Each month we showcase the work of exceptional new artists. Typically these recordings are found on small independent labels
. . .and often times are not found in mainstream distribution. So we will introduce you to them here . . . .We think that you will be pleasantly surprised by the talent we've discovered.
"Gypsy Sun, Gypsy Moon"
Sunyata is one of the most original and exciting instrumental duos to emerge in recent years. Their acoustic, flamenco-flavored music is performed primarily on Spanish-style guitars, original instruments and percussion and is anything by easy to categorize. It draws from a myriad of international influences, and expresses uniquely vibrant world music rhythms and melodies. We call it "high-energy" acoustic Gypsy passion." You'll call it ... amazing!
THE SELECTIONS:Jim Gawne © 1992
WITHOUT WHOM THIS WOULD ONLY BE AN IMAGINARY RECORDING... THANK YOU.
Mary Lee - for the loan of your Saturna home to us gypsy musicians. Jannie & Lynn for our time on the mountain... (You can run but you can't hide. We can record just as well in the flats as in the sharps.) Arlene, Doug and Mabel for putting more than zeroes in Zero-Budget. Wayne and Ron and staff at Long & McQuade for renting all that stuff to musicians'! (Now, can we get our deposit back?) Carol for the loan of her bodhran and other herbal remedies. Ina for being the most devoted fan any gypsy artiste could hope to marry. To all of you who demanded SUNYATA, the sonic-motion picture.
THIS RECORDING IS DEDICATED TO THE VISIONARY SPIRIT OF RICHARD SCHNEIDER.
Only acoustic instruments were used in this recording. We're still not licensed to operate electronics in public. Jim's primary instrument on this recording is the cuatro. This cuatro started out life some 30 years ago as a Martin Baritone ukulele. However with Jim's keen sense of the Impossible, it because a bona-fide Latin American cuatro. Most of the world still appears unconvinced of this transformation. It's tuned in fifths like most of Jim's instruments. The mandolele has similar, but smaller and older Martin origins. An old Gibson mandolin and Celtic Heart mandola make some acoustic cameos as well as the Russian bass domra and the "Gawnedolized" Irish bouzouki. An Epiphone acoustic bass was rented for thei project and in a fit of zero-budget creativity a homemade fretless bass was born using only simple kitchen utensils. Stuart used this timeworn, desert-beaten , (vintage?) Ovation steel string. Ina lent us her $100 nylon string guitar. It easilysounds like $300. Stuart is also Sunyata's official drummer, not that we have made the great leap to thumping on things designed for thumping.
Most tracks were recorded on serene Saturna Island, BC. Tracks 4, 8, & 9 were recorded on Thrash Mountain, deep in the Cowichan Valley, BC (where men are men and trees are soon to be horizontal). Track 1 was recorded in sup-urban Langford, BC. Most tracks were recorded on a digital 8 track machine and expensive mics. The early Thrash Mountain sessions were captured on a cheap analog 8 track and cheap mics., back when zero-budget really meant something.
Engineered by Jim
This album represents a unique approach to developing the Soundings of the Planet catalogue, because this remarkable debut release from Sunyata was chosen by the staff at the record label. When we chanced upon a preliminary copy of this album, those of us working in all the departments here --a accounting, marketing, shipping, media, graphics and management -- were captivated by the passionate enthusiasm of the music, and the superlative musicianship of the artists. We couldn't stop listening to it! We had never heard of Sunyata before, but the rare hybrid energy and international flavor of the music compelled us to seek out the band and work with its members to help them reach a wider audience. As an independent, artist-owned record label, working as a community of committed artists and enthusiasts like this is what it's all about.
We're so pleased to be able to share this great discovery with you, and we know you'll want to share this with others, too. Please let us know what you think!
In Harmony, The Soundings Family
Directory of our 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 featured recording artists.
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