Concertzender news letter december '12
For many people December is a busy month, with the holidays in view, but it’s also a cosy month. Outside it’s getting dark, but inside it’s comfy, with the radio – tuned to the Concertzender – on.
Our newsletter is filled to the brim. We discuss world music from Zimbabwe, featured in the program ‘Metamorfosen’, with music for the thumb piano. Program maker Marcel van Dijk will tell you all about it. The CD of the month is closely related to this, for it is an album by Mookoma, also from Zimbabwe.
In this newsletter we also focus on our first livestream broadcast. A concert by singer-songwriter Alina Frazao can be heard live through our website.
The program ‘Nuove Musiche’ will feature a Christmas album by the Austrian ensemble Quadriga Consort.
And of course there are our regular features. In ‘Introducing…’ program maker Marylou Busch tells about the 100th edition of ‘Pluto’, and her love of music. Vredenburg offers a discount on tickets to a concert by the famous Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. And the prize question has a complete boxed CD set as its prize.We wish you musical holidays, a swinging New Year’s Eve and happy reading with this final newsletter for 2012.
World music in ‘Metamorfosen’
Marcel van Dijk compiles the world music program ‘Metamorfosen’. Friday 21 December’s edition will focus on the thumb piano. The episode is called: ‘The mbira dza vadzimu: the voice of the ancestors’ and airs between 17.00 and 18.00 CET.
Marcel van Dijk is fascinated by the African thumb piano (in picture: a ‘mbira dza vadzimu’). “This interest started when I studied ethnomusicology in Amsterdam in the early 1980s. Thumb pianos – officially called lamellophones – are only seen in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It is really no more than a piece of wood or a box on which a number of elongated strips have been mounted. The instrument is played with the thumbs, and sometimes with the index fingers as well. What is remarkable is that in most thumb pianos the strips do not rise in pitch from left to right, like the keys of a Western piano, but the lowest tones are in the middle, and the keys get higher to both left and right.”
Faster and easier
“My theory is that this structure allows the player to play complex rhythmic and harmonic patterns much faster and easier. If the instrument were tuned from low to high the player would have to make more thumb movements. The bass tones in the middle allow for more interchange between the thumbs, it is less tiring and the performer can play much faster. The music is very sophisticated, especially when the player uses the instrument to accompany his own singing.”
Van Dijk: “The music of the thumb piano can be considered classical, since form and structure are fixed. The instrument also plays a key role in nightly rituals, in which the spirits of ancestors are called forth.”
CD of the Month: ‘Rising Tide’ by Mokoomba
Mokoomba is the best new band from Zimbabwe and consists of 6 young musicians. The CD ‘Rising Tide’ doesn’t feature typical African mbiras, marimbas or choirs. It does, however, feature a melting pot of various styles from all over the world.
The members of Mokoomba (in picture) grew up with the Tonga culture. This shows from the particular rhythms and melodies on the CD. But the 12 songs contain much more. There are African influences like Congolese grooves, but also:
The first track, ‘Njoka’, opens with warm Congolese guitar riffs, tight salsa percussion and horns, punctuating the melody in all of the right spots. And the harmonious backing vocals support the raw voice of Mathias Muzaza (in picture).What makes Mokoomba’s music so special is the diversity of sounds and rhythms – and the tight performance by the musicians.
Scores of guest musicians
Marylou Busch – program maker ‘Pluto’
She is curious – and she is always looking for new and happening music. Marylou has been making radio for 48 years, the past 4 years for the Concertzender. For our station she creates the program ‘Pluto’.
Marylou enthusiastically says: “Pluto is music from another planet. I’m not bound to any format or style of music and that allows me every freedom in programming. It may be alternative rock music, unusual folk, jazz, anything. The only criterion is that it touches me and will hopefully surprise the listeners.”
“Music came with my mother’s milk. My father was solo cellist with the Promenade Orchestra, and as a child I was taken along to concerts. I was allowed to sit on stage among the musicians, and this made a great impression. I’m into dancing and acting, but my mother wouldn’t hear of me going to acting school. But it all turned out for the best. I participated in the radio play ‘Piet Ponskaart' for VPRO radio.”
Actress after all
Not only do I like to act, but I also like to sing. I started out at a young age: at the age of five I was allowed to sing ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ in front of a microphone for the AVRO children’s choir, led by Herman Broekhuizen. In my early twenties I sang with a band. We mainly performed covers I liked. In addition I also liked to sing close harmony.”
Would you like to be in ‘Introducing…’?
The feature ‘Introducing…’ always focuses on one of our enthusiastic volunteers. They make the Concertzender the wonderful station it is, and we like to introduce you to the people who make all these great programs. But we also like meet you, our listeners.
Dou you have particular preferences in music? Or do you let yourself be surprised by new genres? Do you listen to the Concertzender all day long, or only when you’re on the road? Are you an active music enthusiast or do you prefer to listen to others?
Please tell us, and your fellow readers about it. In this way we will get great personal stories about what the Concertzender, or music in general, means to you.
Would you like to be featured in our new series? Please contact our editor » Hieke van Hoogdalem.We look forward to making your acquaintance!
Early music with a traditional touch in ‘Nuove Musiche’
Irene Stolp, program maker and editor of the early music section, will devote attention to the Quadriga Consort’s Christmas album in ‘Nuove Musiche’ on Monday 17 December. The program airs between 18.00 and 19.00 CET.
The consort recently released the Christmas album 'On a Cold Winter's Day' on the German Carpe Diem Records. It features ‘ancient’ Christmas music and carols from the British isles.The album also includes 'Wassail carols' . These are Christmas songs, sung according to an old English custom in December and January, when people went from door to door with a spicy drink. Furthermore there are old English dances and winter songs, as well as religious Irish Christmas songs, sung in Gaelic.
Vredenburg offers a discount on concert tickets
for The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Vredenburg, one of our partners, offers a discount on concert tickets every month. This offer is only open to readers of the Concertzender newsletter. This month’s offer concerns a concert by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields on Thursday 13 December, featuring violinist Vilde Frang.
The Academy of St Martin in the Fields will perform a program with the music of Mendelssohn, under the baton of Sir Neville Marriner. One of the compositions on the roster will be Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, with Vilde Frang (in picture) as the soloist.
Mendelssohn’s Fourth Symphony, the ‘Italian’, is also on the program. The work was given its name for Mendelssohn’s ramblings in classical Italy.
There are 50 tickets available.
» read more about the concert on the Vredenburg site
Listen to Alina Frazao live through Concertzender.nl
On Saturday 8 December the Angolan singer-songwriter Alina Frazao will give a concert in Vredenburg at 20.00 hrs. You can listen to this concert live by means of the livestream on our website.
Frazao mixes her African roots with influences from bossa nova and jazz in a combination of original songs and repertoire from Angola, Brazil and Cabo Verde.
Frazao calls the CD “an arrival, but also a passport to travel on.” The Spain-based Angolan has been composing since the age of 15, but it wasn’t until she started performing in Madrid bars that she started shaping her personal style.
Her final breakthrough came for Frazao at the 2010 festival Cantos na Maré, for Portuguese speaking cultures, in Galicia.
Listen live through Concertzender.nl
Prize question on Sergey Rachmaninov
This month there’s a 5 CD box to be won if you know the answer to this question.
The question is: ‘What is the connection between Gustav Mahler and Sergey Rachmaninov’s piano concertos?
What is the prize?
How to win:
We will raffle off the prize among the entrants with the correct answer. We will publish the result 14 days after the publication of this newsletter:
This section is made possible by various record labels. They offer us their CDs, DVDs and concert tickets.
Next CZ newsletter
The next Concertzender newsletter will be published in January.
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