Today is the last day of winter in the southern hemisphere – so to celebrate, here’s the fifth album from The Winter – a New Zealand free improvisation trio of Mike Kingston, Simon Sweetman and Dave Edwards… with a sound that swerves from acoustic folk/blues with hints of Asian, Celtic, and Balkan influences, to electroacoustic soundscapes, abstract dissonance, and pots & pans percussion.
Out now!! the new collaboration with even more legendary & underground NZ artist Snake Beings.
Ngumbang is the first collaborative album by two of New Zealand’s more unusual artist/musician/filmmaker/ethnomusicologists – performed on guitars, bass, banjo, percussion, saxophones, clarinets, harmonicas, synthesisers, Okinawan sanshin, ukulele, violin, loop pedal, piano, drums and spoken word. The album was recorded in and near Auckland, New Zealand in 2014–2015 and includes live performances at Vitamin S and the Audio Foundation.
Emit Snake-Beings, who over several decades has travelled intensively in Spain, Holland, the Middle East, Mexico, America and Japan, is a New Zealand / British experimental filmmaker and musician who has produced over 40 independently released film soundtrack CDs and made a number of short experimental and narrative films in Spain, U.K. and New Zealand. www.snakebeings.co.nz
In 2011-2012 I lived in Naha (那覇市), the main city of Okinawa Prefecture (沖縄県) in Japan (日本).
The soundtracks to these videos are snippets of live Okinawan music I recorded there, such as eisa drum dancing and shima uta island songs. Spot me on sanshin (traditional 3-stringed banjo) and harmonica in the Iriomote one, and having a drumming lesson in Ishigaki – the two Yaeyama Islands, in the remote southwesternmost corner of Japan.
The Ryukyu Islands are a whole other world from mainland Japan – there’s no Mt Fuji, samurai, sumo wrestling, geisha or shinkansen. They have a different culture, food, climate and music – more tropical and laidback, the Hawaii of northeast Asia, with jungle, sugar cane, beautiful sea and coral – umi to sango wa totemo kirei desu ne – and wonderful people and tragic history.