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Music that inspires

Martin’s Musical Mystery Tour – 14

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Martin’s Musical Mystery Tour  – I have just been in Mexico and met a young conga player from the Dominican Republic. One evening we shared music and I got to hear some incredible sounds from his Caribbean home. So this month’s blog is a pick of his suggestions.

Juan Luis Guerra is apparently one of the most internationally recognised Latin artists of recent decades. I love his style of merengue and Afro-Latin fusion which has given him considerable success throughout Latin America (this You Tube clip has had 7 million hits). He is also credited for popularising bachata music on a global level and is often associated with this genre.

Drums and Chants

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Sitting chatting and listening to You Tube clips from around the world with our friends Martha (Inuit) and Joseph (Pueblo). They showed me this wonderful clip from the Inuvik Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada.

Music and the Brain

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Remember reading a book written by Daniel J. Levitin, a rock musician who turned his attention to cognitive neuroscience. This clip ventures down the same paths to try and explain some of the theory behind the musician and his brain.


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Talerschwingen or talerrollen is a fascinating tradition used with yodeling in the east of Switzerland. The players take a 5 Swiss franc coin and throw it inside an earthenware bowl. The bowl is then slowly rotated as they sing. Three bowls of different pitches are often used in a performance. The sound created is inspired by the cow bells heard in the fields.

Martin’s musical mystery tour – 11

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Martin’s musical mystery tour – This month’s blog comes from a playlist from the skies! I have been flying a lot this year and spent a good few hours searching through the International music sections for new music and films. Yesterday on the way to San Francisco I found a new artist from Sweden I had not heard of before called Laleh. Her web site says “she was born in Iran, fleeing that war-torn country a year later, first to Azerbaijan, then to Minsk in former Sovjet, and finally, at the age of 9, to a refugee camp in Tidaholm, Sweden.”