Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vernacular Music Center Concert Series Oct 8 8pm HRH: The Janissary Stomp (world music)

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Vernacular Music Center Concert Series Oct 8 8pm HRH: The Janissary Stomp (world music)

On Saturday, October 6 at 8pm in Hemmle Recital Hall on the TTU campus, bouzouki virtuosos Roger Landes and Chipper Thompson present The Janissary Stomp, a duet program of ancient and modern, original and traditional musics of the Mediterranean and Near East. The event is co-sponsored by the TTU Vernacular Music Center, the School of Music, and the Caprock Celtic Association. Tickets are $7 to the general public and available through Select-A-Seat.

About the musicians:

Roger Landes was introduced to the bouzouki through his interest in Celtic music in 1981, and has been exploring the frontiers of the instrument ever since. He played in the popular Kansas City-based Celtic group Scartaglen, recording several CDs with the band and contributing a cut to the best-selling Narada compilation Celtic Odyssey. He has continued to perform on the bouzouki, in a duo with fellow Scartaglen alumnus Connie Dover, and since recently moving to Taos, New Mexico, has continued to expand the possibilities of his chosen instrument, particularly adding a taste of the desert Southwest to his playing since discovering jarocho music from Veracruz.

Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chipper Thompson has been stirring an intoxicating brew of roots-based music for several years from his home in Taos, New Mexico. A relative latecomer to the bouzouki, Chipper took up the instrument after hearing its use in Irish music, and after meeting Roger through Taos-based bouzouki builder Stephen Owsley Smith. He has quickly developed one of the most original voices on the instrument, incorporating Appalachian, Blues, Celtic, Rockabilly and Middle Eastern influences into a seamless and articulate personal expression.

About the music:

The origin of the term janissary is as a label for the elite shock troops of the Ottoman Empire, who were responsible for introducing everything from coffee to croissants to cymbals to the Western world. The CD The Janissary Stomp is Roger Landes and Chipper Thompson’s exploration of the expressive possibilities of the bouzouki, a double-strung instrument originating in the East but now played in a wide variety of world musical traditions. Combining medieval, Near Eastern, Balkan, Mediterranean, and original musics, the Stomp is a unique and engrossing musical experience, suitable for all ages and audiences.

Roger Landes and Chipper Thompson “are exploring uncharted territory with their original compositions for two bouzoukis. Drawing on a wealth of musical influences, they are creating a new style for the instrument in which innovation flourishes while remaining true to the spirit of the Middle-Eastern and Celtic cultures which molded the bouzouki. Arabic taqsims meet Mississippi Delta Blues; a Greek rembetika meets a New Mexican Hispanic waltz; while African, Celtic, Spanish and Balkan strains compete for the ear’s attention.

Review excerpt: “But even more unique is the music, a global ethnic folk, Appalachian folk, Celtic, and early music merging experience. And boy does it work!...The soundscapes heard will take you on an audio journey to Ireland, Scotland, Celtic Brittany, Mexico, medieval Spain, Europe of the middle ages, the Middle East, the Balkans, the Appalachians, and the sun soaked mountains and deserts of New Mexico. It is a beautiful celebration of our global folk heritages.” –Dennis Stone

Roger Landes instrument gallery here: Original Chipper Thompson poster art here:

You can read more about, and see images and hear clips from, The Janissary Stomp at . Sample below:

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