Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CD Review: Surrender to Teslim (tes-LEEM)

Next Village Music

The cross-cultural mergings of Scandinavian strings, Arabic tunings, Mediterranean sounds, and Sephardic influences find themselves in harmonious array on Teslim's self-titled release. Teslim, which means, "surrender" or "commit" in Turkish, is a fitting album title, as it pleasantly ensnares all who come within earshot of its sounds. The violin and viola playing is under the direction of Kaila Flexer. She is accompanied by Gari Hegedus on an assortment of instruments, including the penny whistle, frame drum, tarhu, lavta, lauota, baglama, bulgari, divan, cura, and oud. Special guests include Sweden's Olov Johansson (of Vasen fame), on nyckelharpa, Shira Kammen and Julian Smedley on fiddles, and Liza Wallace on harp. 12 tracks and one hour of music covers a wide range of musical (and geographic) territory with multiple ethnographic leanings and styles. This is a great album for chordophone fans. Though, anyone with an interest in instrumental music from the Mediterranean, Middle East, North Africa, or portions of Europe and Central Asia, will especially enjoy Teslim. ~ Matthew Forss

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