Apr
07


I first encountered the Hurdy-Gurdy eons ago at a concert by Gabriel Yacoub at the French Institute here in NYC. He was accompanied by Giles Chabenat on the instrument and I was immediately taken with what Yacoub described as “the medieval synthesizer.” It had a sound that was simultaneously ancient and immediate, and I never forgot it.

Fast forward, and another great master of the instrument, Matthias Loibner, was coming to town. I was not that familiar with his work, or his duo with Bosnian singer Natasa Mirkovic-DeRo, but it was intriguing to be told that while they would be presenting a folk repertoire at Joe’s Pub, they would be performing a classical program at the Austrian Cultural Forum the next night. (Both were part of the Forum’s very varied programming.)

From the night at Joe’s Pub, here’s a simply wonderful performance of “Magla Padnala” a folksong that is attributed to Macedonia – albeit not without local controversy!  Loibner uses loops and computer generated effects to achieve a Fripp-like stratospheric setting for Ms. Mirkovic-DeRo’s formidable vocal chops.

What is apparent from this video is that in the hands of the right musician, the Hurdy-Gurdy is a fully modern instrument, and not a relic from another time. And if you want to know more about Mr. Loibner and the Hurdy-Gurdy, you can learn more here.

Also, the venerable Rootsworld website has published an article and CD overview of Loibner’s oeuvre.



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Michal
Welcome!

Here’s where you’ll find my weekly original world music video blogs that appear on Huffington Post, as well as an archive starting in April of 2009.

This is also the place where you will find video that is exclusive to my site. I’ve traveled to places like Uzbekistan, Morocco, and Taiwan and no matter where I go I have found amazingly talented and creative people working in every genre from the deepest traditions to the cutting edge.

It’s been incredibly rewarding to interview them and to capture some of what they do on video. Enjoy what you see and hear, and let me know what you think. I welcome your feedback.

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