[FIELDSET=L'Orkestina]A cosmopolitan group of musicians. The four players who make up the core of Orkestina come from Bulgaria, Ireland, England, and Spain, and their approach to Balkan music reflects this multi-cultural make-up. Fiddler Colum Pettit from Cork could fool anyone into believing he grew up in the Balkans with his wild Gypsy flair. Londoner Jon Davison’s accordion playing has the pulsating swirl of a blender set on puree. Bulgarian Ivan Dimitrov easily handles the gadulka, a 13-stringed fiddle that was originally used to accompany dancing bears. Spaniard Manolo Lopez has a muscular sense of rhythm on double bass.
They mix horos, Irish reels, freylakhs, and love songs as if the genres have always gone together. The arrangements are competent and functional without being flashy. Though all the musicians and their guests are more than technically proficient, they do not let technique get in the way of the spirit of the music. The ensemble playing is just messy enough to remind you that this is, after all, party music. Mihail Bilnikov contributes some fine clarinet playing and Aziz Khodari’s percussion is crisp and driving. [/FIELDSET]
You Can Now Listen To A Song That Hasn't Been Played For 1,000 Years
April 25, 2016| by Tom Hale
photo credit:Cambridge University Library 17.2K
After two decades of work, a song that has remained in obscurity for 1,000 years has been pieced back together and is now available for you to listen to.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have reconstructed songs from a medieval musical, which is based on the Roman philosopher Boethius's magnum opus "The Consolation of Philosophy." The original work was written by Boethius's in the 6th century during his imprisonment, shortly before his execution for treason, and is considered to be one of his great masterpieces.
So why has the ancient song stayed unheard for all these years? Musicians in the Middle Ages used neumes, an early form of musical notation that expresses melodic outlines, instead of the musical notes we use today. This makes the “translation” of the pieces extremely hard for modern musicians.
“Neumes indicate melodic direction and details of vocal delivery without specifying every pitch and this poses a major problem… We know the contours of the melodies and many details about how they were sung, but not the precise pitches that made up the tunes,” Dr. Sam Barrett of Cambridge University, who worked on the project, said in astatement.
However, researchers managed to rediscover an 11th century manuscript that was lost over 142 years ago. This “musical Rosetta Stone” was used by the team to piece together an estimated 80 to 90 percent of the original piece.
A group of musicians performed the full portion of the reconstructed musical during a performance on Saturday, April 23, but you can listen to an excerpt from the song below.