I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!
September 25, 2016
In 1991 Vladiswar Nadishana founded his first group 'Soulbuilding Society' together with Lavrenty Mganga. In 1996 he played in a duo called 'Ensemble Ri', with Laventry and Youl. He also launched two other projects with Youl: 'Phonic Duet' (1994) and 'The Fourth Race' (2001). In 2000 he founded a trio called 'Russian-Tuvinian Karma Knot' with a throat singer from Tuva, Ayas Holazhyk. Vladiswar also plays in the group 'Capercaillies at the Treshold of Eternity'. In Berlin he works with ethno DJ 'Genetic Drugs' and with Ramesh Weeratunga, a musician from Sri Lanka. Since 2000 Vladiswar lives in Tibercul, the biggest ecovillage of the world. There he established 'The Department of Sound Microsurgery' (DSM), a creative research laboratory, with projects going from mastering unknown ancient musical instruments to investigating the influence of modern sound electronics on the human energy structure. I review four of his releases :
Sound Microsurgery Dep. Vladiswar Nadishana : Takku Ta Tei (RU,2000)****'
Vladiswar Nadishana plays on this release a whole number of instruments of which many I’ve never heard, and some not under their original names. He plays bansuri, or Indian flute, tabla, manjira, or Indian hand cymbals, "yeioing" bamboo flute, a self built flute in semitone scale, kalyaka, or Russian overtone flute, zhaleka, or Russian reedpipe, gayda, or Yugoslavian/Thracian bagpipe, khomus, or Ancient Jew's harp, nidlaphon, a self built instrument consisting of a needle and pen used to drum the cymbal, wind and stringed ghost catchers, or some self-built overtone instrument, morchang, or Indian jew's harp (see here), dzuddahord, or a self built kind of sitar-guitar (see here), bananng, or preparated beer- and coffee-tins, pruzhingum, or a self-built prepared gamelan-like instrument, and many more percussion instruments, cencaki, or "junkphones", musical instruments made from junk, computer, and I also heard a few vocal samples. Some sounds of instruments I cannot recall, like the strange pipe-like sound as if sampled to play with keys or programming with a computer as some arrangement on “Umbetombi Embio”. Vladiswar shows a very specific flute style which might be influenced by Slavic traditions (they have lots of different flutes in their traditions, fitting with the wide landscapes and huge forests and mountains), but just a few times the flute playing leans to Irish themes, even when the context is different. And he also is a talented colourist on percussion. The music on this CD is said to contain influences of Bulgarian, Indian, Arabian, Kuzhebarian and Russian musical traditions. I heard for instance a mixture of Middle Eastern with jazz and other ethno-folk on "Something behind" with rather progressive touches. In general one can say that Vladiswar's music has much of an all-world attitude and he succeeds to make even a modern blend, gaining even more identity through his approach, inspired through the creative core from several traditions. Really interesting, enjoyable and also surprising..
Sound Microsurgery Dep. Vladiswar Nadishana :
Penetration into substance (RU,2000-2001)****°
His second release starts with seemingly a few traditionals, ("Intro" & "Song of the Far Lands") as being more recognisably based upon real traditions, in a style recognisable for especially those countries that have that kind of folk music that was basically fusion and a crossover bridge between cultures (like in Turkey,..). The notes describe the music is an experimental fusion of Asian, African, European, Russian, Ancient Kuzhebar traditions mixed with experimental jazz and contemporary sampler surgery. “The recording method for this album was overdubbing”. Instruments used were mandola, dzuddahord, kalyuka, bansuri, zhaleyka, overtone flute, khomus, acoustic guitar, fretless bass, voice, various ethnic flutes and percussion, computer. The dzuddahord holds the middle between a sitar guitar, guitar and a sitar-like sound. There are also vocal experiments like on “Kuo Ke (an ancient Kuzhebar mantra)” combined with one computer deformed voice and a semi-acoustic electronic sound that fits and combines in overtone colour perfectly, highly original! (Kuzhebar refers to "a vanished Siberian tribe" to which Vladiswar often refers, with artwork, musical elements, dance and deeper ideas of movements, of which I don't know how much is scientific, fantasy or some interesting shadow image of an older memory transferred from a trance consciousness of information, with roots to at least real associations with the areas around Siberia, and how much is a great creative idea and how much goes even much deeper and is more harmonizing than that it only brings incomplete dream elements into a pleasant bridging to a complete conscious form in the area of true art on the edge of shamanic lead of deeper blending)°°. "Indian flood in Europe" starts with flamenco guitar, combined with and flute with tabla, and some multiple percussion colouring and moody bass. "Dance in a curved area" is a great mix of a folkdance played with the effect and talent of a jazz group.
°° I heard I was right that is is the combination of inspirations. Some of the things on the webste can even be considered as jokes, which were fun to do, while some objects were seen in a dream, and so on..
Sound Microsurgery Dep. Ayas Kholazhyk & Vladiswar Nadishana or
'Russian/Tuvinian Karma Knot' (RU,2001-2003)****'
Russian/Tuvinian Karma Knot is a trio with Tuvan throat singer Ayas Kholazhyk, wind player and keyboard player Youl', and Vladiswar Nadishana who plays all other instruments. The songs sound mostly like self-penned personal songs (from a singer-songwriter tradition, but expressed like and by a throat singer) into a acoustic fusion arrangement. The fundament that was built up in Vladiswar's solo earlier work now is very useful as a tool for arranging. "Terlih Haya" I found the most interesting and compelling fusion with jazz, and with sitar (used as a guitar) mixed with acoustic guitar and percussion. "Undersnow girl" is completely different : a funny track with fitting mainstream popdance rhythms, and a jazz trumpet, sounding like an old village folk traditional. "Vostok Dwa", after that, the concluding CD track, continues with this jazz trumpet, in a beautiful instrumental improvisation. Another CD with a certain underlying musical spirituality.
Sound Microsurgery Dep. Vladiswar Nadishana :
The Traditional music of Ancient Kuzhebar Aborigines (RU,2005)****°
The most recent CD of Vladiswar starts from the idea of a Kuzhebar musical heritage but performs it rather loosely and beautifully into something spontaneous of his own. This Kuzhebar association refers to an ancient time that dug into the real meanings of things, taking spiritual health and a harmonic place in the environment as an important fundament. Time is not linear in such a society that is able to look back on each object to see if its essence is still there. The music overall is a more independent acoustic jazz fusion using a whole range of instruments with the occasional use of anything from the world's heritage of musical elements from ethnic origin, but without deliberately pushing anything, and with some exceptions digging deeper into some other element of musical style.
On the "water song" the singing and vocal harmonies have African elements and a positive celebrative vibe, while the irregular dance has something of a raga fusion, played with his self-build sitar-guitar (?). Highly original is also his "Traditional cat's love song" where he sampled his cat's whining voice and then transforms it into a fake-ethnical instrument. A great modern technique trick that works. The rhythms here are ethnic and modern at the same time, like Peter Gabriel or David Byrne could have worked it out. "Winter Song" is a beautiful and moody minor key track, with sitar (sounding a bit like sitar-guitar), flute and a recognisable jazzy chords building up evolution until the harmonies sets themselves free. The track has a matured calmness of a fusion style I haven't heard in any other track before. "Bagpipe tune" is I think also based upon a spontanuous and inspired improvisation, with jazz fusion band and ethnical percussion instruments. This continues with a similar flavour on "11/6 tune" having elements of Irish (?) and Indian origin well mixed. I think "Imip Yorgi Chetu-rbar" is a medieval-sounding traditional, sung beautifully by Yulia Dashevskaya (?). The song is described as the national hymn of ancient Kuzhebar. The last track mixes earlier elements of semi-Irish, Indian Fusion and jazz in a perfect blend and instrumental improvisation, showing the great fusion energy the skilled group is able to develop.
Instruments used in this album are dzuddahord, guitar, sitar, mandola, bulgarian tambura, fretless bass, double-bass, flute, gayda, bansuri, overtone flute, kena, kuzhehar flutes, various percussion, ghost catcher, junkphones, sampler surgery. Youl' played trumpet, double bass and violin, while Yulia Dashevskaya and Tatyana Gordeeva added vocals on some tracks. Also Nadishana's cat Basik had her undeliberate participation in one track.