Hassan Hakmoun Makes NPR’s Best Global Music of 2014
Posted on December 14, 2014
Moroccan musician Hassan Hakmoun started out flying high and fast in his international career. Not long after moving from his native Marrakesh to New York in 1987, he found kindred spirits in some incredible musicians, including friend Miles Davis and collaborators like trumpeter Don Cherry and singer Peter Gabriel (for whom he also went on to record for the Real World label).
Hakmoun made a string of interesting but occasionally unfocused fusion recordings in the 1990s — but somehow, until this spring’s release of Unity, twelve years had passed since his last album (The Gift) was issued.
In that long absence, Hakmoun has perfected a singular and organic fusion of all the music he loves, overlaying elements of jazz, funk and rock to his Gnawan roots, which he expresses through vigorous polyrhythms and the hoarse cries of both his voice and his sintir. For fans, it’s been a really long wait, but the results are worth it.
India’s Evolving Bass Culture
Posted on December 10, 2014
“I started exploring drum n bass and live fusion in New York in the mid 90’s,” Karsh Kale retrospects about the American chapter of this same story. “Through this, I met a lot of new artists in London, and some names that stand out would be State of Bengal, Asian Dub Foundation, Bhavishyavani, MIDIval Punditz. Once I met the MIDIval Punditz, we started to bring what we were doing outside, back to India, in the late 90′s. There were also the Asian Underground guys from London, and this was a time drum’n’bass was exploring new territory and I started doing my electric tabla and DJ sets. There was always something new to feed this movement and experimentation started opening up doors to more bass music.”
Childhood friends Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj, sick of the retro Bollywood scene, started producing original electronic music and sending out demo tracks to labels and other producers as Delhi-based outfit Midival Punditz. These guys went on to become one of the most influential producers at a time when the scene was still very nascent, steering it towards a direction that was – like what was happening abroad – cognizant of how well Indian sounds resonated with audiences compared to Western ones. Their collaborations with Indo-electronica act Tabla Beat Science (founded by producer Bill Laswell and tabla maestro Zakir Hussain) put the duo on the map. Their monthly parties, Cyber Mehfil, started really catching on and soon achieved cult status. “Legendary Cyber Mehfil d’n’b raves of the early-mid 2000′s that the MIDIval Punditz used to spin at, in Delhi farmhouses with mythical descriptions and reviews,” is how Dharam Saraviya of OML remembers them. A modern take on the ancient north Indian tradition of artistic gatherings, Cyber Mehfil parties brought the sounds of modern electronica to the traditional music of the subcontinent, with the added visuals having audiences in raptures at a confluence of cultures.
Derek Beres to Present at 2015 IDEA World Fitness Convention
Posted on December 5, 2014
Derek Beres, creator of the national Flow Play program at Equinox Fitness, will be presenting at the 2015 IDEA World Fitness Convention in Los Angeles, which will be held from July 15-19. Flow Play, which he developed with music producer Philip Steir, explores the intersection of music, neuroscience and yoga. In 2015, Beres and Steir will be launching their new program, Mosaic Method, deepening their years of research as music and movement professionals in applying it to all aspects of fitness.
Beres will be presenting a workshop and lecture based on his work with Flow Play, as well as exploring how this applies in Mosaic Method. This unique approach not only looks at how music and movement affects our brains on a chemical and hormonal level, but also dives into the importance of storytelling in the fitness domain, as well as how constructing classes with an larger awareness of story and music offers participants the best possible experience in exercise.
With a 30-year long history, IDEA continues to set the standard for the industry by providing the world’s best practical fitness education, newest programs, trends and research. It is the world’s largest association for fitness and wellness professionals. Through its fitness events and conventions, IDEA reaches thousands of personal trainers, group fitness and mind-body instructors, program/fitness directors and business owners.
Amjad Ali Khan & Sons to Perform at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremonies
Posted on December 4, 2014
Nobel Peace Prize Concert organizers announced that Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan will perform at the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway on December 10 as well as the Nobel Peace Prize Concert on December 11.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, chosen by the Norwegian Nobel Committee for “their struggle against the oppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education.”
It is a particular honor to have Amjad Ali Kham performing in both the Prize Ceremony as well as the Concert at the specific request of Kailash Satyarthi. Each of this year’s laureates will participate in both events, which are attended by the Norwegian Royal Family, the Norwegian Nobel Committee and figures of global importance.
“We are thrilled to have these great artists,” said Geir Lundestad, Director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute. “This year we will focus more than ever before on the Prize winners and will showcase music from their home countries.” The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony is held each year on December 10 and includes speeches and artistic performances, in addition to the awarding of the Nobel diploma and Nobel medal. This is followed the next evening by the Nobel Peace Prize Concert which is a musical celebration featuring artists from around the globe.
The Nobel Peace Prize is the most prestigious award in the world, honoring icons such as Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Barack Obama, Kofi Annan, Al Gore and other prominent individuals and organizations.