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What do you see?

by HourGlass

The magic of HourGlass emanates from its seamless fusion of periods and styles...Medieval chants blend easily with improvisatory instruments...elsewhere folk elements meet jazz references on equal turf. -Cleveland Plain Dealer
Genre: World: World Traditions
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. La Pastora als camps/Bailera
5:10 $0.99
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2. L'aiga de roca
1:20 $0.99
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3. Brecairola
2:39 $0.99
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4. Aval dins la combela
3:45 $0.99
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5. Passa pel prat
4:32 $0.99
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6. Bailera - instrumental
1:43 $0.99
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7. Borreia
2:59 $0.99
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8. Disillusionment
3:08 $0.99
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9. What do you see?
2:58 $0.99
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10. To her Portrait
2:38 $0.99
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11. Ai Ondas
2:50 $0.99
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12. Manda'dei comigo
3:30 $0.99
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13. Mia irmana
2:09 $0.99
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14. Ai! Madre de Deus
2:55 $0.99
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15. Iberian Improvisation #1
2:14 $0.99
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16. El que quisiere amando
2:36 $0.99
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17. Iberian Improvisation #2
2:04 $0.99
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18. Tio Diego
1:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Cleveland Plain Dealer writes:

"Spend an hour or two with HourGlass and you get the strange but wondrous feeling that time both leaps over the centuries and stands still. The superb quintet of singers and instrumentalists filters old music through modern sensabilities, bringing fresh enchantment to everything they touch. The magic of HourGlass emanates from its seamless fusion of periods and styles. In these artists hands and voices, Medieval chants blend easily with improvisatory instruments as if they had been longtime friends. Elsewhere folk elements meet jazz references on equal turf."

FANFARE MAGAZINE describes their CD:

"This is my understanding of what is on this CD: 1) an arrangement by composer Steve Sanford and HourGlass of Occitan folk songs. These are much better known in their very different arrangements by Joseph Canteloube as Songs of the Auvergne; 2) The Tenth Muse, an original work by Sanford, based on poetry of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, who lived in the 1600s; 3) a collection of medieval cantigas, arranged by the ensemble, called Love in Vigo; and 4) two songs by Fernando Sor as arranged by the ensemble, plus two "Iberian Improvisations" by Noren and Blickenderfer.

I've always suspected that Canteloube painted a high gloss finish on those songs from the Auvergne region, and HourGlass's performance puts them much closer to what I imagine to be their roots without compromising their attractiveness. Love in Vigo, comprised of four selections, retains the clarity I associate with medieval music, but adds a little sex appeal. The Sor is bewitching, with overtones of flamenco music. An inattentive listener might mistake The Tenth Muse for still more early music, but it is today's music, albeit written in such a way as to maintain its modernity and originality while not jarring with the other works on the program. It's a nice bit of musical camouflage.

Catt and Tosic sometimes sing in a manner more suggestive of folk, even pop (think Joan Baez or Judy Collins), than classical music. This doesn't seem self-consciously "hip," however, and the ease and spontaneity of their singing can't hide their expert musicianship. Similarly, the three instrumentalists blend informality with self-discipline. Each time I played the CD, I found more to admire. HourGlass makes it all sound so easy, and rest assured, it's not easy at all."


For more detailed program notes, visit www.hourglassmusic2005.com

Individual Bios...

Multi-instrumentalist Andrew Blickenderfer (acoustic bass, cello, violin, mandolin, bodhran) has performed with classical, improvisational, and ethnic/folk ensembles for CDs, soundtracks, radio, clubs and concert halls across North America. His work delves into traditional and cross-cultural forms of music from around the world, as well as improvisational, traditional jazz and classical formats. In addition to HourGlass, he is a member of Sabana Blanca, creating fully improvised scores to classic silent films, as well as the quartet Andromeda. Active in the Klezmer music scene, he often sits in with the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Shirim, freelances with countless others in Boston and New York, and has appeared in theatrical productions with Joel Grey and the Revels.

Soprano Cristi Catt has performed in concerts and theatrical productions throughout the U.S. and Europe, including appearances at Tanglewood, the Holland Festival, and the Bergen Festival in Norway. Her interest in the Gallego-Portuguese love lyric has led to numerous concerts of medieval cantigas, Portuguese and Brazilian folk songs, and new works. She is a founding member of Tapestry and has appeared with leading medieval ensembles including Ensemble PAN, Revels, and Boston Camerata, as well as French Folk band, Le Bon Vent and Balmus. She has recorded for the Telarc, MDG, and Erato labels.

Takaaki Masuko, came to Boston in 1979 after playing enough triangle for the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra. He has performed and toured with a diverse group of music ensembles including Les Miserables Brass Band, The Horse Flies and Tapestry - in concerts and festivals in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He has recorded with MCA, Zoning, Northeastern Telarc and Flying Fish labels. He collaborates regularly with various dance, theatre and multimedia projects, most recently with the Second Hand Dance Co. on Broadway at The Victory Theater in New York City. He is a co-founder of Sabana Blanca, a group specializing in silent film accompaniment.

Tom Noren, a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, recently returned from a tour of Brazil with The New World Guitar Trio. He has established himself as an exciting performer, both as a soloist and chamber musician. His repertoire ranges from works of the Renaissance to the contemporary, as well as music from his native Brazil, including Villa Lobos' guitar concerto, and Sambas and Choros for solo guitar. Tom has performed at many prestigious concert venues, including Jordan Hall, The Oregon Bach Festival, the Miller Theater in New York City and the Taipei National Theater.

Mezzo-soprano Daniela Tosic, a native of Yugoslavia, has toured with the Belgrade-based ensemble "Renaissance" throughout the former Yugoslavia. In the Boston area she has worked with Blue Heron, Ensemble P.A.N., Revels, La Donna Musicale, Balmus, and Jubal's Lyre. She is a founding member of Tapestry, the acclaimed vocal ensemble that records with Telarc International and tours widely throughout the US and abroad. She worked on the score for the academy award nominated film Before the Rain. Her interest in music of the troubadours has led to performances of this repertoire paired with epic songs of her homeland.

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Reviews


to write a review

Raymond Tuttle, FANFARE Magazine


Love in Vigo, comprised of four selections, retains the clarity I associate with medieval music, but adds a little sex appeal. The Sor is bewitching, with overtones of flamenco music...

Catt and Tosic sometimes sing in a manner more suggestive of folk, even pop (think Joan Baez or Judy Collins), than classical music. This doesn't seem self-consciously "hip," however, and the ease and spontaneity of their singing can't hide their expert musicianship. Similarly, the three instrumentalists blend informality with self-discipline. Each time I played the CD, I found more to admire. HourGlass makes it all sound so easy, and rest assured, it's not easy at all.
Read more...

Ruthie Ristich

Hourglass has soul.
Hourglass educates and inspires. Who knew about Occitan? We can only appreciate the labor of love these musicians put into researching, learning and interpreting these gorgeous love songs from centuries long ago... Plus the fact that they are all superb musicians, not just ethnomusicologists. Knowledge plus love equals SOUL. I look forward to whatever their next project will be. Hourglass has soul.
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Cathy Fuller, WGBH Radio

2003 Holiday Pick
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Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Alluring HourGlass fuses periods, cultural styles in musical time machine
Spend an hour or two with HourGlass and you get the strange but wondrous feeling that time both leaps over the centuries and stands still. The superb quintet of singers and instrumentalists filters old music through modern sensabilities, bringing fresh enchantment to everything they touch.
The program focused on music of the Iberian peninsula and a handful of influences. The magic of HourGlass emanates from its seamless fusion of periods and styles. In these artists hands and voices, Medieval chants blend easily with improvisatory instruments as if they had been longtime friends. Elsewhere folk elements meet jazz references on equal turf.
Read more...

Karen Garthe

It's all so SEXY!! Yikes.
I've just listened to the CD twice, and it is simply ravishing. Cristi's sounds unbelievably pure and crystalline, without ever sharpening, and Danielle's voice is a grounded and solvent miracle. The order of the songs is exciting and somehow it's all so SEXY!! Yikes.
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Karen Garthe

I have a vast collection of music, including classical, jazz, and some pop -- ye
I have a vast collection of music, including classical, jazz, and some pop -- yet listen to my HourGlass CD most of all. Fortunately, I was even able to participate in the making of this CD, since I composed some variations on the Songs of Auvergne. The lyrics don't appear in the booklet that accompanies the CD, they're only on the website. But that doesn't really matter because what counts is the music and how beautiful it is. Via the talent of the singers and musicians, these songs filter up through history not as esoteric artifacts, but as vivid, deeply felt expression. The song sequencing is a knockout, a ride through lyricism, a ride of great speed and sexiness and joy.
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