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Percussion Around The World
rec. various locations, ?-1965?
SAYDISC RECORDS CDSDL438 [75:45 + 76:59]

This set is part of a series celebrating the 50th anniversary of Saydisc Records.

The world of percussion instruments is huge and varied, with a history as long as that of man himself. Anything that makes noise when it is beaten, struck, rattled, scraped, shaken or plucked is a percussion instrument. This unique 2-CD compilation of field and studio recordings taken from around the world and dates back over a fifty year period. Percussion instruments generally fall into one of two categories; pitched or unpitched, but they are also sometimes divided between membranophones and idiophones, or instruments with a vibrating secondary feature versus an instrument that produces sound by the vibration of its own primary material. Either way, this set contains a wide variety of each percussion type. Each track is taken from a previous Saydisc album, or an album from Village Thing or Amon Ra, sister labels in the Saydisc stable.

Some of the items are very basic: just drums and chanting, particularly the recordings from the less-developed parts of the world. David Fanshawe, noted explorer and ethnomusicologist, travelled for three years through Africa and ten years through the South Pacific islands, recording indigenous music throughout his travels. He compiled an immense body of work while capturing and documenting local native music and culture. A total of 16 tracks of his recordings, eight on each disc, are included. Other numbers have more to offer, as there are some particularly beautiful contributions on these CDs featuring more exotic percussion instruments. Two of my favourites on Disc 1 are the dulcimer tracks: Devil’s Dream, by Jim Couza on the English hammer dulcimer, and Chan Ki Cham performing Shenpadei Folksong on the Chinese dulcimer. Also on Disc 1 is the lovely Amancer Andino, performed with a flute and guitar ensemble accompanying the Andean Bombo drum, a hollowed tree log with goat skins attached on each end. Disc 2 contains the number entitled Bowl Voices, featuring the incredible Tibetan singing bowls. These instruments are made of an alloy of silver, copper, gold, bronze, tine, zinc and lead, and are played by rubbing a piece of wood along the rim.

There are a few things that are hard to hear on this set. On CD1, track 3 entitled War Drums is barely audible until the very end of the track. Also some of the Fanshawe field recordings are a bit uneven, but that is understandable considering their background and conditions in which they were taken. A 12-page booklet with some interesting liner notes is included. This set makes a good introduction to the world of percussion instruments, and world music in general.

Bruce McCollum

CD 1
1. Sama’l Thaqil: Arabesque: Arabic percussion [4:06]
2. Acholi Bwala Dance (Uganda): African drums and shakers [3:06]
3. War drums (Sudan): African drums [1:11]
4. Bunyoro Malinda (Sudan): African banana trunk xylophone [3:23]
5. Devil’s Dream: Jim Couza (USA): Hammer dulcimer [4:10]
6. Shenpadei Folksong (China): Chan Ki Cham: yan-qing (dulcimer) [4:34]
7. Night (China): Ho Man Chuen: Chinese percussion [5:55]
8. Chinese Martial Arts: Jing Ying Soloists: Chinese percussion ensemble [1:47]
9. Ducks Quacking (China): Ho Man Chuen: Chinese percussion ensemble [4:03]
10. Amancer Andino (Andes): Caliche: Andean Bombo drum and ensemble [3:05]
11. Celebration of Harvest (Japan): Joji Hirota: Multi percussion [6:26]
12. Ubiquity (Japan): Joji Hirota: Multi percussion [5:18]
13. Euphoria (Caribbean): Melodian Steel Band [4:47]
14. Meke Iwau (Fiji): Club dance [3:08]
15. Meke Seasea (Fiji): Slit log drum [2:35]
16. New Year Celebration (Fiji): Bamboo guns and clapping [2:09]
17. Gilo stones (Solomon Islands): Stone xylophone [1:22]
18. Timbunke Garamut Drums (Papua New Guinea): Sacred drums [1:42]
19. Kanengara War Dance (Papua New Guinea): Drums and scrapers [2:42]
20. Wagi Brothers Bamboo Band (Papua New Guinea): Bamboo band [2:15]
21. Temazcal (Mexico): Javier Alvarez: Maracas and electroacoustics [7:53]
[75:45]

CD 2
1. Longa (Arabic): Arabesque: Arabic percussion [5:56]
2. Cerga (Arabic): Arabesque: Arabic percussion [2:36]
3. An Dro Nevez (Breton): Robin Canter: Bombarde & side drum [0:53]
4. Tuba Gallicalis (France): York Waits: Ensemble with drum and tambourine [1:44]
5. Alborada (Spain): Robin Canter: Dulzaina & side drum [1:40]
6. Quen quer que ten en desden (Spain): Sine Nomine: Voices & darabukka [3:15]
7. Todos los Biennes (Spain): York Waits: Ensemble with drum and tambourine [2:34]
8. Roowe Well/Carman’s Whistle (England): York Waits: Drums/pipe and tabor [1:42]
9. Jameko (England): Broadside Band: Ensemble with tabor [2:29]
10. Living Without You (England): Hunt & Turner: Drum kit [3:21]
11. Rano (Rajasthan): Langa musicians: Santara with dholak drums [6:41]
12. Rag Megh (Gat) (N India): Ustad Latif Khan (tabla) with sitar & sarod [6:47]
13. Bird Dance Hula (Hawaii): Gourd drum (pahu) [2:13]
14. Song of Papa Kiko (Easter Island): Clapping stones [1:02]
15. Meke Wesi Spear Dance (Fiji): Slit log drum (lali) [3:35]
16. Funafuti Chorus (Tuvalu, Australia): Clapping, body, slit log drum [1:14]
17. Children’s Games (Tokelau, Polynesia): Children’s clapping songs [1:59]
18. Akatikatika drum dance (Cook Island): Cabin tin, slit log drums [2:48]
19. Haka Tapatapa (Marquesas Island, Polynesia): large drum and clapping [0:49]
20. Otea Drum Dance (Tahiti, Polynesia): Drums and stamping [4:03]
21. The Sakuddei (Indonesia): Drums and feet [2:03]
22. Poll Ha’Penney (Ireland): Celtic harp and Bodhran [4:45]
23. Bowl Voices (Tibet): Alain Presencer: Tibetan singing bowls [3:48]
24. Men’s stick dance (Yap, Micronesia): Sticks [1:21]
25. Te Kamei Batere (Kiribati, Micronesia): Clapping [2:50]
26. Tibwerri (Kiribati, Micronesia): Biscuit tin, wooden box [1:24]
27. Turkish rondo (Mozart): Richard Burnett: fortepiano with “Turkish Music” [3:17]

 

 




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