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viernes, 8 de enero de 2016

Alejandro Franov - Khali (2007)

Un viaje a los confines de la imaginación, una joyita inconseguible traída por el Mago Alberto para que disfruten éste fin de semana. "Khali", que se basa principalmente en tres instrumentos (la mbira africana, el arpa paraguaya y el sitar indio). Franov combina cuidadosamente estos instrumentos únicos con percusión, voces y electrónica con el fin de crear un flujo musical único.

Artista: Alejandro Franov
Álbum: Khali
Año: 2007
Género: Folk Experimental / World Music / Ambient
Nacionalidad: Argentina

Lista de Temas:
1. Micerino Alap
2. Micerino Tema
3. Shumba
4. Gandanga
5. Pasando El Mar
6. Khali
7. Sumatra
8. Luxor
9- Isis
10. Nyamaropa
11. Sudan
12. Cuentos
13. Karigamombe

- Alejandro Franov / Varios instrumentos
- Emiliano Rodriguez / Varios Instrumentos

Por un lado, "Khali" es el nombre de una diosa hindú, pero parece que también es el nombre de la isla croata donde nació el abuelo de Franov.
Guitarra, bajo, sintetizador, teclado, sitar y arpa, mbira (instrumento propio de Zimbabwe), Dugi (percusión india), kalimba (instrumento africano), glockenspiel, toda esta una serie de instrumentos étnicos han dado forma a esta música mediante su superposición delicada, creando tema por tema. Precioso sonido de instrumentos melódicos atados por la melodía, con una atmósfera muy espiritual.

Alejandro Franov is Argentinean. He helps Juana Molina with her albums. On Khali he uses instruments that imitate the flowing sound of water, rain, or rivers. He likes harps, sitars, marimba, kalimba. He also likes African music from the south and west. The two songs that are not credited to Franov himself are described as “the traditional music of Shona, Zimbabwe.” And the harp sounds like a kora. It might even be a kora. The Spanish credits call it an ‘arpa’ with no mention of it being an arpa africana or just a normal arpa. The gamelan has had an impact on him, and so has the raga. He introduces the album with a short “Micerino Alap” on the sitar and goes on from there, rippling and musing and making mbira boings. The music is sometimes monotonous, as rivers can seem monotonous. Things pick up at the end when he brings the natural noises of birds into one of the Shona tracks, thickening the music. He has some of the intercultural instincts and multi-instrumental talent of a Bob Brozman but not the same popularising drive, nor the same need for beats, verses, and choruses. Alejandro Franov is different. He likes to float.

Pero vamos al comentario de Alberto que es quien trae el disco:

Alejandro Franov es un multinstrumentista argentino de una larga trayectoria musical, a tocado con León Gieco, Los Pericos, Puente Celeste, Juana Molina, Javier Malosetti, Fernando Kabusacki y otra infinidad de excelentes músicos, el proyecto que presentamos hoy del 2007 tiene que ver con una propuesta distinta donde la misma instrumentación nos revela aires de musica hindú, y otras yerbas. Dedicado también a la sonorización de películas, éste buen señor nos demuestra que ningún género le queda chico, es indudable que se trata de un músico dedicado 100% a investigar y desarrollar cada instrumento que ejecuta, incluída la cítara, instrumento nada fácil, y aquí lo tenemos en todo su esplendor musical,quizas algunos conozcan su trabajo junto a Juana Molina,pero eso es solo una muestra de lo que hace este calvito.
El presente trabajo es intimista, no hay nada rockero, la variedad de canciones lo hacen un disco para escuchar tranquilo o de música de fondo.
Alguien había pedido por chat un trabajo de Franov, pero no es este disco precisamente, quizás sirva como presentación de este músico quizás desconocido para muchos pero que el blog cabezón siempre se encarga de mostrar.
A los amantes de Mac Laughlin y de sonoridades complejas esto les va a caer de parabienes.
Bienvenido Alejandro Franov.

Khali is the debut album by Alejandro Franov, a folk musician from Argentina. I'm not even sure whether this ordinary terminus is justified in terms of Franov's music, for he branches out into musical terrain that is uncommon even by Folk, World or Country standards. Franov uses diverse instruments such as rainsticks, sitars, kalimbas and accordions, and builds a distinct Middle Eastern aura that is loosened with the help of much more common instruments, namely keyboards and guitars. 11 out of 13 tracks are written by Franov and are thus original pieces, whereas track 3, Shumba, and track 13, Karigamombe, are interpretations of traditional Zimbabwean folk pieces. It is Khali's vast variety of different moods and instruments that makes me confident in my decision to present it here. It isn't a simple Folk or World record with a repetitive formula (like most Exotica album I've reviewed here!), but roams several styles and moods in a broad-minded fashion. Most instruments shine all the more when they are played isolatedly, either in entire solo pieces or short limelight sections. Franov's album transports a feeling of earnest modesty, there is no drama or effect fireworks to be found on there, and that's exactly what gives Khali its seal of authenticity, a seal amiss in most Exotica releases.
The first offering called Micerino Alap consists of nothing but a sitar played solo. Depending on the broadness and focus of one's collection as well as the listening habits, this is a very good, clear sounding theme that is readopted in the following companion piece, Micerino Tema, that adds fragile vocals by Lea Franov and other instruments such as a guitar and cautiously used keyboards, and thus opens a window to a moment of carefree ease. The aforementioned Zimbabwean folk piece Shumba consists solely of exotic strings played carefully on a folk harp, while Gandanga presents the beautifully liquid and bright sounds of a kalimba and humming chants by Alejandro Franov. The title-giving Khali is a similar kalimba piece which imitates a music box. Sumatra is an astonishing entity, again keen about using the kalimba, but with an added Indonesian flute that sounds beautiful in the given context. I'm no expert regarding Folk music, but this is simply a gorgeous six-and-a-half minute work of bliss.
Luxor features the folk harp first used in Shumba and adds a glockenspiel and barely audible synth strings in the background. This piece evokes a lazy summer afternoon and is otherwise a joyful piece of contentment, thematizing the shimmering heat of the Egyptian city. I am fond of this piece and listen to it quite often. It is also a piece that is easy on the ears and a great introduction to Franov's world. Isis brings back the sitar to the forefront and is yet another beautiful piece. Especially noteworthy are the slight marimba droplets as a backing noise, so that the sitar isn't as isolated as it is in Micerino Alap. The 8-minute centerpiece is Sudan, which takes the listener once more to a burning hot location with the help of an accordion, a flute and the sitar. Even though this is the longest piece, it is also the most dynamic one with clear but gentle percussion and a definite arc of developing suspense. This is my favorite piece of the album, as it also inherits traditional song structures, whereas most other songs seem to be a bit heavy on arbitrariness or free improvisation. The final piece Karigamombe is another Zimbabwean folk piece and ends the album on a less mysterious, but an embracing attitude with a melodious and jovial interplay between kalimba, harp and glockenspiel.
Alejandro Franov's Khali is a beautiful album that is indeed rightly categorized in the respective Folk or World sections and which is only added in the Exotica section on this website because of its non-clichéd, powerful portrayals of Middle Eastern or African locales and traditional music. This is not an exciting or energy-driven album. Its beauty is constituted by the true-to-form, laidback approach and its meandering pieces without a definite end. Another attractive attribute lies in the serious approach of an almost entirely original treasury of songs. This is one of the rare cases of real music that omits the inclusion of anything fake or overly pathetic. If you aren't sure what to make of Khali's ambiance, pre-listen to Luxor and Sudan and base your decision on these two songs. The album is for fans of unadorned sitars and kalimbas with free-flowing improvisations and beautiful instrumentations.

One of the wonderful things about the writing and reviewing I've been doing over the last few years is learning how little I know the people we share this planet with. It's difficult not to be affected by the chauvinism caused by living in North America that ensures we think we are the be all and end all of what it is to be human. Even when we know that the propaganda asserting our way of life as the pinnacle of human achievement is a load of crap, there is no denying that it contributes to a narrowing of our world view.
Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that the three countries of North America are ruled by immigrants, and that two of the countries share a similar heritage. There is also the fact that we have encouraged people to become "one of us" instead of retaining ties to where they came from. While Canada does offer a pretence of multiculturalism, it's more along the lines of being ethnic on special occasions because the reality is we are just as nervous of those who choose to remain different as anyone else.
"If they want to live here they should live like the rest of us" is still the attitude of choice for those who have been here longest, conveniently forgetting that they too imported all their social and cultural mores when they settled here. It's not hard to see that when that mindset looks out into the world it's going to try and compartmentalize everybody else into easy to digest generalizations.
So, instead of Africa being composed of numerous countries and a mind boggling array of cultures, she becomes a single entity. India and China have within their borders as many different language groups and cultural traditions as are found in nearly all of Europe, yet we persist in considering them only in terms of their geographical boundaries.
Music may not be able to change the world, but it sure has the ability to open your eyes to what the world has to offer. ArgentineanAlejandro Franov's new release Khali on the Staubgold label, distributed by Forced Exposure in North America is one of the best examples of this that I've ever seen.
Alejandro has been playing music for years now, with his albums only being available in Japan and South America. Like another Western Hemisphere musician, Bob Brozman, his music has less to do with the land of his birth, then with the places he has travelled in the world. A multi-instrumentalist he has mastered instruments from three continents; the sitar and mridangam from India, the Mbira of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, and the Paraguayan harp (arpa in Spanish).
Each of the instruments he plays, especially the mbiras, is culturally specific to a place and a people. At first glance, we might mistake the mbiras for what we call a thumb piano (kalimbas) over here but they are far more sophisticated with two rows of "keys", and five specific tunings. In fact the name of the instrument is modified according to its tuning, so on Khali you will see credits for agandanga mbiras and nyamaropa mbiras two separate tunings that create very distinct sounds and moods.
Now that we know what he's playing, the question is what does he do with them? There are plenty of people out there who use another culture's musical instruments to either make "neat" sounds or create some sort of new age broth that is vacant and tasteless. Well Alejandro Franov isn't either one of those people.
Starting with the title of the disc, he's deliberately confusing about his intent. Khali is of course the name of an Indian deity, but it's also the name of the island in Croatia where Alejandro's grandfather came from. But he's playing a sitar, right, so he must be referring to the Goddess – except he doesn't play ragas, or any other traditional Indian music with either the sitar or the mridangam and he's playing them alongside traditional instruments of Southern Africa.
What he has done is create some very beautiful music with what all these instruments have to offer. There are thirteen tracks on the CD, but they all segue into each other so that it is like one fifty minute composition. He has also incorporated some Western instruments into his composition, keyboards, guitar, glockenspiel, and the occasional non-verbal, vocal accompaniment.
What makes his work so good is that he makes no attempt to disguise the roughness or the voice of the original instruments. Each instrument's is clear and distinct within the composition, and is used in the manner it was meant to be used. Instead of a bland mishmash that doesn't really sound like anything, his music is alive with all the cultures he draws upon.
What Alejandro Franov has done with Khali is create real "world music". His compositions do not merely reflect one cultural identity or voice, but speak with the voices of many people. It's a celebration of distinction within a harmonious framework that is a joy to listen too not only for its musical splendour, but for the philosophy behind the creation.
Not many people are willing to say that we don't all have to believe or act the same way to live in harmony. Alejandro Franov's music on Khali not only makes that statement, it proves it's possible and that it can sound beautiful.
Richard Marcus

Un disco tremendo, muy recomendado, otra joyita del blog cabezón que no le teme a los trolls del Pro que inundaron nuestro chat...

6 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac + CUE + log)

  2. Amigo, mil gracias por todo esto, la verdad, si pudiera bajarlo todo de una, estaria buenisimo, una recomendacion..si el encodeo lo hacen ustedes, les recomiendo el EAC en ves de FLAC. SALUDOS!!

  3. Muy bueno el disco! Gracias.

    Una aclaración al comentario de RR: EAC es un programa para codificar WAV a diferentes formatos. FLAC es un formato de audio. No son comparables.

  4. Hoy en día y con la velocidad actual de internet en general, no veo la razón para comprimir el audio. ¿por qué no publicar en wav?

  5. Me gusta el formato FLAC, es sin dudas lo mejor. GRACIAS por la música!


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Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).


Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).