Notes & Reviews:
This recording offers a rare opportunity to experience two different musical traditions in dialogue: the reconstructed musical culture of the European Middle Ages, and the ancient but still continuous tradition of North Indian classical music - two worlds that are indeed separated with respect to time and geography, and yet still linked by common characteristic features. The classical tradition of North Indian music is marked both by a strong adherence to its own origins and an openness to influences from other cultures. On the other hand, European art music of the Middle Ages, seemingly far removed and accessible only by means of written documents, has clearly recognizable roots in Eastern traditions.
In their respective musical development, Dominique Vellard and Ken Zuckerman have each been strongly influenced by a variety of experiences with Eastern music traditions. The Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where both teach in the medieval program, became the meeting place where they were able to compare notes and develop an organic approach to experimentation. The music on this CD was recorded as a live studio performance. For the Indian music performances, this spontaneity and improvised atmosphere is an extremely important ingredient to any rendering of the ragas and talas, but the improvised accompaniments of the monophonic songs definitely also benefitted from this unique "live" quality.