Saturday, June 11, 2011

To What Strange Place

It's a rainy Saturday here, everybody feeling kind of sluggish and out of it, though we did make it into town for the gym and lunch and the used record and book stores...buying nothing very notable, mostly father's day stuff (1000 buildings to see before you die for my husband the architecture fan) and summer reading for AP US history (Last of the Mohicans, a book of essays).

anyway, what better way to spend the afternoon at home than by listening to a bit more than two and a half hours of music from Turkey (though mostly by ethnic minorities who would not consider themselves Turks, per se) recorded between the wars in America?

That's what I did anyway, listened all the way through, to To What Strange Place: The Music of the Ottoman-American Diaspora 1916-1929...It's very different from what I usually listen to, needless to say, though intermittently stunningly beautiful and, the rest of the time, at least pretty interesting. The third disc has some spoken commentary from Ian Nagoski, who put the compilation together, which does a lot to pull it together and bring it into context.

You can listen to seven of the songs on Soundcloud. I personally find Zabelle Panosian's "Groung" to be particularly haunting.

The set is being released by the Tompkins Square label, which is probably best known for its Takoma-style guitar compilations -- the Imaginational Anthem series, as well as a series of solo records that focus on individual performers.

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