Monday, December 7, 2015

Karavan Sarai, Woven Landscapes

Today we delve into an excellent eclectic world music album, Woven Landscapes by Karavan Sarai (Karavan Sarai Music). It centers around eight compositions by Narayan Sijan, who sings and plays an oud, saz, buzuk, setar, baglama and kopak saz. He is joined by Carmen Rizzo on electronics, keyboard, drums and percussion, in addition to several guests.

The music is a contemporary re-presentation of the music of the ancient silk route caravans, covering India, Persia, Turkey, the Balkans and Arabia long ago. The continual traffic spread musical cultures as they traveled back and forth, giving rise to much cross-fertilization and redevelopment of stylistic paradigms.

Narayan Sijan creatively restates those musical folkways in a set of songs that owe much to the old ways yet manage to put it in modern context.

Strings and percussion are constants here along with haunting vocal lines. The music has an authentic yet contemporary feel. It gives us pause, helping us recall the roots and routes of civilization as forwarded by the interactions of long distance trade. It is the opposite of the small-minded fanatic insularism of those in Eye-sil, who would wage a barbaric war against the rest of the world. This is pro-civilization(s), anti-barbarism.

And so for that and for the music's excellence I strongly recommend it to you.

Any string players who read this blog will gain much from Sijan's prowess on the ancient instruments he has mastered. But everyone with a musical sense will get much out of this beautiful record!!

Very recommended.

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