Song of the Sea with electronics, kamaicha, tabla, electric harp (2014)

from Rudiger Oppermann's Klangwelten & Sommermusikfest, Germany​/​France 2002 - 2014 by Diana Rosalind

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about

This song of mine, performed by the entire ensemble, was a highlight of the live Klangwelten tour of December 2014. This studio version was something of a collage however as we needed to have something for the album prior to the Rajasthani ensemble arriving from India. In the studio, we had my vocals and my electronic instrumental, Rudiger on amplified Celtic harp, and Jatinder Thakur on tablas. WE incorporated some recordings Rudiger had made in India of Papa Khan on Kamaicha (an ancient type of Indian fiddle) and found bits that we could "fly in" and mix into the instrumental, which was quite a challenge but worked in the end.

Rudiger's harp sounds particularly crystalline in this recording. He claims it is because he uses golden harp strings! They certain do sound sparkly.

In the live show, there was a longer vocal "instrumental" passage featuring improvised solos from both Ssempeke (the Ugandan vocalist and mjulti-instrumentalist) and the lead Sufi vocalist from the Khan family. Someday I'll dig up the video of that and post it here.

To hear the "radio version" of this track, which strips it down to the Ableton sequencing, and other electronics, my voice, and Rudiger's harp, please check out the album collection "Love or Freedom" available at the home page of this Unowned Artist bandcamp site.

In the live performance I coordinated the ringing of the handbells with the bell-tones of the electronic sequence made in Ableton. These handbells, which are available as a children's musical toy in the UK, cannot be found in the USA which is a shame because they are amazingly good-sounding for how inexpensive they are. I buy another set whenever I go back to England because they do break from time to time: either the springs stretch out or the ball-striker's fall off.

lyrics

Song of the Sea

oh mermen oh whisper to me
oh mermen swim across the moonlit midnight sea
oh mermen whisper in the wind across the waves
oh mermen sing my name i’ll be your s-s-slave
oh mermen i stand here upon the lonely shore
oh mermen your arrival is what i am waiting for
oh mermen won’t you whisper in the wind a song for me?
a song of the sea
send and receive
are you reading me?
oh mermen how the waters roil and seethe
and how i wish beneath them i could breathe
to dive beside the dolphin with a pounding in my chest
then to your castle in the sand to take watery rest
oh mermen won’t you change me
like the vampire seals his love?
for one sea kiss from your salt lips
i’d gladly leave above
for the song of the sea
send and receive
are you reading me?
cuz i’m sure i can hear...your song of the sea

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Diana Rosalind New Orleans, Louisiana

After being discovered by Bobby McFerrin as a young vocal improviser in San Francisco, I spent some years writing and performing with ensembles that remain important in the history of Bay Area arts, then did time tangling with the music biz in LA & NYC, followed by a decade in Europe, recording all the while, before coming "home" to NOLA. This is a partial musical record of that journey. ... more

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