Thursday, October 26, 2006

Nordic Roots Festival Report

The Nordic Roots Festival in Minneapolis is one of the great world music events of the year.
One of our long time readers, David Smith, recently attended 8th Annual Festival and sent us his report and photos.

I have just returned from the Nordic Roots Festival in Minneapolis. This is a small, urban festival held at the Cedar Cultural Center, a small non-profit center based in an old movie theater which features music of all types during the year.

The festival features contemporary folk music from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Samiland, and other places where Nordic roots can be found. They present a nice mix of music from those countries, with attention paid to diversity in presentation...

Nordic Roots
Read David's complete report on RootsWorld

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Two unique 'world music' concerts reviewed

Saadet Turkoz and Hans Koch

There has long been a healthy spirit of non-conformism in Krakow, so it is no surprise to receive a visit here from musicians who refuse to compromise. Vocalist Saadet Turkoz and reedman Hans Koch certainly fall into this category, and their appearance at Club Re in Krakow, Poland on September 10th, 2006 was surely uncompromising. Turkoz' music is freely improvised, but is based on a personal interpretation of and reflection on the folk melodies her parents and their friends exposed her to when she was a child. The lullaby, the confession, the curse and the dirge all have their place. Building on this core of universal human experience, she is able to convey dramatically contrasting emotions. Philip Palmer reports from Krakow.

carmen Consoli
Carmen Consoli demurred when she was introduced as "the most successful singer and songwriter Italy has ever produced."
"I am just a little artist trying to express herself," she said. But for the past decade she has reigned as Italy's leading female rock star. A gifted lyricist and tunesmith, she has attracted a passionate and devoted following in her homeland with her woman-centric point of view and emotionally charged concerts. She is particularly popular with women, left-leaning youth and gays, but even older, straighter and more mainstream audiences love the self-described "bambina impertinente." At a recent concert at Joe's Pub in NYC and on her new recording, Eva Contro Eva, she is changing course towards a more roots-oriented music, still powerful and still uniquely her own. George De Stefano checked in on the "piccola cantatessa" while she was in New York.

Read the full reports in RootsWorld

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The dark future of "world music?"

This press release was sent to us today.
It is offered with no additional comments: feel free to make your own!

Dear Editor:

Imagine hearing Jay-Z, on his upcoming world tour rapping in each country's native dialect! Voxonic, Inc. a New York based technology firm has developed proprietary software, which allows our voices to be seamlessly converted into foreign languages.

Through the use of a 10-minute sample of our voice, Voxonic's technology can replicate a specific voice in any language. Voxonic breaks our voices into "phonemes" that compose our voice, and hires an actor who is fluent in the desired language to record a lyric or speech (the actor does not have to mimic the original speaker in order for a successful conversion). The Voxonic technology aligns the two voice patterns, resulting in a 99 percent level of accuracy in the original speaker's voice.

Voxonic offers tremendous benefits to the entertainment industry. Imagine how much easier it will be for American entertainers to have the opportunity to reach out to their foreign demographic. With the record industries sales at an all-time low, the diminishment of language barriers makes marketing and entertainment opportunities endless. Some of those various opportunities include the following:

* Radio promotional opportunities for entertainers to make voice-drops in any language.
* Music artists being able to create concert introductions in any dialect.
* Record labels having the opportunity to make limited-edition albums and singles in a wide-range of languages.

Voxonic, Inc., which has additional involvement from world respected music industry pioneers such as entertainment executive Andre Harrell, and accomplished music producer Eddie F., is redefining music culture. "This technology will allow record companies to expand their artist's marketability globally," said Arie Deutsch, President of Entertainment for Voxonic Inc. "Think of how powerful it would be for Russian teens to hear Eminem rap in their native language".

Like I said: no comment from me is needed, I think.
Please offer your own, though!