Eastwinds | Eastwinds

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World: World Fusion World: World Traditions Moods: Type: Improvisational
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by Eastwinds

Eastwinds is a vibrant blend of cultural threads, where exquisite melodies, sophisticated rhythms and the vocals of a songbird will transport you to other lands and a new geography of sound.
Genre: World: World Fusion
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  Song Share Time Download
1. 7 for Esi
4:55 $0.99
2. Maalaps Marjuke
4:34 $0.99
3. Kwakumba
5:03 $0.99
4. Kylä Vuotti Utta Kuuta
4:50 $0.99
5. Caged Bird
6:22 $0.99
6. The Passage
5:42 $0.99
7. Blame Lulu Peanuts
4:21 $0.99
8. Sanshi Solo
2:34 $0.99
9. Chakwe
5:20 $0.99
10. Three Slips and a Gully
3:34 $0.99
11. Aeti Mul Mõtsa
2:45 $0.99
12. Esmerim
5:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
EASTWINDS is a quartet of diverse cultural roots and a captivating original sound.
Three of Eastwinds members are overseas-born. Superb vocalist, Kristiina Maalaps, hails from Estonia. Her remarkable voice draws strongly on both the Estonian runic tradition and neighboring Scandinavian influences and beyond. Didgeridoo maestro, Sanshi, has an enviable reputation both as a player and promoter of the didgeridoo tradition in Australia - all the more remarkable given his Japanese heritage. English-born, former music festival Director, Steve Barnes (guitar and cittern), is a highly seasoned performer and saxophonist, Mark Cain is a well-known musician and educator with a long and distinguished pedigree in world music and as a maker of innovative instruments. He has two other releases on CD Baby, "Reeds" and "Ozmosis".

This is Eastwinds eponymously titled debut album. It features guest performances by one of Iran's remarkable younger generation musicians, virtuoso ney and daf exponent, Esfandiar Shahmir and his fellow countryman, Nikou Javadi on tombek, cahon and darbuka. Also featured is the lyrical mbira of Australian multi-instrumentalist songwriter, Jamie David.

Eastwinds are international boundary riders breathing new life into old traditions. They are unlike any group you have heard. Their music is a vibrant blend of cultural threads, where exquisite melodies, sophisticated rhythms and the vocals of a songbird will transport you to other lands and a new geography of sound.


1. 7 for Esi (Mark Cain) 4.56
Mark wrote this tune for recently emigrated Iranian musician, Esfandiar Shahmir, who plays both Persian ney and daf (frame drum) on this this tune in 7/8. Mark plays his own customised claritube (in A). The Persian ney varies from other ney flutes of the Middle East, all of which are end-blown flutes. Esi’s instrument is played with an extended section of thin plastic film that wraps around the flute’s blowing end and fits up in between the teeth. The flute is played by directing (refracting) one’s air off the upper palate and down into the top of the mouthpiece extension. This gives an airy, mystical sound that can be further shaped by movement of the mouth whilst playing. Esfandiar is also an outstanding exponent of the daf, a
Persian frame drum with small metal rings surrounding its perimeter. These rings create a light shimmer when the drum is played. The claritube is a continuation of instruments Mark began making in the 1980s with his group, AC/PVC. It’s a tuned clarinet (or more accurately, a chalumeau) fashioned from sections of polypipe.
[Kristiina – voice; Esfandiar - ney and daf; Mark - claritube; Steve - guitar and Sanshi - low A didgeridoo]

2. Maalaps Marjuke (Lea Tabur/Kristiina Maalaps) 4.34
The lyrics to this song are written in Estonian by Kristiina’s mother (and poet), Lea Tabur.
[Kristina - voice; Mark - alto sax; Steve - guizouki and Sanshi - didgeridoo and bass drum]

3. Kwakumba (Mark Cain) 5.03
This tune, written by Mark, was originally intended to be something of a drunken waltz. A kwakumba (variously named) is a highlands PNG bamboo flute with a single blowing hole and an open end. Mark’s initial recording of this piece is heard on his solo CD, Reeds and features this flute - hence this tune’s name – and a bullhorn recorder, called a gemshorn. On this version, the gemshorn opens the piece solo and is joined by guitar and Kristiina scatting the vocal melody. The tune gradually morphs into a jazz waltz as soprano sax joins.
[Kristiina - voice; Mark - gemshorn & soprano sax; Steven - guitar].

4. Kylä Vuotti Uutta Kuuta (Trad. Finnish/arr. Eastwinds) 4.50
Translated as, The Village Waited for the New Moon, this tune was first recorded on Finnish group, Vartinna’s second album, Musta Lindu in 1989 and again on a subsequent cd, Seleniko. As US folklorist and writer Steven D. Winick explains: this “song was part of the traditional Karelian wedding. These weddings lasted four days, at the end of which the bride went to live with her new husband in his village. Often it was far away, and the bride was alone, facing a village full of strangers coming to check out the new girl”. The song is an allegory about the loneliness the bride experiences in this setting.
[Kristiina - voice; Mark - alto & soprano sax; Steve - guizouki and Sanshi - didgeridoo]

5. Caged Bird (Trad. Persian/arr. Esfandiar Shahmir/Sanshi) 6.22
A lyrical duet version of a traditional Persian melody played by Esfandiar Shahmir on Persian ney and featuring some virtuositic ‘beatboxing’ techniques by Sanshi on dideridoo.

6. The Passage (Mark Cain) 5.42
Written by Mark in the Turkish hijaz scale (D) this tune again features Esfandiar Shahmir playing ney flute and Mark on claritube. Mark wanted to capture something of the elegant spaciousness of the Persian tradition in this piece. The tune opens with Sanshi’s didgeridoo then Esi and Mark playing in harmony over the tune. Esi’s solo takes advantage of studio overdubbing to create vibrant duet between two neys (both played by him), whilst Mark’s solo is more spare and languorous.
[Esfandiar - ney; Mark - claritube (D hijaz) and Sanshi: didgeridoo]

7. Blame Lulu Peanuts (Steve Barnes) 4.21
Steve’s piece is a surprise package that sounds distinctly of another era, somewhat redolent of the renaissance. His quizzical title refers to a menu item he came across whilst dining in a provincial Chinese restaurant. Ever the collector of humorous anecdotes, this one inevitably became a song title. The tune opens with two jaw harps in call-response mode, before the entry of guitar and tarota (a Catalan double-reed shawm) each playing the melody. Kristiina’s gorgeous vocal features a poem, again written by her mother, Lea Tabur. The subsequent solo is played by Mark on tarota and at the end, the melody is reprised on soprano sax.
[Kristiina - vocal & jaw harp; Mark - tarota, soprano sax & jawharp; Steve - guitar and Sanshi didgeridoo; Nikou - tombek]

8. Didge Solo (Sanshi) 2.34
This piece is a fine showcase for Sanshi virtuostic solo didgeridoo. The opening features bass flute-like overtones that are remarkably achieved by blowing across the mouthpiece end of the didgeridoo, not unlike the technique used to play a kaval flute in the Balkans. The middle section of this piece features Sanshi in ‘didgeriduet’.

9. Chakwe (Trad. Zimbabwean/Jamie David/Lea Tabur/Kristiina Maalaps) 5.20
This tune is based around a traditional Zimbabwean melody and featuring the mbira (thumb piano) played by Jamie David. Mark Cain’s tarogato (Hungarian wooden saxophone) is also heard, as are the lyrics of Lea Tabur, sung by Kristiina.
[Kristiina - voice, Jamie - mbira; Mark - tarogato and Sanshi - didgeridoo]

10. Three Slips and a Gully (Steve Barnes) 3.34
Written by Steve this tune is a duet featuring his guizouki (a cross between a guitar and a bouzouki) and Mark’s soprano sax. Another of Steve’s play-on-words, this title refers to the 9/8 time signature of this piece.
[Steve - guizouki; Mark - soprano saxophone; Nikou - cajon]

11. Aeti Mu Mõtsa (Trad. Estonian/arr. Kristiina Maalaps) 2.45
Estonian archaic runo song, translated as “I Was Sent to the Forest” performed as a trio.
Sung in an old Estonian dialect, the song depicts a lament by an orphan girl who has lost both her parents.
[Kristiina - vocal and Efandiar – daf; Sanshi - didgeridoo]

Aeti mu mõtsa, aeti mõtsa ommukult,
varra inne, varra inne valgõt
Anti mul peiu, anti peiu pikk vits,
kandli ala', kandli ala' karjavits

Oles mul olnu, oles mul olnu uma imä,
elanü, elanü uma esä
Andnu mul peiu, andnu peiu piimämuru,
kandli ala', kandli ala' karjamuru
Võõras an'd peiu, võõras an'd peiu pikä vitsa,
kandli ala', kandli ala' karjavitsa
An'd luu, an'd luu, ütel liha,
an'd koorigu, an'd koorigu, kuulut' är
Oles mul olnu, oles mul olnu uma imä,
elanü, elanü uma esä
Imä an'd liha, imä an'd liha, ütel' luu,
an'd tükü, an'd tükü, ütel' tüh

12. Esmerim (Trad. Turkish/arr. Linsey Pollak and Eastwinds) 5.27
Esmerim Bicim Bicim is a Turkish traditional song popularised by, among others, famed Turkish singers, Ibrahim Tatlises and Izzet Altimese. This somewhat slower version and was taught to Mark by fellow Australian reedman, Linsey Pollak, with whom he studied and toured with in the 1980s. It’s a slow burner over which Kristiina provides a scat vocal in duet with Mark’s soprano sax.
[Kristiina - voice; Mark - soprano sax; Steve - guizouki and Sanshi - didgeridoo; Nikou - arabic tabla and cajon]



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