Two Moondog interpreters revisit the late composer’s more concise works
Dominique Ponty and Stefan Lakatos have recorded a new Moondog album containing known and previously unpublished miniatures spanning the composer’s lifetime.
Called Piano Trimba, a number of pieces included on this recording were originally dedicated to French pianist Ponty, who with Lakatos on trimba – a percussion instrument invented by Moondog in the late 1940s – had known and collaborated with Moondog before his death in 1999. “Stefan Lakatos is the leading exponent of the Moondog method of drum playing,” wrote Louis Hardin aka Moondog about the Swedish artist and musician he got to know and work with in the 1980s.
Saxophonist and educator Rigby worked with Milford Graves, Don Pullen and Arthur Doyle, among other projects
US musician Joe Rigby died on 16 July. Primarily a saxophonist, Rigby worked with Milford Graves on and off since the 1960s.
Born in 1940 in Harlem, New York, he became a fan of R&B and played the piano for pop group The Chantels. He turned to improvisation after hearing John Coltrane with The Miles Davis Sextet. An early job with Graves saw him play alongside Don Pullen, Arthur Williams, Hugh Glover and Arthur Doyle. In 1969 Rigby became president of the Black Students’ Union of Bronx Community College. He played with Steve Reid’s The Master Brotherhood, Ted Daniel’s Third World Energy Ensemble, Charles Tyler’s New World Ensemble, and others. In 1978 he led his own group Dynasty. In 1997, Graves, Glover and Rigby performed at New York’s Vision Festival. To finance his music career and support his family he undertook many jobs, from postal worker to taxi driver, and for 14 years taught music for the New York Board of Education until he retired in 2004.
Washed By The Moon documents Albanian musicians who continue to fly the traditional folk flag, six of whom will be touring the UK for the first time
Called Washed By The Moon, director Dan Shutt’s new film about Albanian polyphonic singing delves into the lives of three generations of musicians who still perform the folk style today. Its main protagonists include former Artist of the People Golik Jaupi, police commissioner Vullnet Silaj and the younger singer Endri Hodaj, who is also a barber.
“I was working in London in 2016, running a record label and recording music in my free time, when I heard a song called “Janinës ç'i Panë Sytë”,” says director Shutt, recalling his first encounter with the music. “This is a very famous song in southern Albania, with heartbreaking harmonies. It immediately made me quit my job and fly straight to Albania. With a chain of ridiculously good luck, me and my childhood friend Isaac, who is a great cinematographer, ended up in the building in which Albania declared independence in 1912 with a group of legendary polyphonic singers from the region. They vowed to give us their all simply in order to share their music with us, who were now their guests.”
With no funding to speak of, it took Shutt more than two years to complete his 55 minute film. “Albanian arts generally received state support during the communist times, as they helped contribute to the handy nationalist narrative that dictator Enver Hoxha used to support his regime, but since the country transitioned to democracy in the 1990s its population have been less isolated and the younger generations look away from their culture a little,” explains Shutt. “However, this music is still very much alive; we filmed with a group of 20 year olds who sing purely because the structure of the music is inherently community building. The drone can be sung by anyone, and the more people involved in a song, the stronger its emotional force. When these groups sing, windows rattle in their frames – the earth literally shakes.”
Premiered last year at Dokufest in Prizren, Kosovo, Washed By The Moon will be released via the Lush player streaming platform in October 2019. There will also be international screenings throughout September in London, Bristol, Copenhagen and Tbilisi.
Finally, the sextet Grupi Lab will tour the UK this autumn. Led by Jaupi, Grupi Lab are Vullnet Silaj, Virjon Lacaj, Engjell Tairaj, Robert Memaj and Sadush Kamaj. Their dates include an NTS Radio live broadcast and a performance at London Cafe Oto (10 October), Bristol The Cube (11), Gateshead Tusk (13), London House of Commons (14), Shetland Islands Shetland Arts (16), London SOAS (18).
The duo’s sight and sound installation is declared Best of Philly: Best Public Art
Philadelphia DJ and producer King Britt’s Mural Arts And Blue Design collaboration with American artist and muralist Joshua Mays has won the Best of Philly: Best Public Art award. Called Dreams, Diaspora And Destiny, their prizewinning piece is a large scale augmented reality mural in the Conestoga neighbourhood of Philadelphia. It’s designed to be experienced in conjunction with a smartphone app that brings life to the piece through image recognition and a score made up of recordings and interviews with the local community.
A previously unreleased work by the late electronics composer Roland Kayn (1933–2011) is about to be made public. Described as “a fully realised consolidation of cybernetic music” made between 1982–83, it’s called Scanning and spans ten CDs of a new box set. Running to just over ten hours long, it completes his series of extended electronic works stretching from the late 1970s to the early 80s including Simultan and Elektroakustische Projekte (both released 1977), Makro I–III and Infra (both 1981), and Tektra (1984).
Last year Die Schachtel reissued Simultan as a three LP box set, and in 2017 the 14 hour composition A Little Electronic Milky Way Of Sound was released by Frozen Reeds as a 16 CD set.
Aside from a festival presentation and a radio broadcast in 2004, Scanning remains largely unheard until now. Remastered by Jim O’Rourke, the box set will be released in September by Kayn’s Reiger Records Reeks, now run by his daughter Ilse.
See a chart of the best selling titles in our online shop
Here are the current top 10 best selling books in our online shop. Click on the links to read more about each title. Don’t forget: subscribers to the magazine get automatic discounts on all the books and other merchandise in the shop.
Berlin based festival runs from 28 August – 1 September
Liz Harris as Nivhek opens Berlin Atonal’s five night festival on 28 August, with UCC Harlo and Pavel Milyakov making up the bill. Other Atonal specials include a rare live set from Australian group HTRK, dBridge debuting new project Black Electric, and the mina collective taking over Tresor club.
Also confirmed are Mixmaster Morris, Marshstepper, Shapednoise with Pedro Maia, Shackleton, Vladislav Delay and AGF as Rakka, Félicia Atkinson, Roly Porter & MFO, SHYBOI, Sybil, Helm, JK Flesh, Nkisi presents Initiation, Félicia Atkinson presents Music for Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Gamble, Huerco S, Ziúr and many more.
Tickets are on sale now, costing from €37 per day.
Much loved producer on the Los Angeles beats scene has died at the age of 39
The death of Los Angeles based DJ and producer Gregory Shorter Jr aka Ras G was announced by Brainfeeder record label, which, along with Ramp and Leaving, had been releasing his hiphop instrumental productions as Ras G or Ras G And The Afrikan Space Program, since the mid-2000s.
Brainfeeder announced on Twitter, “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to one of our brothers, Gregory Shorter, aka RAS G. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends & fans worldwide. One of the founders of BRAINFEEDER & LA Beat Scene. Rest In Peace G. We love you. (Ohhh Rass! • Airhornn!).”
Ras G was the co-founder of Poo-Bah Record label alongside Ron Stivers and Black Monk, which started life as a record shop in Pasadena. His discography was vast, up to and including Dance Of The Cosmos, which was released earlier this year by Akashik.
Smithsonian Folkways share a track from Songs From The Bardo
Smithsonian Folkways have announced the release of Songs From The Bardo, an 80 minute composition designed as as a guide through the visionary text of Tibetan Book Of The Dead, by Laurie Anderson, Tibetan singer and multi-instrumentalist Tenzin Choegyal and Jesse Paris Smith. Also featuring cellist Rubin Kodheli and percussionist Shahzad Ismaily, it was first performed at New York’s Rubin Museum of Art, .
Choegyal, who was born into a family of Tibetan nomads forced into exile in India, says in the album’s sleevenotes, “I have tried to channel the wisdom and traditions of my ancestors through my music in a very contemporary way while holding the depth of my lineage.” For the performance he uses a lingbu (a Tibetan bamboo flute), dranyen (a stringed lute-like instrument), singing bowls, a gong and vocals. (Patti Smith’s daughter) Jesse Paris Smith performs on piano and a collection of crystal bowls, while Anderson acts as narrator.
UK sound system Reggae Roast tracks mark the sub-label’s launch
Trojan Records' sub-label Trojan Reloaded launched last year with the aim of showcasing only the “sounds of now” from a pool of UK talent, while continuing Trojan's commitment to the ever-evolving genre of reggae. Its first release: the UK sound system Reggae Roast 7" “Real Reggae Music” featuring Tippa Irie.
Now Trojan Reloaded share a video of Reggae Roast’s rework of “Sensi Skank Reloaded”, featuring Ruben Da Silva, with visuals that act as a “homage to one of the most versatile plants in the world”. It's available as a 10" via Trojan's online store. Watch the video below.