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#419 - After Womadelaide '97, a program for singers and lovers of vocal music, and interviews with Mara Kiek and Gesuino Deiana

Program 419

WOMADELAIDE 97 in review.

Over a whole weekend of enjoyable performances, those I enjoyed the most were from Radio Tarifa (Stage 2), Mara! (Stage 2), Kev Carmody (Stage 2), Loudon Wainwright III (Stage 2), Richard Thompson & Danny Thompson (Stage 1), Misia with her phenomal supporting musicians (Stage 2), Shooglenifti (Stage 1) and Salif Keita (2nd performance). The most striking music came from Tenores di Bitti and bandoura player Roman Hrynkiv.

My biggest grin came from a sad lack of communication. The Solomon Island Pan-pipers processed onto the stage to sing, dance and play in a tight circle, completely ignoring the forest of microphones dutifully arranged for them.

The biggest disappointments were Lunar Drive whose inexperience and technology let them down on their first ever stage show, and the Afro-Celt Sound System who despite being fine musicians, attempted to translate a highly produced studio sound to the stage using 16 track tape backing. The result was an uncomfortably high volume distorted mess. In the same breath I freely admit that I still cannot come to terms with the notion that an effects unit, tape machine or mixing desk can be considered a "performing" instrument on stage.

WOMADELAIDE 97 was an immense and enjoyable experience as always, extremely well organised with a completely comfortable atmosphere and generally excellent sound and lighting. Many commented on the unnecessary excessive hype from one JJJ presenter. Again I must ask of the Artistic Directors, where is the music of Scandinavia, the Arab world and South-East Asia? WOMAD is committed to Adelaide again in 1999, and open to negotiation after that. Thomas Brooman (WOMAD UK) denied the rumour that Sydney is trying to snaffle the event. Adelaide's weather is clearly more dependable and Botanic Park is a superb venue.


ARTIST ... Origin
Title  Duration
(Album) [Label]

"The TAHITIAN CHOIR" ....Rapa Iti
Himene Tarava 2'31
(Spirit of Polynesia) [Saydisc]
Unique glissandi choral singing.

Dunya YUNIS ....Lebanon
Abu Zeluf 3'00
(Human Voice / Lutes in the World of Islam) [Topic]
The original recording of this singer that appears on Bryne & Eno's "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts"

VÄRTTINÄ ....Finland
(Aitara) [Xenophile]
An a cappella piece from the front-line of this group.

MARA! ....Australia
(a) Ruino Vino 1'40
(b) Jove 3'30
(c) Past Carin' 3'30
(Ruino Vino) [Rufus]
MARA! gave fine performances at WOMADELAIDE 97, and after the first I spoke to Mara Kiek about the development of the group, her joy in involving the audiences, and the how the Bulgarian vocal techniques work.

Hukwe ZAWOSE .... Tanzania
Hukwe's vocal techniques make an interesting cross-over between the highly trained voice of Mara Kiek and those in the style that follows.

TENORES di BITTI .... Sardinia
(a) Cantu a ballu seriu 3'56
(b) Cantu a s'andira 3'52
(c) Boche'e notte 4'31
(Intonos) [NewTone / Robi Droli]
The guitarist Gesuina Deiana on his second Adelaide visit, spoke in this interview on behalf of this fascinating group who perform an ancient polyphonic style known as a tenores. The throat is constricted, the harmony is close and there are unexpected whole tone shifts. There are comparisons made with singing styles in Africa, Oceania, and Central Asia.

YAT-KHA .... Tuva
Song of Poor Lonely 4'02
(Strictly Worldwide X 4) [Piranha]

SHU-DE .... Tuva
Tyva-Uriankhai 5'46
(Voices From The Distant Steppe) [Real World]

Ofana Naye - Nobody Like Him 4'48
(Two Worlds One Heart) [Warner Bros]

ROSSY .... Madagascar
(a) Kila 0'28
(b) Madagasikara 3'33
(Island of Ghosts) [Real World]

Lokua KANZA .... Zaire / Paris
Mututo 2'24
(Lokua Kanza) [Sandstock distribution]