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



# 1 for Sousou & Maher Cissoko's track Wula from Africa Moo Baalu album…

The track Wula by Maher Cissoko & Sousou Cissoko from their album 'Africa Moo Baalu' reached #1 on Pennsylvania's New World Buzz Charts! Ahead of Rodrigo y Gabriela, Ziggy Marley, Seun Kuti, Tinariwen, Toumani Diabaté & Sidiki Diabaté and Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars…

Africa Moo Baalu is currently charting at #21 on New World Buzz album charts.

Congratulations Sousou & Maher!

http://www.newworldbuzz.com/hot30.html

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Spirit of the Planet - Outlander – Saor Patrol

Outlander - Saor Patrol

Saor Patrol – pronounced Shore Patrol – are renowned for their tribal Scottish rock. Their new album – Outlander – brings out their more melodic side, giving more insight into what it means for them to be Scottish clansmen. Outlander is already being hailed as their most interesting accomplishment to date, bringing the unique sound of Scotland back from the past and into the 21st century, the music of the clan.

Outlander – literally ‘out of our land’ – is a track of pride and power for the Scottish culture and heritage of which the clan is the central feature. Saor Patrol are clansmen with an aim to Close the Gap – bringing people together so everyone feels part of the group. Says Charlie Allan,

‘For us it’s easy, Clan means children, family, a team. When was the last time your child came to you about how he or she feels about something, anything? Works for us. It’s the greatest thing we have in life. Clan.’

Outlander showcases the softer side of Saor Patrol with Heavy Heart - a delicate performance about the pain of losing someone which builds gently, while Road Back is another piece that shows the lighter side of Saor Patrol’s music with melodic guitars and a very soulful bagpipe performance.

Spirit of the Planet was inspired by a live show involving many drums and global dances to which Charlie’s response was, ‘The drum beat is like a heartbeat.’ Thus Spirit of the Planet came into being as a celebration of many cultures coming together which in essence is the spirit of the clan and a statement for the planet also.

As founding members of Scotland’s Clanranald Trust – keeper of the Duncarron medieval cultural and education village – Saor Patrol’s allegiance to Clanranald runs deep. Aftermath is a mighty tribute for those who perished in The Battle of the Field of Shirts in 1544 between the Clanranald and the Frasers. Aftermath is a song for the dead and dying and those who had to brave the field to find their loved ones. The track features slick bagpipe playing from band leader and Outlander’s musical director, Charlie ‘Chick’ Allan with some reverse compression on the bagpipes at the start.

Saor Patrol tour annually throughout Germany and this year will make a special guest appearance at the Wacken Open Air festival – the world’s largest open air heavy metal festival. In the Flesh celebrates Scots who have lived in Germany throughout the centuries from Gallowglass to the Sutherland Highlanders who fought as mercenaries and then later as soldiers.

Saor Patrol’s performances include The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, SXSW, Taiwan festival of World Culture, The Scottish Drum Day and the MPS - Europe’s largest medieval cultural festivals in Köln - the renowned Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum. And while Outlander includes melodic tracks, there is still plenty of music for Saor Patrol diehards.

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Girl from the Golden Mountains - The Art of the Mongolian Yatga - Chinbat Baasankhuu

The Art of the Mongolian Yatga

The Art of the Mongolian Yatga by Chinbat Baasankhuu is likely to be the first full Mongolian yatga recording widely available outside Mongolia and includes techniques only possible at the highest levels of yatga accomplishment.

Traditionally the yatga – a plucked zither with movable bridges – was played vertically during royal occasions at Mongolian court, complete with an ornate swan’s head and strings made from animal intestines. Today, the yatga is played horizontally with strings of silk and steel without the décor of a swan’s head, Mongolian wolf or deer.

On The Art of the Mongolian Yatga, Chinbat Baasankhuu performs the 13 and 21-string master yatga. Space, speed and intricacy define the musical pieces which mirror the landscape of Chinbat’s birthplace,

‘I was born in a village in the Altai, a western province of Mongolia whose capital city is Altai. It's a very diversified region in which you can find massive mountain ranges, large rivers, the Gobi desert and large steppe areas .’

The Altai Mountains – or ‘golden mountains’ as they are known in Mongolian – connect Mongolia, Russia, China and Kazakhstan. From Altai, Chinbat went on to study in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator’s College of Music and Dance, then to the National University of Culture and Art where she progressed to become professor of the yatga in the Department of Traditional Music.

Chinbat has carefully selected pieces for both the 13 and 21-string yatga from well-known Mongolian composers on The Art of the Mongolian Yatga including B. Naranbaatar’s The Trot of the Horse with the Black Velvet Coat. B. Naranbaatar was one of the first musicians to play the yatga in concert. Other pieces written by well-known composers include A. Mend Amar’s Variation 2; The Colt of the Kherlen River composed by L. Murdorj and Variations on Two Traditional Songs by J. Chuluun.

Chinbat effortlessly plays the 21-stringed master yatga known colloquially as ikh gariing yatga on tracks 4-10 - including An Elegant Saddle – written by the renowned Mongolian composer B. Sharav in which Chinbat’s prowess shines: fast fingers plucking simultaneous strings in an aural ballet. Other Mongolian folk classics include My Mother, Sunrise (Chinbat’s favourite) and Variations which includes high-end string-bending.

The Mongolian yatga belongs to the zither family of ancient stringed instruments from which the guitar evolved including the Japanese koto, Chinese gu-zheng, Vietnamese dan tranh and the Korean gayageum.

Chinbat has performed with the National Mongolian Philharmonic Theatre and in world music concerts from China, Inner Mongolia, Japan, India, France and by invitation only for the South Korea Yatga Society. Chinbat Baasankhuu may come from a town that boasts one unpaved runway but on The Art of the Mongolian Yatga, there is no doubt Chinbat is taking us to a whole new height of yatga performance.

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SAOR PATROL TO PLAY AT WACKEN

Scottish tribal rockers Saor Patrol have secured themselves a place at the 2014 Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany on Wednesday July 30th. Wacken is the biggest heavy metal open air festival in the world held annually in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany and attracts over 80,000 heavy metal fans. Saor Patrol join the world’s best heavy metal bands on the 2014 line-up including Motörhead, Hammerfall, Kreator, Arthemis and Saxon to name just a few.

See http://www.wacken.com/en/woa2014/main-bands/billing-2014/ for more info.

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Taste o’ Auld an’ Noo The Early Years– Saor Patrol

Taste o' Auld an' Noo The Early Years - Saor Patrol

Early Years is Saor Patrol’s latest album to be released through ARC Music – a combination of their hugely successful albums: Esspee (an exaggerated pronunciation for SP or Saor Patrol) and Black Bull. With their gripping sound of pounding drums and the untamed power of the pipes, this album will stir the hearts of listeners all around the world.

In the 18 tracks on Early Years, Saor Patrol celebrate Celtic hotspots and highland traditions including the ever popular Weramur - Scottish slang for ‘Where am I?’ and haunting bagpipe playing on Mood Moons by Charlie Allan. Early Years contains Saor Patrol’s perennially popular Solveig – sunny road – Wallace Bled and Stonewall.

Early Years is a collection of Saor Patrol’s music from their early days and is a tribute to those who helped Saor Patrol in those times. Music was the vehicle that allowed Saor Patrol to both acknowledge their culture and heritage and raise awareness and funds for the building of Duncarron – the recreation of a fortified medieval village supported by the Clanranald Trust. It all started with Charlie purchasing his first set of bagpipes from Bagpipes Galore on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and picking up a drum for £35 at a local car boot sale and asking his friends ‘Who can play the drums? ’ – someone was brave enough to raise their hand.

From the first band practises in Canongate’s graveyard, the band went on to busk in Edinburgh’s festival, perform at Derby’s Rock & Blues Festival and won BBC’s best street performers award for 2000. The sound of Saor Patrol was forged from an idea given during a chance encounter with Rock & Blues Festival compere, Clive Jackson, who suggested that the band should add some electric guitar. An idea heavily supported by their producer at the time, Paul Kane. And add it they did.

Dalriada and Cornish March show the band’s commitment to their celtic roots while the cover art features an interesting combination of the Scottish dragon, Gorbash, that proudly flies on Duncarron’s flag along with the black bull - a tribute to the massive piece of rock called the Burghead Bull that was carved out of stone two-and-a-half thousand years ago. Early Years is really like track 15, a Taste o’Auld an Noo’, which is just what Saor Patrol give to their fans worldwide – traditional strength pounding with timeless popular appeal.

With performances at the Scottish fortified village named Duncarron, King Robert’s Hotel in Bannockburn, Italy’s Lo Spirito Del Pianeta festival, Germany’s MPS festival in Hohenwestedt and even a secret session in Switzerland, Scottish tribal rockers Saor Patrol have got a busy month ahead of them. In July, Saor Patrol will also be performing at Wacken – one of Europe’s biggest heavy metal festivals. If you don’t get to see them live, you can certainly catch up with the spirit of the band as their bagpipe player and Chief Clansman – Charlie Allan – can be seen on BBC Two’s The Quest for Bannockburn: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01zhv3s

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Review on Africa Moo Baalu published in R2 Rock n Reel,
May/June 2014 by Dave Haslam.

Sousou & Maher Cissoko

*** 3 Star review

Africa Moo Baalu

Africa Moo Baalu - Sousou & Maher Cissoko

There’s an increasingly long list of collaborations between Scandinavians and African musicians and here’s another classy pairing, featuring Senegalese kora player and singer Maher Cissoko and his Swedish guitarist, singer and kora-playing wife, Sousou.

The title of their third album translates as ‘big people of Africa’ or ‘Leaders of Africa’ and it’s a signpost to the music within as, assuming the role of modern day griots, they continue the centuries-old tradition of Maher’s ancestors as storytellers and political commentators, with a plea to African and Western leaders to put an end to suffering and war.

With songs about the lives of migrant workers (‘Doole’), poverty (‘Fentangya’) and maintaining self-respect (‘Gummal Sa Bop’), it’s a powerful message they convey and it’s to their immense credit that they’ve done so without preaching. Instead they let their sinuous music do the talking as, accompanied by double bassist Andreas Unge, they skilfully blend their instruments and voices on a set that showcases their considerable talents.

There’s no discernable Swedish element here, but there is a soupcon of Western pop which ties together the rippling kora, guitar and voices, and which makes for a classy set that works beautifully, especially on the English-language love song ‘Fall.’

Review by Dave Haslam.

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Elemotho secures place at WOMAD July 2014

Namibian-born singer/songwriter Elemotho is to perform with his band on the BBC Radio 3 Stage at WOMAD. Winner of the 2012 RFI - France 24 Discoveries Award, Elemotho will be presenting songs from My Africa released through ARC Music in 2013. Elemotho will be playing with full band: guitars, bass, drums, flute, percussion, vocals. Expect global music with socio-political messages.

WOMAD will be held at Charlton Park, Wiltshire between the 24th and 27th July. Other confirmed artists include Youssou N’Dour, The Gloaming, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba.

see the WOMAD website for more info...

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Clannad to play at Glastonbury Festival

Clannad is confirmed to play at Glastonbury Festival on the Acoustic Stage, Sunday June 29th. Other special performances at the Acoustic Stage include Tony Joe White, Suzanne Vega and Dr. Feelgood. Other star performances at Glastonbury this year include Dolly Parton, Robert Plant,Rodrigo y Gabriela, Ed Sheeran and Lily Allen.

Glastonbury festival is now recognised to be the largest greenfield festival in the world and in addition to contemporary, world and folk music, the festival hosts dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts across 100 stages at Worthy Farm in Pilton, Somerset. The festival is being held this year from the 25th - 29th June.

http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/line-up/line-up-2014/

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Dances, Songs & Festivities The Music of the Santal Tribe Field recordings by the late Deben Bhattacharya

The Music of the Santal Tribe Field recordings by the late Deben Bhattacharya

Curiosity is an intrinsic human characteristic. It takes us on adventures, leads us into temptation and out again and gives us world music from people and places that would otherwise remain in the land of the unheard. The Music of the Santal Tribe features songs and instruments rarely heard - such as the 7-holed tiriyo bamboo flute, the single-stringed fiddle - or banam - as well as the shinga or buffalo horn and the metal plated Santali time-keeping cymbals – the jhani and thalas.

The Music of The Santal Tribe - field recordings by the late Deben Bhattacharya - is the first album ARC Music has released showcasing instruments and songs from the Santal tribe and is not only a tribute to Deben Bhattacharya’s musical legacy but is also in keeping with ARC Music’s goal of preserving ethnic music . As the Santals have no written alphabet of their own, music and dance are the means by which the culture may be preserved.

Deben Bhattacharya’s previous field recordings include nomadic tribal dances, love songs and battle tunes on Inside Afghanistan, the religious Mystic Songs from India from the bauls – or mystics – of Bengal played on special instruments, the Ecstatic Dances of the Whirling and Howling Dervishes of Turkey and Syria and the unique Sounds of the West Sahara – Mauritania among others.

As a world-renowned ethnologist, Deben Bhattacharya followed his curiosity in 1954 and again in 1973 to document, film and record the cultural traditions and music of the Santal people - in the forested areas of India’s West Bengal - namely Bihar, Orissa and Bengal. The result of Deben’s 1973 journey was the documentary about the Santals called Belphari: Faces of the Forest and the album: The Music of The Santal Tribe.

While the Santal people are now estimated to be one of the largest tribal communities in India, in the mid 1950s, this was not the case. In fact these recordings are not only the first of their kind on worldwide release, they come from the aboriginal or original inhabitants of the North East Indian Santal Tribes. The 18 pieces on The Music of the Santal Tribe were mostly recorded by Bhattacharya in the West Bengalese village known as Kamabandi in the Belpahari district. Tracks # 11 Baha Festival Dance and #3 The Karam Dance were recorded in the village of Kumarda.

Track #1 Madal or Santal Drum is a celebration of Santal percussion and features the most favoured tukhda or madal drum. This is a barrel drum made of wood or more usually clay with laced heads and played with bare hands while the rhythm of the dance is provided by three tukhdas and two pairs of tamaks or kettle drums played with pairs of sticks.

Music of The Santal Tribe contains songs for all social occasions, laments, religious celebrations, patriotic songs and joyful dances, in short all moments of socio-cultural importance for the Santal tribes. The Karam Dance begins surrounding the Karam tree and is a social celebration expressing joy and abandon while miming the activities of sowing, harvesting, husking the rice-corns and so on. While The Karam Dance only lasts a few minutes, in reality it continues for several hours.

Jhumur - recorded by Deben in 1954 - is a dance and song celebrating the great Hindu epic - Ramayana. Ramayana tells of the duties of the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife, and the ideal king. Through The Music of the Santal Tribe, we gain insight into Santali life, the social importances, the cultural moments that matter such as weddings, work and reasons to celebrate and believe. Deben Bhattacharya has extended the borders of world music, bringing us music and songs never heard before. Released through ARC Music in June 2014.

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ARC Music launches new label; Pixie Pace Records to release The Young Folk, Monday 26th May

We at ARC Music are excited to announce the launch of our new sub-label, Pixie Pace Records, and its first official release on Monday 26 th May 2014.

The Young Folk - Way Home
The Young Folk - Way Home


Way Home is an upbeat alt-folk song by Dublin 4-piece The Young Folk, the first artists signed to Pixie Pace Records, and is released on iTunes on Monday 26th May (buy here). Their debut album The Little Battle will be released in the UK in August.

Read more about The Young Folk – The Daily Express



Pixie Pace Records has been established to work with contemporary folk acts and aspiring singer-songwriters, while ARC Music will continue to be at the forefront of high quality traditional ethnic music from all corners of the world.

ARC Music’s Executive Director Julia Beyer says, “As specialists in folk music from all over the world we are often surprised by the pure quality of some of the original material we receive from singer-songwriters whose music is placed under the folk umbrella. While not standard ARC Music fare, their music deserves to be heard. So we have created Pixie Pace Records.”

You can register for Pixie Pace updates and get a free download of The Young Folk’s track 10.5 at www.pixiepace.com


www.theyoungfolk.com
www.pixiepace.com

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Saor Patrol’s Live Album – Open Air Asylum
The Rock on which Duncarron is Built

Saor Patrol's Live Album - Open Air Asylum

If you attended SXSW and saw five Scottish highlanders wearing kilts, leather belts, kilt socks, full-length beards and not much else, the chances are you just passed the untamed clansmen Saor Patrol. If you missed out on the Saor Patrol live experience at SXSW this year, we have the next best thing – their new album Open Air Asylum featuring 16 live tracks from the Köln stage of the Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum – Germany’s largest medieval cultural festival. Open Air Asylum is Saor Patrol’s first live album and presents their atmospheric tribal rock at its best.

Says Saor Patrol’s founder and bagpiper, Charlie Allan, to a heaving Köln audience,

Up in the north-east coast of Scotland, there’s a massive piece of rock, upon it is carved a bull, the Burghead Bull. We call this the Black Bull and it’s been there for two and a half thousand years.’

From 2,500 year old rock carvings to the legendary warrior king on high, Artur Ard Right, from the Laird O’Glencairn to the wedding march of Chamalihitchin, Open Air Asylum is a celebration of Scottish highland traditions and Celtic monuments. Saor Patrol’s name is linked with their Celtic roots - soarsa comes from the Gaelic word for ‘freedom,’ literally they are a freedom guard.

The album opens with Weramur - written and performed half way up the Gaelic mountain of Schiehallion – also known as Faery Hill or ‘Constant Storm.’ At the time of writing Weramur, the wind was a-roaring and the rain was a-pouring leading to a majestic rolling of the drums - ‘Scottish thunder!’

While Chasing the Beer and AD/BC present Saor Patrol’s lighter side, make no mistake that Open Air Asylum is a commitment of Saor Patrol’s purpose to educate and preserve their highland heritage. Deep in the Scottish valley of Carron lies a reconstructed medieval fortified village called Duncarron which is largely funded by Saor Patrol’s profits, merchandise sales and performances. Charlie Allan founded The Clanranald Trust, a registered charity that supports Duncarron as an educational and cultural centre while Saor Patrol’s music provides the rock on which it is built. Charlie met Russell Crowe on the set of Gladiator (2000) and since then Russell visited Duncarron and donated a battering ram called Rosie from the set of Robin Hood.

Open Air Asylum captures the unmistakable sounds of Saor Patrol sounding out over Köln: pounding drums, driving electric guitar riffs and the inimitable bagpiper, Charlie ‘Chick’ Allan. The band earnt their moniker from Lemmy Kilmister as ‘The Motörhead of Folk’ for good reason. This is Saor Patrol and they will rock you. Open Air Asylum’s is released on 26th May through ARC Music.

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Disney's Million Dollar Arm Movie
features music by star sitar player Baluji Shrivastav

Music by renowned sitar player & multi-instrumentalist, Baluji Shrivastav, is to feature in the soundtrack to the Disney motion pictureMillion Dollar Arm released in the US on May 16th and in the UK on August 29th. The selected track is called Raga Pahari - traditionally played in the Himalayas – featured on Baluji’s Classical Indian Sitar and Surbahar Ragas album.

Baluji entertained the world at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games with Chris Martin and Coldplay and is an internationally renowned sitar player who has accompanied Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, Massive Attack, Madness and many others, earning him the moniker ‘ sitarist to the stars’from The Evening Standard. Baluji learnt music in Rajasthan’s Ajmer Blind School where music was a compulsory subject. Baluji founded the registered charity the Baluji Music Foundation which aims to encourage the participation of disabled people in music.

Million Dollar Arm stars Golden Globe Award & multi-Emmy winning actor Jon Hamm (Mad Men) who plays the unconventional sports agent who uses unusual tactics to convince the Asian cricket players to take up Major League Baseball. Other stars include Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi), Bill Paxton (Titanic; Apollo 13), Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine, Argo) and Asaf Mandvi (Spider-Man 2). Million Dollar Arm is directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, 2007, Fright Night, 2011).

The movie becomes the latest in a long line of Hollywood projects to source music from ARC’s extensive world music catalogue, following placements in The Legend of Hercules (2014), Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty, The Dictator, and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (all 2012). Prior to this, music had been provided forConan The Barbarian 3D and Machine Gun Preacher (both 2011);Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010); Burn After Reading (2009); James Bond Casino Royale(2006);Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008); The Kingdom (2007); War (2007); Munich (2005); The Constant Gardener (2005); and The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) among others.

ARC Music was established in 1976 to preserve the ethnic music of world cultures, and to spread traditional and original music with a positive message. ARC Music now offers the largest selection of traditional and contemporary ethnic music from all corners of the world and is considered a leading label.

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MANdolinMAN - Old Tunes, Dusted Down

MANdolinMAN - Old Tunes, Dusted Down

Old Tunes, Dusted Down is an ingenious collection of spirited Flanders dances dynamically reproduced by Belgium’s mandolin quartet, MANdolinMAN. It is a unique rendition of traditional Flanders dances and songs collected by legendary musicologist Hubert Boone, mandolinist Andries Boone’s father.

What started as a 70th birthday surprise from son to father, resulted in not only a world-class album but the formation of MANdolinMAN. Hubert Boone made it his life’s work to research, find and collect one of the largest collections of traditional Flemish music. In fact, Hubert Boone carried the torch for Flemish traditional music that had been so previously well-lit by forebearers John and Alan Lomax in their preservation of the American folk and blues tradition as well as Richard Thompson’s work to give new life to traditional Anglo-Saxon music.

Andries Boone’s early years were inextricably linked with his father’s passion for Flanders folklore. In Andries’ own words, ‘I grew up with his enthusiasm and idealistic work. He took it as a real mission that this repertoire may not be lost and so of course found it quite important that I knew about these songs. Belgium has a lot of folk bands, but the old repertoire is mostly left aside by the young bands...so I decided to make a present for his 70th birthday and really do something new and original with this music and let people discover this unique but mostly unknown repertoire. The recordings had such good feedback that we decided to go on with MANdolinMAN!’

Andries Boone tells us of the selection process for Old Tunes, Dusted Down for Hubert’s birthday collection, ‘In fact I chose my father’s favourite tunes and of course I looked at what could be instrumentally interesting! Beside violin, mandolin is my main instrument and I always wanted to do something with four mandolins.’

And do something Andries Boones did! As well as having worked with many renowned Belgian musicians including GuySwinnen, Yasmine, Wim Opbrouck, Paul Michiels, Lennaert Maes and Guido Belcanto Yevgueni, mandolinist and mandola player Andries Boones went on to found MANdolinMAN and musically direct Old Tunes, Dusted Down .

Old Tunes, Dusted Down is 11 instrumental polkas, waltzes and mazurkas played by some of the best contemporary Belgian mandolinists including: mandocellist Maarten Decombel (Naragonia Quartet, SnaarMaarWaar and Les Tisserands), mandolinists Dirk Naessens (Black Velvet, Amorroma and MacRahl) and Peter-Jan Daems (Tantra and famous guitar trio SnaarMaarWaar).

Radio maker at VRT radio, Jan De Smet writes, ‘Being played on a very well-known instrument as the mandolin, the 'local' melodies (from Eppegem, Hever, Zaventem, Elewijt ...) become timeless and universal. Even a trained ear will find it difficult to locate some of the origins. Echoes of Appalachia? Northumbrian sprightliness? Melancholy from Lisbon? Cape Verdean elegance? No, nothing like that: the wonderful instrumental music of MANdolinMAN stems from Flanders and its environs. I can't imagine a more fitting tribute to Hubert Boone and his work.’

Old Tunes, Dusted Down is an album of cultural significance produced and performed with contemporary genius.

Out now through ARC Music.

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Sakina sings from Roye Mi – My Soul

Sakina sings from Roye Mi – My Soul

‘I am a child of the mountains. I grew up under the same conditions as every Kurd does, with pressure of our cultural and political identity. I grew up in a country where even a love song can become a 'terrorist act', when it is sung in Kurdish.’

Sakina’s ballads, songs and music on her new album Roye Mi – My Soul – give insight into suffering and melancholy of her personal life and express the struggles and political oppression of the Kurdish artistic community. Many of the songs on Roye Mi concern Sakina’s friends and associates who shared the battles of cultural suppression.

Sakina’s homeland, ancient Mesopotamia - known as the ‘land between the rivers’- covers the area between the Tigris-Euphrates rivers which is modern day Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Kurdistan amounted to a series of independent states in the Middle Ages called ‘emirates’ and while Kurdistan is today a semi-autonomous region, the Kurdish people have suffered much at the hands of their geographical neighbours. Roye Mi is the expression of a resilient and determined singer, Sakina. Her songs mirror these struggles and triumphs.

In Roye Mi, Sakina sings mainly in Kurdish and Turkish with full commitment. Years earlier in the 1990s Sakina was part of a national membership of the Mesopotamia Culture Centre based in Istanbul. Its members suffered various reprisals by the government because of their Kurdish lyrics and she was eventually forced to flee the country.

Beritan ’s haunting flute, cello and guitar provides an alluring background to the story of one of Sakina’s friends who died at the hands of guerrilla fighter in combat in the Kurdish mountains. In Sema, Sakina sings of her colleague who set herself on fire in protest against the oppression of the Kurds. Lay Lay is a lullaby and a cry for help of a Kurdish mother who tries to forget her child’s death while on the run from Saddam Hussein’s cruel henchmen.

Roye Mi is rich in lyrical content and musical contrasts. Bejne plunges into a soulful piano track, a traditional love song about an extraordinarily beautiful woman sung with equal beauty and passion in which Sakina is only accompanied on piano by Naze Isxan. Ko reflects on the harsh living conditions in the mountains.

The title track Roye Mi, is a love song protesting the feudalistic social constraints in Kurdistan which often preclude marriages of love and features the haunting sounds of tembur, kemane and bilur.

Sakina has witnessed much. She is a survivor in the battle between artistic freedom and political oppression. Roye Mi allows us to enter that world and travel with Sakina through the mountains and rivers of her soul.

Out now through ARC Music.

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Old Ways from the Old Faith – Linas Rimsa

Old Ways from the Old Faith – Linas Rimsa

Classically trained Lithuanian arranger and composer, Linas Rimsa is used to exploring musical boundaries fusing ethnic music, from jazz standards, popular opera, arias to theatre and film scores. Old Faith is an ethno-fusion album in collaboration with the Russian folklore ensemble, Arinushka.

Old Faith covers a wide range of themes inextricably linked to the old faith but in a modern musical context from change, fate, life, death, sanctity, infelicity, the stars and love. 300 years prior to Lithuania gaining political independence from Russia in 1918, there was a schism within the Orthodox Church that shocked and split the nation – known as raskol. Literally translated as a ‘ripping apart,’ the so-called Old Believers parted practices with the Russian Orthodox Church in 1666. Old Faith is a celebration of the old ways from the old faith.

Old Faith celebrates songs and chants from Lithuanian folklore. Modern Lithuania, whose informal moniker ‘land of the storks’ derives from its national bird emblem, boasts 10 varied ethnic groups; Old Faith remembers just that and is a celebration of the songs and chants from the Old Believers.

Yet Linas adds his own purpose to the mix of these 14 tracks. Each songs on the album is about a different issue from the Old Believers through to contemporary faith. Although Old Faith actually developed from the last praise chant, Sacrament, and from there Linas went on to write and produce the remaining album. In Linas’ own words, ‘I was quite deeply reconsidering a certain common human faith while creating this album. The faith that every single thing has a meaning in our temporary existence: a love, an infelicity, a hope, a prayer, a stupidity, a life itself and the death at the end of it.’

The range of songs on Old Faith embraces poignant moments in life and death as well as rituals, rites and festivals. About Infelicity, is a traditional rye harvest song sung by Russian Old Believers living in Lithuania. About Life is a haunting dance track with striking melodic harmonies about love during Christmas time, About Nature relates to the traditional Mardi Gras festival while About Fate is a dance to celebrate the solstice warmth for future harvests.

The album journeys through a refreshing landscape of poignancy and sentiment, many tracks on Old Faith relay a unique story of life to death. About Change is a song about the loneliness of a woman living without her husband, About Stupidity is a dance song about a young newly-wed wife who has a hard time keeping things in order domestically. About Prayer tells of the poignant last days of life during which one may pray for mercy and humility. About Death contemplates life after death.

This is not the first time Arinushka and Rimsa have worked together. Arinushka was previously invited to join Linas Rimsa at the request of the Lithuanian international folklore festival Pokrovskie Kolokola, literally the festival of ‘tolling bells’, for a collection of songs and dances from the Old Believers living in Lithuania, a project that was formally presented at the Moscow International House of Music in 2010. It comes as no surprise that Linas Rimsa chose Arinushka to perform his compositions on Old Faith.

Created by the Slavic Folk Music School and lead by Irena and Nikolay Zakharov, Arinushka was formed in 1988 to help preserve the traditional culture of Lithuanian ethnic minorities and culture. They have performed extensively both at home and internationally in festivals and concerts from Malta to Belarus. Old Faith combines traditional Lithuanian folk and world songs performed by Arinushka’s polyphonic female and male vocal harmonies against a modern backdrop of Linas Rimsa’s dance electronic sounds.

Linas graduated from the Royal Music Academy of Denmark and with a Master of Arts from the Music Academy of Lithuania as well as working on many theatre and film projects and as a programme director on Vilnius’ Radiocentras. Linas Rimsa’s previous releases include the Acid of Spring,Standard Life, Opera in da Housem, Sutartines Part, Die Welt ist Trauma, Guerilla Jazz It and Intimacy. Old Faith is out now through ARC Music.

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Joji Hirota and Hokusai Orchestra – Earthquake & Tsunami benefits concert

Joji Hirota is holding the 3rd annual concert to benefit victims of the earthquake and tsumani which devastated parts of Japan in 2011.

The concert takes place at St John’s Wood Church, London NW8, on 29th March, and also features the Hokusai Orchestra conducted by Akiko Ohtomo, The London Taiko Drummers and harpist Elizabeth McNulty.

Proceeds from the concert will be donated to victims of the disaster.

For more information,see the Supporting Tohoku Through Music pdf.

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Clannad nominated for Songlines Music Award – Best Group


Clannad
have been nominated in the Songlines Music Awards 2014 in the category of Best Group for their album Nádúr.

In an announcement made in their current edition – on sale now – Songlines revealed that Clannad have been shortlisted for the award in the Best Group category as a result of a public vote by Songlines readers.

Songlines Music Awards Nominee

Nádúr was released in September 2014 to critical and public acclaim. The band’s first album of new material since 1998 – and their first with the full original line-up since 1989 – the album showed that they had not missed a step, and thrilled their fans with a very natural progression to their trademark sound.

Songlines is the leading world music magazine, and the Songlines Music Awards is now in its sixth year. Previous winners in the Best Group category include Tinariwen, Lo’Jo, Bellowhead and Staff Benda Bilili. Nominated alongside Clannad this year are Tinariwen, R.U.T.A and Tamikrest. The winners will be announced in Songlines’ 100th issue, on sale 25th April.

Songlines Music Awards Nominee

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Joji Hirota and Hokusai Orchestra – Earthquake & Tsunami benefits concert

Joji Hirota is holding the 3rd annual concert to benefit victims of the earthquake and tsumani which devastated parts of Japan in 2011.

The concert takes place at St John’s Wood Church, London NW8, on 29th March, and also features the Hokusai Orchestra conducted by Akiko Ohtomo, The London Taiko Drummers and harpist Elizabeth McNulty.

Proceeds from the concert will be donated to victims of the disaster.

For more information,see the Supporting Tohoku Through Music pdf.

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - Clannad receive Lifetime Achievement award

Clannad Announced for BBC Folk Awards 2014 Performance

Clannad received a Lifetime Achievement award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards at the Royal Albert Hall last night (February 19th).

The award recognized the family band’s monumental contribution to Irish folk music over their forty year career. Presenting them with the award, Irish singer Cara Dillon acknowledged Clannad’s influence on her own life: “When I was growing up in County Derry in the late 70s and 80s, the musical landscape was dominated by a handful of Irish music leviathans. However, one act above the rest has gone on to cross more boundaries, reach further into the corners of the globe and touch more hearts.”

“I for one cannot imagine the soundtrack to my life not including at least half a dozen of the Clannad songs, and I am sure I’m not alone.”

All five members of Clannad – the Brennan siblings Moya, Pól and Ciarán, and their uncles, Noel and Padraig Duggan – went on stage to accept their award. In their humble acceptance speech, Moya Brennan dedicated the award to her parents; it was in her father’s pub, Leo’s Tavern, that Clannad started playing music together. Moya added, “we are really thrilled and we love what we do, and that’s the major thing about folk music… it’s just that it’s in our hearts and [we love] sharing it with other people”.

Clannad went on the perform two songs, Rhapsody na cGrann from their latest album Nádúr, and their Top 10 hit Theme from Harry’s Game.

Other performances on the night included Bellowhead, Suzanne Vega, Martin Simpson, Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer, the Full English, and an ovation-inducing performance by the Fisherman’s Friends in one of their first performances since losing member Trevor Gills and tour manager Paul McMullen in a tragic accident one year ago.

In a historic moment, two of the great families of American and English folk came together on stage to pay tribute to Pete Seeger, who passed away aged 94 in January. Pete’s sister Peggy was joined my Martin and Eliza Carthy to lead the crowd in a sing-a-long to Pete’s song Quite Early Morning.

You can watch all the performances from the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014 at the Folk Awards’ website.

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Africa Moo Baalu - In the role of modern griots, Sousou & Maher Cissoko plea for peace

Sousou and Maher Cissoko issue a plea to the leaders of Africa and the western world in their third album, Africa Moo Baalu, released in February 2014 on the ARC Music label.

Translating as ‘big people of Africa’ – or ‘Leaders of Africa’ – the album’s title track appeals for world leaders to come together to put an end to suffering and war: “The world needs some changes”, says Maher. “There are many conflicts that have been going on for so many years, from generation to generation. The leaders have the power and hold the possibilities to change.”

To this Swedish/Senegalese pairing – who are partners in life as well as music – messages such as this are an important part of their music. The songs they create together carry important social messages in the tradition of Maher’s ancestors, the jali or griots of western Africa, the storytellers and political commentators of their day. Sousou & Maher are modern day proponents of this tradition. “To spread messages like this and to sing to the leaders has been the role of the griots for a long time. We both feel the connection to that mission”, says Sousou.

Africa Moo Baalu


Maher adds, “I was born into a griot family and have a griot background. I will never lose that. But it's a new generation now and every generation has to find their own way. I can’t be a griot in the same way as my ancestors. But I can be a griot of today. My time is now”.

These ideas are shared in songs such as Malouya: “The art of the jalis will go on forever… Like my mother and like my father, we will continue.”

While the album also deals with other hard-hitting subjects such as poverty, immigration and being away from family, the overlying message is one of peace and love. The album’s opener, Wula – which features some stunning kora playing by Maher – is dedicated to his brother Aliou, who passed away in 2010. Other songs on Africa Moo Baalu were inspired by their experiences on the journey from Stockholm in Sousou’s home country of Sweden to Dakar in Maher’s Senegal. That journey was documented on their second album Stockholm-Dakar, an album which explored some of the similarities between the music of their respective homelands.

“I can’t be a griot in the same way as my ancestors. But I can be a griot of today. My time is now”.

Maher Cissoko

Born into to a musical family, Sousou studied classical and Swedish folk music before falling in love with the kora. It was when she was invited to Senegal by Maher’s older brother Solo to learn their playing style that she met Maher. While both are of course influenced by the music around them, with Africa Moo Baalu they strive not to be bound by national borders. “It’s not a meeting between Senegalese folk music and Swedish folk music,” says Sousou. “We are working more on finding and developing our own expressions, creating our own songs and finding our own voices. Times change and we are living in a global world now where everything is connected. It is more about your interests, your passion and love rather than the colour of your skin.”

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The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk

March 2013 sees the worldwide release of The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk, a double-CD package highlighting the astonishing depth of Irish folk music through names that will be familiar to all, and names unheard of as yet.

The release follows the first instalment in the series, The Ultimate Guide to Spanish Folk (2013), which was received with critical acclaim: “… a fascinating overview of the current state of folk music”, said Songlines, and “…a journey through music of mind-boggling variety and inventiveness linked by having its roots firmly planted in the tradition” (R2 Magazine).

Continuing the hallmark of the series, The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk is compiled by an expert in the field. Irish music journalist John O’Regan, a lifelong supporter of the genre, selected the tracks and provided liner notes culled from his encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject.

“The idea behind The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk is to reflect the development of Irish folk music from the 60s and 70s onwards, and highlight its current state of inspirational well being”, says John. “The selection of tracks was based on what characterizes Irish folk music for me and attracted me in the first place: the emotional quality, the honesty, the humour, and the willingness to involve outside influences and create something while remaining rooted in tradition.”

The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk

The collection showcases the variety of musical styles used by native players in Ireland, while also highlighting the strength of the music among the diaspora in Britain and America. All folk music is in a constant state of evolution as it is handed from generation to generation. Whether it isClannad merging their own gaelic traditions with influences from West Coast American pop, Horslips’ trad-rock fusion, or Afro Celt Sound System bridging continents through music, the folk music of Ireland is no exception.

Moya Brennan of Clannad says, “When I was growing up, and before that, the music was handed down. It was your aunty who had the songs, it was your grandfather who played the fiddle... If you picked up an instrument, unless you had somebody close to you [who played], you weren’t going to be great at it. Now you have [folk music] schools spread out in Ireland, which is amazing for the young kids.”

Perhaps both due to being a stronghold of tradition and the emergence of folk music education, Ireland’s music has found firm footing in its current generation. The Young Folk pull the crowds in to Dublin bars with their brand of pop-folk, while harpist/multi-instrumentalist Michelle Mulcahy’s music is firmly rooted in the tradition. Lou McMahon from Co. Clare adds a wistful, bluesy hue while retaining that unmistakeable folk element: “My song writing is influenced by a variety of genres of music, but tradition is ever present in my subconscious”, says Lou. “I was exposed to traditional Irish music from a young age; it was omnipresent and I absorbed it. All of its rare beauty and charm is imprinted on my soul and it flows out through my words, voice and music.”

To John O’Regan, the discovery and promotion of young and unknown artists was a major catalyst behind this project: “I hope to introduce new up-and-coming artists whose work recognizes traditional roots but also possesses a contemporary creative energy,” he says. “I also wanted to highlight talents whose work is either completely new or has been confined to its locality, and provide a doorway to an international platform for their work.”

“Irish folk music is constantly renewing itself, absorbing contemporary influences while retaining its roots intact. This continuing evolution and development will continue to fascinate and delight for decades to come.”

The Ultimate Guide to Irish Folk is a document of Ireland’s music: past, present and future.

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Clannad to receive Lifetime Achievement Award at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

The legendary Celtic music band Clannad and English folk singer Martin Carthy have been announced today (January 28) as the recipients of Lifetime Achievement awards at this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

The awards will be presented to BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014 at London’s Royal Albert Hall on February 19. The Radio 2 Folk Awards celebrate an important milestone this year - marking their 15th anniversary.

Clannad, who will also be performing at the awards, comprises siblings Moya, Ciaran and Pol Brennan, and their twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan. Their music mixes the traditional and the modern, the past and the future. The band’s record sales exceed fifteen million since release of their eponymous debut in 1973. Towards the end of the seventies they recruited their younger sister on piano and harmony vocals. She worked on two albums and embarked on several tours with them before going on to establish her own highly successful solo career as Enya.

Clannad said:

"We are absolutely honoured to be recognised in this way by the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The BBC have been such great supporters of us since we first broke through in the UK with Theme From Harry's Game. We are really looking forward to being part of the big night at the Royal Albert Hall."

Clannad recently released a new album – their first in 15 years. Nádúr, released in September 2013, includes the single Brave Enough, for which the band debuted this video last week.


English folk singer Martin Carthy has remained one of the most influential figures in British traditional music. For more than 50 years he has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, and has recorded more than 40 albums, with only 10 of these being solo records. He has recorded with legendary bands including Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey and Imagined Village.

Martin Carthy said:

“I’ve just been lucky enough to follow my heart and pretty much do what I want over the past 50 years or so. If, along the way, I've been able to play a part, however small, in keeping the traditional music of these islands alive, then I consider myself a fortunate man.”

Bob Shennan, Controller BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, said:

“The Radio 2 Folk Awards exist to celebrate the very best in folk music. Clannad and Martin Carthy have made magnificent contributions to Folk music over the years and are thoroughly deserving of these prestigious accolades. Many congratulations to them.”


The awards ceremony at The Royal Albert Hall will see some of the biggest names in folk music come together under one roof to celebrate the UK’s thriving folk music scene.

The event will welcome a host of star guests, with Bellowhead, Suzanne Vega and The Fisherman’s Friends set to perform live on the night.

Radio 2 has also confirmed that Martin Simpson, Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer and The Full English are set to perform on the night.

This year’s awards will see the addition of a new element - the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame will recognise the special contribution of an individual to the world of folk music; someone whose impact and influence has had a lasting impression.

The first entrant to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is Cecil Sharp - widely regarded as being a key figure in having helped lay the foundations for the modern folk revival in the early 20th century.

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live on Radio 2 from 8pm, and in vision via the Red Button and online at bbc.co.uk/radio2, with video highlights to follow the next day. The audience can also follow the event and get involved via the Radio 2 website.

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Clannad release Brave Enough music video

Clannad have marked the beginning of their 2014 European and US tour with the release of their new music video for Brave Enough.

Brave Enough is from Clannad’s latest album, Nádúr, released in September 2013. Featuring Duke Special, the track’s lyrics deal with overcoming obstacles and adversity, a theme reflected in its video.

Clannad started their tour in Langen, Germany, on 20th January. Over the next two months the band will travel to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the United States. The Most of the UK dates will be co-headline performances with the legendary Mary Black.

Full tour dates:

20-Jan-14 - Germany - Langen - Stadthalle

21-Jan-14 - Germany - Stuttgart - Theaterhouse

22-Jan-14 - Germany - Dusseldorf - Richard Schumann Saal

23-Jan-14 - Germany - Nuenkirchen - Geblaesehalle

25-Jan-14 - Germany - Schwabach - Markgrafensaal

26-Jan-13 - Germany - Leipzig - Peterskirche

28-Jan-14 - Poland - Zabrze - DMiT

29-Jan-14 - Poland - Poznan - Sala Ziemi

30-Jan-14 - Poland - Warsaw - Stodola

31-Jan-14 - Poland - Warsaw - Stodola

01-Feb-14 - Lithuania - Vilnius - Congresshall

02-Feb-14 - Latvia - Riga - Congresshall

05-Feb-14 - USA - Washington, DC - Sixth & I Historic Synagogue

06-Feb-14 - USA - Ridgefield, CT - Playhouse

07-Feb-14 - USA - Harrisburg, PA - Whitaker Center for the Arts

08-Feb-14 - USA - Collingswood, NJ - Scottish Rite Auditorium

09-Feb-14 - USA - New York, NY - BB Kings

11-Feb-14 - USA - Cleveland, OH - Hard Rock Theater

12-Feb-14 - USA - Chicago, IL - House of Blues

14-Feb-14 - USA - Phoenix, AZ - Music Instrument Theater

15-Feb-14 - USA - Los Angeles, CA - House of Blues

16-Feb-14 - USA - Folsom, CA - El Dorado Theater

19-Feb-14 - UK - London - Royal Albert Hall (BB2 Radio 2 Folk Awards)

21-Feb-14 - The Netherlands - Arnhem - Arnhem Music Sacrum

22-Feb-14 - The Netherlands - Dordrecht - Bibelot

23-Feb-14 - Belgium - Antwerp - The Arenberg

25-Feb-14 - Norway - Oslo - John Dee Rockefeller

26-Feb-14 - Norway - Horton - Bakkenteigen Kulturhus

27-Feb-14 - Norway - Fredrikstad - Kulturhus

28-Feb-14 - Norway - Drammen - Drammens Teater

01-Mar-14 - Norway - Skien - Ibsen Huset

03-Mar-14 - Sweden - Gothenburg - Stenhammarsalen

04-Mar-14 - Germany - Hamburg - Fabrik

05-Mar-14 - Germany - Hannover - Theater am Aegi

07-Mar-14 - The Netherlands - Haarlem - Stadsschouwburg

08-Mar-14 - The Netherlands - Uden - Theater Markant

09-Mar-14 - The Netherlands - Steenwijk - De Meenthe

11-Mar-14 - UK - St. Albans - The Alban Arena

12-Mar-14 - UK - Leeds - Town Hall

13-Mar-14 - UK - Glasgow - Royal Concert Hall

14-Mar-14 - UK - Gateshead - The Sage

15-Mar-14 - UK - Salford - The Lowry

17-Mar-14 - UK - Birmingham - Symphony Hall

18-Mar-14 - UK - Cambridge - Corn Exchange

19-Mar-14 - UK - Liverpool - Philharmonic

21-Mar-14 - UK - Eastbourne - Congress Theatre

22-Mar-14 - UK - Plymouth - Pavilions

23-Mar-14 - UK - Basingstoke - The Anvil

25-Mar-14 - UK - Nottingham - Royal Centre

26-Mar-14 - UK - Leicester - De Montfort Hall

27-Mar-14 - UK - Cardiff - St David's Hall

28-Mar-14 - UK - Oxford - New Theatre

29-Mar-14 - UK - London - O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

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Ana Alcaide releases 2nd album - Como la Luna y el Sol

In 2012 Ana Alcaide made her debut on the international world music scene with the release of her album La Cantiga del Fuego, receiving critical acclaim, entering the World Music Charts Europe at number three and spending five months in the Top 20.

Techung

In February 2014, Ana releases her second international release on the ARC Music label.

Como la Luna y el Sol (Like the Moon and the Sun) was recorded prior to La Cantiga…, and has previously only been available in Spain.

The album is Ana Alcaide’s first full foray into Sephardic-inspired music, a theme she continued to explore on La Cantiga del Fuego. Ana has long been inspired by Sephardic music; her home city of Toledo is central to the story of the Sephardic Jews, who were exiled from Spain under the Alhambra Decree of 1492. Toledo is known as the City of Three Cultures for its historic co-existence of Jews, Christians and Muslims, whose cultures pervade the city.

“The words Como la Luna y el Sol belong to a song found in Turkey and represent the relationship that bonds us with all that is remote and unreachable”, says Ana. “The Sephardic people dream of Sefarad (Spain), the unobtainable quest, the unreachable, the Moon seeking the Sun, the search for what we love but will never have”.

Ana’s instrument of choice is the nyckelharpa, the keyed fiddle used in Swedish folk music, which Ana fell in love with when studying at Sweden’s Lund University. Returning home, she taught herself to play it on the streets of Toledo, far from its traditional setting. Ana has played a pioneering role in introducing and popularizing the nyckelharpa in Spain. She first explored the instrument on her debut album Viola de Teclas (2006).

Como la Luna y el Sol was recorded and released in Spain in 2008. This is the beginning of the story that was continued with La Cantiga del Fuego, an album that, according to Songlines, “conjures an elegantly seductive tone that will beguile listeners far from Toledo”.

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Techung to Perform at 24th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert Alongside Luminaries of Rock and Pop

Tibet’s Techung has been added to the line-up for the 24th annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert, to be held at New York’s Carnegie Hall on 11th March 2014.

Techung

Techung is currently one of the most in-demand performers of Tibetan music, having performed the opening concert for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to New Orleans in May 2013, and releasing his latest album, Lam La Che – On the Road (featuring Keb’ Mo’), in August. The album was well received by the world music and Tibetan communities, scooping five awards at the annual Tibet Music Awards, including Best Album and Best Song.

Techung joins some legends on the bill for the Tibet House US Benefits Concert, including godfather of punk Iggy Pop, rock ‘n’ roll icon Joe Walsh (the Eagles), synth-pop trailblazers New Order, rock visionary and poet Patti Smith and her Band & musician Jesse Smith, lauded American composer Philip Glass, acclaimed composer/guitarist Bryce Dessner, and brilliant American composer Nico Muhly. The evening is once again curated by artistic director Philip Glass. Additional artists will be announced soon. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard are Honorary Chairpersons for this year’s event.

For 24 years, this one-of-a-kind concert has assembled some of the biggest names in music and offers a mix of unique musical collaborations and solo performances. Past benefit concerts have featured world-class artists such as Lou Reed, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Moby, Sigur Ros, Bright Eyes, R.E.M., The National, Natalie Merchant, Regina Spektor, Rufus Wainwright, Vampire Weekend, Emmylou Harris, Ray Davies, Jim James, Damien Rice, The Roots, among many others.

Tibet House US is a non-profit educational institution and cultural embassy founded in 1987 at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to ensure the survival of the unique Tibetan civilization. This is Tibet House US’ 26th year serving the public on behalf of the Tibetan people. They are grateful for the support over the years and hope that everyone will continue to help them stand up for the dignity and the distinctive contributions that the Tibetan people make to the world.

Visit www.tibethouse.us for full information and tickets.

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Zarbang featured in The Legend of Hercules movie

A track by percussion ensemble Zarbang is to feature in the soundtrack to the new motion picture The Legend of Hercules.

Circle in Seven from Zarbang’s album Persian and Middle Eastern Percussion is included in the film, which is released in the United States today (10th January). The Legend of Hercules becomes the second Sword & Sorcery movie to feature the track, following its use in Disney’s 2010 film The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

Listen: Circle in Seven

The Legend of Hercules stars Kellan Lutz (Twilight saga, Immortals) in the title role as the half-god hero of Greek legend. Learning his real identity as the son of Zeus, Hercules embarks on a mission to overthrow a tyrannical king and fulfil his destiny.

Watch the trailer:



The movie becomes the latest in a long line of Hollywood projects to source music from ARC’s extensive world music catalogue, following placements in Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty, The Dictator, and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (all 2012). Prior to this, music had been provided for James Bond Casino Royale (2006); Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008); Burn After Reading (2009); Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010); Conan The Barbarian 3D and Machine Gun Preacher (both 2011); The Kingdom; Munich; The Constant Gardener; War; and The 40 Year Old Virgin, among others.

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An Open Letter to Artists

Julia Beyer - Art Director - ARC Music

As it is the Holiday Season and nearly the end of yet another year, I wanted to write to you to thank you for being part of our team.

As you know over the recent years there have been major changes in trends within the music industry and its development. I will not say that it has been easy for us, because it hasn’t, but having been careful and vigilant enough, as well as hard working, has meant we have been able to thrive as an independent label in a challenging environment!

I am sure that you have perhaps had a somewhat similar experience in that at times it can seem very difficult, if not almost impossible, to compete with what is considered ‘current’ or ‘popular’ music. Unfortunately we face an ever increasing scenario of ‘mix & stir’ or ‘made to order’ artists gaining mainstream attention through major corporation cash-driven campaigns that unfortunately tend to distract attention from those talented artists that live and breathe music and have to continue to work hard and make their way dedicatedly with somewhat less glamorous earnings.

But why are we really here? Yes, of course we need to survive! But why did we even choose music as our path in the first place? Was it just happenstance?

I don’t think so.

Music is one of the highest aesthetic art forms on Earth and I believe it is very important to life and the survival of the society at large.

I am not sure if you are aware of the purposes of ARC Music so I wanted to share them with you:

  • To supply releases of the highest standard regarding the music and its presentation.
  • To have the largest variety of products in the category of ethnic and/or world music.
  • To disseminate original and traditional music with a positive message.
  • To help and support ethical artists who deliver the above mentioned product.
  • To make the artists of ARC Music broadly known and help them to become opinion leaders.
  • To fight suppression in the art scene.


This is why we exist and this is what we work towards achieving every day we come to work. But enough about us!

On behalf of every single staff member at ARC Music: Phil, Christine, Andy, Chris, Diz, Sarah, Amelia, Caren, Andras, Bernard and myself, I would like to say THANK YOU for being who you are and doing what you do every day to help us forward the above purposes.

Stay determined, stay productive and for God’s sake do not lose your integrity! Realise that what you do every day as dedicated artist has a positive effect on your friends, family, town, culture and the world at large. Music brings people together and makes them happy – is there really a better achievement than that?

So again thank you and a very Happy Holidays and successful New Year to you.

Make it your best year ever!

All my love,

Julia Beyer
Art Director

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Clannad Announced for BBC Folk Awards 2014 Performance

Clannad Announced for BBC Folk Awards 2014 Performance

Clannad have been announced to perform at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014, to be held on Wednesday 19th February.

In an announcement made on the Radio 2 Drivetime show, Mark Radcliffe and Simon Mayo revealed that the awards will be returning to London for 2014, and will be held for the first time at The Royal Albert Hall, the city’s most prestigious concert venue.

The legendary Irish band Clannad, who recently released their first new album in fifteen years, Nádúr, have been announced in the first round of performers. Also announced to perform are Bellowhead, Suzanne Vega and The Fisherman’s Friends.

In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the awards in 2014, some of the biggest names in folk music come together for an evening of performances and presentations. This year’s show also sees the introduction of a Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame, with the renowned folk collector and revivalist Cecil Sharp being the first inductee.

Mark Radcliffe, presenter of the Radio 2 Folk Show, said: "I'm absolutely thrilled to be hosting the Folk Awards again this year, particularly on the event's 15th anniversary and in the very grand Royal Albert Hall. Folk music is in rude health, and we're all relishing the chance to make a big fuss about the genre's vibrancy, diversity and sheer quality."

Nominees for the Folk Award categories will be announced by Mark Radcliffe in the Folk Show this Wednesday (November 20, 7pm GMT).

See the BBC’s official announcement.

Clannad bio.

Tickets are available at bbc.co.uk/radio2/folkawards.

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KAL usher in a new Roma generation with Romology

KAL usher in a new Roma generation with Romology

“Romology is the voice of a new Romani generation”, says Dragan Ristic, whose band KAL release the album on the ARC Music label in November 2013.

A bold statement, yes, but then those familiar with KAL would expect nothing less. Romology is a proud celebration of Roma life and culture, and an indictment of the prejudice propagated by Western society. The band’s third album of their unique brand of Rock ‘n’ Roma, it follows their self-titled debut, which topped the World Music Charts Europe in 2006, and ‘Radio Romanista’ which ranked second in the same chart in 2009.

“Our message is ‘Do not look at us like thieves, beggars on the street, simple musicians who are playing traditional gipsy music. We can do other things; we can play contemporary music but still preserving our identity in doing so. Forget about prejudices – we are proud, strong and we know who we are!’”

The message is evident on Romology from the beginning. The title track, with its seductive beat and breathy vocals, is a celebration of Roma life and sexuality, with lyrics like “I’m a gipsy love machine”. In fact, many of the songs on Romology have a rather sexual tone, sometimes subtly, and sometimes not.

Vust (‘Lips’) carries the obvious sensual undertones, while Bibi is about the attractive wife of an uncle. Spunky Man tells the story of a Balkan handy man being required to fill the gap created by the sexual inefficiency of Western civilization, when an Austrian woman invites him to her house to ‘take a look at her pipes’. Dragan says that love, sexuality and emotion play a key role in the identity of the Roma people: “I would say that after so many centuries of struggling we are very sensitive nation. We really feel, we really love, we really play. Everything we do is honest and strong.”

Other notable songs include Emily (‘Emily was little older, she was hairy all over’), about a love interest whose only redeeming feature seems to be that she has US citizenship. “Emily is a symbol of the side of society in which the most important things are superficial, and in which there is no sincerity. Emily is a provocation directed toward that part of society. Everything is fake, from organic food to love.”

“The world is a constant struggle between good and evil,” says Dragan. “Prejudice exists because people need someone to be worse than they are...”

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Techung’s ‘Lam La Che’ wins five awards at the Tibetan Music Awards

Techung’s ‘Lam La Che’

Techung’s new album ‘Lam La Che – On The Road’, released by ARC Music in August, took home five awards at the annual Tibetan Music Awards 2013 in Mcleod Ganj, India this past Saturday (12th October).

‘La La Che’ received the coveted award for Best Album, as well as individual awards for Best Song for ‘ Lama Khen’, and Best Love Song for ‘Kipotang’. Producer and co-performer Michel Tyabji was presented with the award for Best International Artiste for Tibet, while the album artwork by ARC Music’s Sarah Ash was recognised with the Best Album Cover award.

From all of us here at ARC Music, a big CONGRATULATIONS to Techung and his band.

You can watch the band’s ‘Thank You’ video on YouTube.

For a full list of all the winners at the Tibetan Music Awards 2013, please visit their website.

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The UK’s Irish Ambassador hosts ‘a celebration of forty years of Clannad
on the occasion of the release of their new album Nádúr’

The legendary Irish band Clannad were the focus of a special celebration at the Embassy of Ireland in London on Thursday 19th September.

Billed as ‘a celebration of 40 years of Clannad on the occasion of the release of their new album, Nádúr’, the celebration marked the first event hosted at the embassy by the new incumbent Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, and his wife Mrs. Greta Mulhall.

Moya Brennan, Pádraig Duggan, Pól Brennan, Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, Ciarán Brennan, Noel Duggan, Mrs Greta Mulhall


L-R: Moya Brennan, Pádraig Duggan, Pól Brennan, Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, Ciarán Brennan, Noel Duggan, Mrs Greta Mulhall

The evening was highlighted by a performance by Clannad – siblings Moya, Pól and Ciarán Brennen, and their twin uncles Noel and Pádraig Duggan – who performed their classic Theme from Harry’s Game, as well as two songs from their new album Nádúr, to be released on 23rd September on the ARC Music label.

Named after the Gaelic word for nature, the album sees the coming together of the full original line-up of the band for the first time in 25 years, the last being 1989’s Past Present. Pól had left the band following that album’s release, while the band continued to release several albums, most recently the Grammy winning Landmarks in 1998.

Speaking about the band’s influence on Irish culture worldwide, Ambassador Mulhall said, “Clannad were really the first group who actually embraced our gaelic traditions, the Donegal Gaeltacht, and turned those into part of the cultural heritage of the world.”

Ambassador Daniel Mulhall


Ambassador Daniel Mulhall’s address: “Clannad have been cultural ambassadors for Ireland for the last forty years”

“We in Ireland have a great advantage that, although we’re a small country, our cultural footprint around the world is much bigger than you would expect from a country with our small population. Why do we have such a footprint? [It’s because] we have a culture, a literature, a musical tradition and dance that projects our country onto the world stage and makes people have an interest in Ireland because they enjoy our music. People who enjoy the music, they tend to come to Ireland as tourists, they buy houses in Ireland, and they develop a genuine interest in our country. So Clannad have really been cultural ambassadors for Ireland for the last 40 years.”

Ambassador Mulhall also spoke of Clannad’s influence on his personal life: “When I met my wife Greta… how did I make my first impression? I read her the poems of W.B. Yeats, and I played her the music of Clannad. And it seemed to work very well.”

The event, by invitation only, was attended by leaders of the UK’s Irish community, well known Irish figures and celebrities, dignitaries and journalists.

Radio 1 Breakfast Show producer Matt Fincham with ARC Music staff, from left to right: Amelia Zimmatore, Julia Beyer, Sarah Ash


Radio 1 Breakfast Show producer Matt Fincham with ARC Music staff, from left to right: Amelia Zimmatore, Julia Beyer, Sarah Ash

Clannad are the legendary Irish family group responsible for such timeless music as ‘Theme From Harry’s Game’, ‘In A Lifetime’, ‘I Will Find You’ and the soundtrack to the ‘Robin of Sherwood’ TV series.

Over the decades, Clannad have made music that entwines the traditional and the modern, the past and the future, with stunningly beautiful results. With their haunting songs, mesmerizing vocals, and captivating sound the group has sold over fifteen million records worldwide.


‘A celebration of 40 years of Clannad on the occasion of the release of their new album, Nádúr’
was a fitting tribute to the band who are probably the single most important influence on what we know now as Celtic music.

Full Clannad bio

Nádúr press release

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Rodrigo Costa Felix’ Fados de Amor wins Amália Rodrigues Foundation Award - Best Album

The Amália Rodrigues Foundation today announced the results of its annual awards. Among other awards, the winner in the coveted Best Album category was announced as Rodrigo Costa Felix’ Fados de Amor.

Rodrigo Costa Felix’ Fados de Amor

The prestigious award comes as the album is being prepared for international release on the ARC Music label on 27th August 2013.

“This award is a great honour because it carries Amália Rodrigues’ name. That alone is a huge privilege”, says Rodrigo. “Fados de Amor is an album dedicated to women and to love; it is a very fitting that Amália was a great woman and someone that lived for, and by, love.”

Rodigo continued, “This award means recognition from my peers, which is always a very special feeling.”

The Fundação Amália Rodrigues was formed following the passing of Amália Rodrigues, and by her will. Rodrigo is in good company among the winners of the Best Album award; well known winners in recent years include Camané and Carminho.

Fados de Amor is notable for being the first album in Fado history on which all the Portuguese guitar is played solely by a woman, Marta Pereira da Costa, and featuring duets with Kátia Guerreiro on Morena, and Angolan singer Aline Frazão on Fado Contido. For Rodrigo it is a milestone album, and one that demonstrates his progression since his debut album Fados d’Alma (2008).

“Fados de Amor is very special to me and to all of those who participated in it. All the songs have been carefully chosen and I identify with every single one of them. So it's a sort of self-portrait.”

Watch: Amigo Aprendiz

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Clannad announce new album name - Nádúr

Clannad - Nádúr.

Clannad have announced the name of their long awaited new album, due for release in September 2013 on the ARC Music label.

In an official announcement on their website and Facebook page, the legendary Celtic band announced the album name as ‘Nádúr’ (pronounced: Ned-dur), the Gaelic word for Nature.

It is a fitting title; the album sees the family band – siblings Moya, Ciarán and Pól Brennan and their twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan – back together on record as the full original line-up for the first time since the 1989 album Past Present. Following Pól’s departure after that album, the band continued to release four highly successful albums – the last being the Grammy-winning album Landmarks in 1998. In an extended hiatus over the following decade, there was only the rare occasional performance.

In 2011, Clannad were invited to perform a series of concerts at Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral. With the intimate and historic nature of these shows, Pól was invited along to be part of the event. The concerts were a huge success and they were filmed and recorded for a DVD and CD which were released following airings on PBS in America. This event provided the catalyst for the five of them to start seriously considering a new album but before going into the recording studio they decided to embark on an extensive tour across North America and Europe. This time together on the road helped shape the ideas they had for Nádúr.

“The fact that we'd toured quite extensively in the months leading up to recording really had an effect on the album,” says Moya Brennan. “Playing live across various countries gave us a really good indication of not just what we wanted from a new album but also what the audience out there wanted to hear. We feel this record touches on every aspect of our forty year career. Every track is different yet every track is pure Clannad”

Indeed, Nádúr is a very natural progression to the Clannad sound, which since the 70s has been to fuse the traditional with the modern, the past and the future, with stunningly beautiful results.

It is perhaps best summarized by the Irish author Colum McCann, who concludes his liner notes for the album by saying, “Clannad – the family – have taken the local and made it universal once again. Is é seo nádúr dhúchasach ...this is their inherent nature.”

“It will always be so.”

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Strange Requests and Comic Tales from Record Shops

We advise music fans who are looking for something fun to read to check out Strange Requests and Comic Tales from Record Shops by Graham Jones.

Compiled from over thirty years of visiting record stores,Strange Requests… features more than 200 funny and… quite frankly bizarre stories compiled from over thirty years of visiting record stores, as told by shop owners and staff.

Graham Jones is also the man behind the critically acclaimed book and documentary film ‘Last Shop Standing – The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop’. Watch the trailer below.


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Clannad and Mary Black co-headline UK tour

March 2014 will see two of Ireland’s musical icons share the stage in a special tour that will be sure to delight fans of both Artists. Performing both separate sets and together in 15 dates across the UK, this unique concert is one not to be missed.

Clannad will perform old favourites as well as tracks from their upcoming album. Due for release in September 2013 on ARC Music, it is the band’s first album of new material since 1998’s Grammy-winning Landmarks, and the first with the full original line-up since 1989’s Past Present. Their music entwines the traditional and the modern, past and future with stunningly beautiful results, as evidenced by such timeless music as ‘Theme From Harry’s Game’, ‘In A Lifetime’ and ‘I Will Find You’. With their haunting songs, mesmerizing vocals and captivating sound the group has sold over fifteen million records worldwide.

For over a quarter-century, singer Mary Black has been a dominant presence in Irish music, both at home and abroad. Mary has released 11 studio albums all of which achieved platinum sales status and spawned countless hits. Her enduring success has proven that her depth of talent and her love of singing transcend the generations, as well as national and musical boundaries too. She is indeed a real Irish treasure and her talent a gift from this small island to a grateful world.

Clannad - Mary Black tickets are on sale now! (see www.clannad.ie for details)

Wed, March 12LEEDSTown Hall
Thu, March 13GLASGOWRoyal Concert Hall
Fri, March 14GATESHEADThe Sage
Sat, March 15SALFORDThe Lowry
Mon, March 17BIRMINGHAMSymphony Hall
Tue, March 18CAMBRIDGECorn Exchange
Wed, March 19LIVERPOOLPhilharmonic
Fri, March 21EASTBOURNECongress Theatre
Sat, March 22PLYMOUTHPavillions
Sun, March 23BASINGSTOKEThe Anvil
Tue, March 25NOTTINGHAMRoyal Centre
Wed, March 26LEICESTERDe Montfort Hall
Thu, March 27CARDIFFSt David's Hall
Fri, March 28OXFORDNew Theatre
Sat, March 29LONDONO2 Shepherds Bush Empire

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Bringing Hollywood to the Highlands…

Charlie Allan and The Clanranald Trust for Scotland

As the ‘untamed’ piper with ARC’s Scottish folk-rock band Saor Patrol (“The Motörhead of Folk” – Lemmy), Charlie Allan is used to facing large crowds. Saor Patrol performances have taken him all over the world performing to thousands at concerts, medieval festivals and heavy metal festivals.

But for his ‘other’ job (or one of them), Charlie usually finds himself up against crowds of a more… hostile nature.

Charlie and Combat International on the set of Thor II

Charlie heads Combat International, a group of combat re-enactment specialists who have provided warrior armies for battle scenes in movies like Robin Hood, King Arthur and Gladiator (Charlie’s the one taunting Maximus with the severed head in the opening battle). Combat International specialise in medieval combat and weaponry, which Charlie has studied extensively, but they often find themselves drawn into the fantasy arena too. They recently completed filming for one of 2013’s most anticipated films, Marvel’s Thor II.

Duncarron in 2008

But Charlie’s movie projects don’t end there. Both Saor Patrol and Combat International are part of the Clanranald Trust for Scotland, a foundation established by Charlie to educate and preserve Scottish heritage. A major undertaking of the Trust includes building a medieval fortified village, Duncarron, in the Carron Valley near Stirling in Scotland, which will be used as an educational facility and a film/TV set for period pieces.

Due to its picturesque scenery and rolling landscapes, Scotland has already been attracting interest from Hollywood location scouts. Recent movies to be filmed partially in Scotland include Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, Snow White & The Huntsman, and World War Z. Recent speculation is that Star Wars: Episode VII will include scenes shot in Scotland.

The Duncarron project hopes to further attract film and TV productions by providing an authentically recreated medieval village for period, fantasy, historical educational dramas and documentaries.

Charlie and Russell Crowe

The Trust has already received a helping hand from one of Hollywood’s leading stars: Russell Crowe, who Charlie had met while filming Gladiator, visited the site and was so intrigued by the project he convinced producers to donate a battering ram from the set of Robin Hood to Duncarron village.

Malin... or Merida? While Charlie is the driving force behind the Trust’s activities (he established the Trust in 1996 for the purposes of building Duncarron), he has certainly not done it alone. The Trust’s members and volunteers freely give up their weekends to help with construction of the village, and Charlie’s own wife Malin is the site supervisor. In fact, Malin has a movie connection all of her own: as The Daily Mail pointed out, Malin bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain ‘Brave’ heroine.

To contact Charlie Allan, Combat International or the Clanranald Trust for Scotland, please visit www.clanranald.org

Photos courtesy of Charlie Allan

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Clannad Announce New Album For 2013 Release

Legendary celtic band Clannad have announced a partnership with ARC Music for their new album. Scheduled for release in September 2013, this new album will be the band’s first album of new material since 1998’s Grammy-winning Landmarks, and the first with the full original line-up since 1989’s Past Present.

Clannad

Clannad – siblings Moya, Ciaran and Pol Brennan, and their twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan – began recordings for their as-yet untitled new album last week. Pol had previously left Clannad following the release of Past Present, but returned to the band in 2011 to perform a special concert at Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral, which was released on CD and DVD early in 2013, also through ARC Music. The reformed line-up have been touring globally over the last several months and are planning an even more extensive worldwide tour to coincide with the release of the new album.

ARC Music’s Artistic Director Julia Beyer says, “We are very pleased to be working with Clannad again for their new album, following our release of their live album and DVD Christ Church Cathedral earlier this year. We are sure that the new album will delight Clannad’s fans as well as winning them many new ones – what better way to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary year.”

The new album marks the next chapter in Clannad’s legendary career, which has already spanned forty years. In that time Clannad has been responsible for timeless music such as ‘Theme From Harry’s Game’, ‘In A Lifetime’, ‘I Will Find You’ and the soundtrack to the ‘Robin of Sherwood’ TV series. Their music entwines the traditional and the modern, the past and the future, with stunningly beautiful results. The band’s record sales exceed fifteen million since the release of their eponymous debut in 1973. Towards the end of the seventies they recruited their younger sister on piano and harmony vocals. She worked on two albums and several tours with them before going on to establish her own highly successful solo career as Enya. During those early years the band developed their trademark sound, immediately identifiable by anyone who has ever heard it, which has earned them legions of fans in the incredibly successful years since.

Julia Beyer added, “Clannad continues to tour and to captivate audiences all over the world, and this new album further cements their legacy as one of Ireland’s most enduring and influential music acts.”

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Techung opening for His Holiness The Dalai Lama

picture of Techung

Tibetan singer and multi-instrumentalist Techung will perform the opening concert for His Holiness The Dalai Lama’s speech in New Orleans on 18th May 2013.

Techung and his band were selected to perform at the event in New Orleans’ Lakefront Arena, one of three public events to be held by His Holiness in New Orleans from 16-18 May.

Techung’s US tour starts on 3rd May at Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles. The Grammy-award-winning musician Keb’ Mo’ may join the band for some of the dates.

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Africa & India united in music and humanity – Gondwana Dawn

In 2011 a group of eight children from schools in South Africa travelled to India to embark on a life changing musical and cultural journey. That journey is documented by the release of the album Gondwana Dawn through ARC Music in April 2013.

Gondwana Dawn is an Afro-Indian world fusion project led by double-Grammy-winning producer Robin Hogarth (Soweto Gospel Choir) and Vidushi Sumitra Guha, one of India’s great musicians and recipient of the PADMA SHRI, one of the country’s highest civilian awards for art. What started as a collaborative project between Sumitra and Robin soon evolved into an idea of involving South African children in an unforgettable cultural experience. Together with the supervisors of a school music programme he was involved with, Robin had the idea of forming a choir of students from the seven schools in the programme. Following a series of auditions, eight children were selected from the seven schools.

“When we started I really had my own doubts because the children are not exposed to Indian classical music”, says Sumitra. “Maybe I can improvise but what about them? How is it going to work? I had a very big question mark”.

Robin adds,“When we arrived in India we just had an outline of some of the African music that I thought would work and some of the Indian music that I thought would work. We had no real idea whether it would or not. But what these kids have done with these different rhythms is very intriguing. Everyone did fantastically – I think everyone got the message of what we’re trying to do. It is a fusion of the cultures but it isn’t a new music; a new different sound but it does use the traditional elements.”

The album was written and recorded throughout the duration of the visit to New Delhi. For alto singer Koketso Maphelela, the recording process was the realisation of a dream. “Entering the studio was just amazing because I’ve never been to a studio before. You know, wearing the headphones - I always see Mariah Carey recording in the studio, but I did not think I would get that far with singing until I got there. It felt so real but then at the same time it felt like I was dreaming.”

The visit to India culminated in a concert in New Delhi which received a standing ovation, which was another highlight for Koketso: “There were a lot of journalists running after us trying to take pictures and everything. I do love attention!”

Gondwana refers to the paleogeographical landmass when what is now Africa was joined to the Indian subcontinent. Even beyond that the two cultures have many parallels, and the music symbolizes the coming together of the significant spiritual elements of their history, and the hope for a better future. The main themes within the music relate to modern day representations of the two cultures – Ahimsa (‘Non-Violence’ – as practiced by Mahatma Gandhi) and Ubuntu (Brotherhood – representing the ethos of Nelson Mandela) which are articulated throughout this album.

While in India a visit to the Gandhi Museum helped to illustrate the similarities between their two cultures: “I like Mahatma Gandhi because he is similar to Nelson Mandela”, says bass singer Sean Mashigo. “They did basically some of the same things; they worked to provide freedom for the people, and that is interesting because we get to understand how we are where we are today”.

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Clannad Live - concert photos

The ARC Music team recently attended the Clannad concert at London's Shepherds Bush Empire on 20th March 2013.

Visit ARC Music on Facebook to see the photos.

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Niyireth Alarcón European Tour 2013

In March 2013 Niyireth Alarcón is embarking on her 11th international tour, the fifth to Europe and first visit to Spain. There she represents Colombia at the 13th Festival del Folclore "Casa de Aragón en La Rioja" held in Logroño, 15th - 17th March. Additionally she performs again in countries such as Italy and Switzerland.

www.niyireth.com

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Joji Hirota and The London Metropolitan Orchestra – Tsunami Benefit

Japanese multi-instrumentalist Joji Hirota will perform a special concert with the London Metropolitan Orchestra in March 2013 to support victims of the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

This is the second ‘Beyond the Requiem’ concert in benefit of the survivors of the disaster which devastated Japan in March 2011. The first concert took place in March 2012. This year’s event takes place at St John’s Wood Church, London, on 16th March.

Vist www.beyondtherequiem.com for more information.

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Tango-orkesteri Unto to perform in Washington DC and New York

Tango-orkestri Unto will perform in Washington DC and New York in February.

The six virtuosi of Finnish Tango will perform at the Kennedy Center in DC for the Nordic Cool Festival on Wednesday 20th February, then on the New York for a performance at Scandinavia House on Thursday 21st.

Please take a look at this video.

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ARC Music celebrates 2012, looks forward to 2013

As we enter a new year ARC Music celebrates a highly successful twelve months in 2012. Bucking the industry trend, ARC’s physical album sales worldwide for 2012 were up on 2011, while digital sales continued its upward trend.

Just in the latter half of 2012, key ARC releases included Dindinha by Ceumar; A Bright Star Has Risen by Perunika Trio; Vocalism by Vusa Mkhaya; Best of Buena Vista; New Queens of Fado; Ana Alcaida’s La Cantiga del Fuego; InVentus by Custódio Castelo; Best of Isla St. Clair; The Persian Azeri Project; Summertime - Best of Black Umfolosi and the double release Duncarron/Two Headed Dog by Saor Patrol, among others.

Releases already scheduled for early 2013 include new albums by legendary Celtic group Clannad, fado singer Maria Ana Bobone, and Namibian singer-songwriter Elemotho, winner of the RFI 24/7 Discoveries Award.

2012 saw ARC Music receive numerous industry recognitions, including two artists – Hossam Ramzy and She’koyokh – shortlisted in the Songlines Music Awards (Best Artist and Best Group, respectively). The label was also listed in the WOMEX 2012 Top World Music Labels and had a number of releases featured in the World Music Charts Europe throughout the year.

It was also a blockbuster year for ARC Music’s publishing division, highlighted by a placement in the highest grossing British film of the year, Skyfall, as well as four other major movie productions: The Dictator, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Zero Dark Thirty, and the HBO TV movie Hemingway & Gelhorn. Other publishing highlights include music featured in TV shows such as Touch and NYC 22, and a series of three TV commercials for internet domain giants GoDaddy.


ARC’s Managing Director Philip Collinson said, “Despite common perceptions about the current state of the music industry, 2012 was a fantastic year for us and we’re looking forward to continuing the good work into 2013”.

“Our physical sales were up last year. Add that to the rising revenues from digital and other media, and we are in a good position. We tend not to get too involved with industry figures – we take them for what they are but we believe it is always possible to improve on what we are doing – which is part of the reason we are still here and expanding after nearly forty years.”

ARC Music was established in 1976 to preserve the ethnic music of world cultures, and to spread traditional and original music with a positive message. The label now offers the largest selection of traditional and contemporary ethnic music from all corners of the world.

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Maria Ana Bobone to release ‘Fado & Piano’

In early 20th century Lisbon, fado, which was a song of the streets, was adopted into the rich houses of the aristocracy where it was played at the piano. Now, in the early 21st century - an era of accelerated progression in fado - one of Portugal’s most favoured fadistas looks back to earlier times to prove that, sometimes, something old can yield something new. Fado & Piano by Maria Ana Bobone is released worldwide through ARC Music in late January 2013. It is her first album since 2006’s ‘Nome de Mar’.

Maria Ana’s arrangements for piano bring a very natural warmth to her fados. She both sings and plays piano, allowing herself total control of the cadence and pace of the song. Fado’s instrument-of-choice, the Guitarra Portuguesa, plays a much more understated role, delicately supporting the piano instead of taking its usual lead. The album’s main trio of instruments is completed by the double bass. Herein lies one of the main strengths of the project: its simplicity and its subtlety.

Fado & Piano brings new dimensions to evergreens such as ‘Que Deus Me Perdoe’, which serves as the album’s opener. “It was sung by Amália Rodrigues, our diva, and in that sense it’s a very big responsibility… a challenge”, says Maria Ana. “It works wonderfully with this piano formation, because I’m controlling my time, and I’m giving it all the space that I think it needs. So I have my own very personal way of living it and of singing it”.

“’Fado Xuxu’ is a song to make you smile. It tells the story of fado going to Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, and mixing with samba. It’s very lighthearted, very happy and the way we played it is a bit more old fashioned. We went back to the tradition of the early 20th century to find the right way of playing it.”

Much more than simply a nostalgia or revival project, Fado & Piano includes a number of Maria Ana’s own compositions, some of which she has called her most personal songs to date. ‘Auto-retrato’ (‘Self Portrait’) is a song that she was encouraged to complete for the album as it fit so well with the fado and piano format. “I hadn’t even finished it when I started recording this album. My producer, Rodrigo Serrão, heard the first part of it and he thought it was so beautiful, he said ‘You have to finish it and you have to finish it now’. It’s my self portrait in the sense that… I’m always questioning myself – I’m always trying to find reasons for my existence and ways to grow.”

Imagem’ is another highly personal song. Not a fado in the traditional sense, it is instead a pop song with that undeniable and irrepressible fado feeling: saudade. “I wrote this song when I was eighteen. I was always very, very shy to show [my songs to people]. This one I wasn’t supposed to show – it was something that just came to me. It’s out of the fado language… but because it shows a little bit more of me I decided to include it in this project. Rodrigo wrote the words for it – he’s always trying to pull me out of my shell and making me expose parts of me.”

The album includes two fados sung in English with lyrics by the Portuguese poet Fernando Pinto do Amaral. ‘Twilight’ and ‘Love Ballad’ demonstrate how this very Portuguese tradition can translate into any language.

“This is a special album for me because it gave me the chance to grow”, concludes Maria Ana. “Revisiting my cultural roots from a new point of view, writing my own songs and working with different tools to enrich my work, always working towards the goal of exploring my own identity as an artist.”

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Ana Alcaide’s ‘La Cantiga del Fuego’ re-enters World Music Charts Europe

Ana Alcaide’s album ‘La Cantiga del Fuego’ re-entered the World Music Charts Europe this month following its international release in November 2012.

When ‘La Cantiga del Fuego’ was released in Spain earlier this year it immediately caught the attention of the World Music Charts Europe panel, who placed it at No.3 in their August 2012 chart.

Following its worldwide release through ARC Music in November the album has re-entered the chart for January 2013 in tenth position. Click here for album information.

The World Music Charts Europe panel consists of 50 of Europe’s leading world music DJs, who elect their favourite releases for that month to determine the chart positions. www.wmce.de

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Zero Dark Thirty uses music from ARC Music
Three tracks in Golden Globe nominated film

One of this year’s hardest hitting movie releases goes on limited release in the United States today, earning several Golden Globe nominations and becoming the latest major movie production to source music from world music specialists ARC Music.

Zero Dark Thirty follows the decade-long search for Osama Bin Laden, climaxing with his capture and death at the hands of US Navy SEALs in Pakistan. It goes on general US release on 11th January 2013.

The movie uses 3 ARC Music tracks sourced from ARC Music: ‘Ishq di baazi jittan naalon’ and ‘Shishey utthey thuran jamiya’ from Asif Bhatti’s album Traditional Music from Pakistan, and ‘Sakhi’ from Sublime Sufi by Shafqat Ali Khan.

“With parts of the movie being set in Pakistan they were looking specifically for Pakistani music, and we were able to provide three tracks,” says ARC’s Licensing Director Caren Entwistle. “The tracks they selected are very typically Pakistani and are high in passion and drama, so they should complement the movie well.”

The film is co-produced by Kathryn Bigelow (Director) and Mark Boal (Screenplay), the Oscar-winning team behind The Hurt Locker, and stars Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton and Kyle Chandler.

With its topical and controversial subject matter as well as its graphic torture scenes, the film has been courting much media attention and looks to be a hit in theaters over the Christmas and New Year period in the US. Initial reaction to the film has been very positive, earning nominations for four Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (Jessica Chastain), Best Director (Kathryn Bigelow), and Best Screenplay – Motion Picture.

The movie becomes ARC Music’s fourth Hollywood success for 2012, following the use of music in Skyfall, The Dictator, and Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter earlier in the year. These are the latest in a long line of movies to source music from ARC’s extensive world music catalogue, following James Bond Casino Royale (2006); Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008); Burn After Reading (2009); Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010); Conan The Barbarian 3D and Machine Gun Preacher (both 2011). Previous placements also include The Kingdom, Munich, The Constant Gardener, War, and The 40 Year Old Virgin, among others.

ARC Music was established in 1976 to preserve the ethnic music of world cultures, and to spread traditional and original music with a positive message. The label now offers the largest selection of traditional and contemporary ethnic music from all corners of the world.

You can receive news updates such as this direct to your email inbox by signing up for our newsletter. All newsletter subscribers receive our FREE 19-track world music download featuring music from across the ARC Music catalogue.



Clannad - New Live Album, First Ever DVD and Tour

Legendary Irish family group Clannad release their first ever live DVD and an accompanying live album in early 2013. 'Clannad - Christ Church Cathedral' has its release through ARC Music in February.

Clannad - New Live Album, First Ever DVD

Throughout a forty-year career Clannad has been responsible for timeless music such as ‘Theme From Harry’s Game’, ‘In A Lifetime’, ‘I Will Find You’ and the soundtrack to the ‘Robin of Sherwood’ TV series. Their music entwines the traditional and the modern, the past and the future, with stunningly beautiful results. Comprised of siblings Moya, Ciaran and Pol Brennan, along with their twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan, the band’s record sales exceed fifteen million since the release of their eponymous debut in 1973. Towards the end of the seventies they recruited their younger sister on piano and harmony vocals. She worked on two albums and several tours with them before going on to establish her own highly successful solo career as Enya. During those early years the band developed their trademark sound, immediately identifiable by anyone who has ever heard it, which has earned them legions of fans in the incredibly successful years since.

The new live album and DVD were recorded at Dublin’s historic Christ Church Cathedral on 29th January 2011. Being in such an intimate setting the band chose to lean heavily on their early traditional material as the acoustic nature of these tracks would suit the surroundings well. Pol, who had left Clannad in 1990 to pursue solo interests, rejoined the band marking the first time the original five members had performed together for more than twenty years.

Says Moya Brennan, “When we were asked to perform in Christ Church Cathedral we really wanted to put together a unique show that would complement the spectacular surroundings. It was the first time in many years that we had played in such an intimate setting and in choosing the programme it made us go right back to the earliest days of our forty years as a band, we even start the show with the first song Clannad ever played together.”

“The show is almost like a history of the band,” adds Ciaran, “starting with just the five of us on stage, as it was in the beginning, and gradually being joined by some wonderful musicians and very special guests. The backdrop of the cathedral's architecture provided the perfect setting for us and everything just felt very special on the night.”

2013 promises to be another landmark year for the band as they embark on a new European tour to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Confirmed tour dates can be viewed here, while further dates are to be announced. A new studio album is scheduled to be recorded later in the year.

It is indeed fascinating to consider that what today is so widely regarded as Celtic music was first called “Clannad music”. There is perhaps no greater testament to the impact of this groundbreaking group than that.

Full Clannad Bio.

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