27 July 2007

Indian Brass from the Past

CD REVIEW
Nathamuni Brothers: Madras 1974
(Fire Museum)
buy CD/hear samples

Nathamuni Brothers: Madras 1974 If you've been following global music recently, you might hear the phrase "Indian brass band" and think of an Indian wedding band, or the UK-based Bollywood Brass Band. Well, stop it. Instead, think of what might happen if you gave classical Carnatic musicians brass and woodwind instruments, and let them play. It ain't the hip global brass music of today, but then these recordings were made back in 1974.

Producer Robert Garfias explains how these recordings came about:

In January of 1974, I was in Madras on my return to Burma. Knowing of my interest in brass bands, my friend T. Ranganathan arranged for these musicians to record for me on the patio of his house.

The music is said to be somewhere between English military tunes and traditional ragas, and along with the brass and the "Albert System E-flat clarinets," there's also a fairly heavy rhythm from tavil drums. It's unusual music, and with Fire Museum pressing just 500 copies of the CD, grab one while you can.

Sound samples:
Varnam in Raga Shankarabharanam Janya
Varnam Sami Ninne Raga Shankarabharanam
Javali Apaduruku Lonaitine, Raga Khamas
English Note


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