Tag: Canada


Jayme Stone & Mansa Sissoko – Banjo and Kora

The Canadian musician Jayme Stone has travelled to Mali to research the history and origins of the banjo in Africa. There he met Mansa Sissoko, a “griot” and storyteller.

In this concert of the CBC you can hear both musicians together – creating something new from two different cultures.

Jayme Stone / Mansa Sissoko at Nuits D’Afrique 2009

Jayme Stone & Mansa Sissoko @ Claudia Cassidy Theater 092308

Playlist Jayme Stone & Mansa Sissoko

Concert on Demand – CBC:

Jayme Stone & Mansa Sissoko at the Calgary Folk Music Festival 2008

Canadian musician Jayme Stone went to Mali in search of the roots of the banjo. It was there that he met kora player Mansa Sissoko, a renowned “griot” – a musician and storyteller who helps to hand the songs down from the previous generation to the next.

Jayme and Mansa collaborated together and this concert is the result of the blending of two cultures into something new.

(no more available)

Additional information

Wikipedia about the kora: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kora_%28instrument%29

Homepage about the kora: http://www.kora-music.com/

aa mandolin guitar

Fretwork – New Music on old Instruments – ‘The…

The fretwork ensemble is a viol consort from England which exists since 1986 and which plays music from 500 years. This ensemble does not limit itself to old music originally composed for viols centuries ago, but it also plays new compositions composed especially for this group.

A great example of this kind of new music for old instruments is the work The World Encompassed by Orlando Gough.

This composition is based on the voyage of Sir rancis Drake around the world. Drake had several musicians – viol players – in his crew who played for him aas well as for the foreign people. You can fid detailed information about the voyage of Sir Francis Drake in the wikipedia.

This composition by Orlando Gough merges new compositions with reflections of the native music of the visited foreign places as they might have been played by the viol players after they returned back from the long journey.

This music is fascinating, and I have listened to the music for several times now. The complet concert with The World Encompassed by Orlando Gough is available at the CBC concert on demand site:

CBC concert  – fretwork – The World Encompassed – Orlando Gough


Fretwork has a repertoire that spans over 500 years. They specialize in early music and have distinguished themselves in their interpretations of Bach.

Fretwork has also actively commissioned contemporary composers ranging from Gavin Bryars to Elvis Costello to write new works for them. ‘The World Encompassed’ by Orlando Gough, is the most recent of these commissions. This hour-long piece describes, in musical terms, Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe in 1577-80. Drake took four viol players with him on his epic journey, and Gough’s piece uses original 16th century music to help tell this engaging musical story.

More about the program can be found on the homepage of the fretork ensemble:


The few hymns popularly sung at the time, published in 1562 & 3 by Sternhold & Hopkins, severe and austere, will be contrasted with the exotic and ‘strange’ music of these countries. The structure of the work is as follows, with the original 16th century music:

  • Leaving Plymouth
    • Robert Parsons: The Song Called Trumpets
    • Preserve us O Lord
  • Mogador
    • John Taverner: In Nomine
  • Maio Santiago Fogo
  • Port Desire
    • Parsons: In Nomine
  • Terra Incognita
    • The Humble Suit of a Sinner
  • The Spanish Main
    • Parsons: De La Court
  • Albion
  • 180 Degrees: Homesickness
    • Pavin of Albarti
  • Ternate
    • Picforth: In Nomine
  • Java
    • Da Pacem Domine
  • Reaching Plymouth
    • Parsons: The Song called Trumpets


Richard Boothby discusses Fretwork’s forthcoming concerts at Kings Place

Richard Boothby discusses a forthcoming concert with a performance of  The World Encompassed by Orlando Gough with some additional information about the ensemble and its music

ELVIS COSTELLO (b. 1954) – Put away forbidden playthings (1995)

another contemporary piece composed for the fretwork ensemble

More Information

Homepage fretwork – with information about works and composers, programs and a player with some audio examples: http://www.fretwork.co.uk/

For over 20 years, all around the globe, Fretwork has brought music for viols to life through live concerts, recordings and broadcasts. Their repertory includes anything and everything that can be played on viols, from the first printed music in Venice in 1501 to music composed for them today.

Wikipedia (engl.) about Fretwork: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fretwork_%28music_group%29

fretwork about the composer Orlando Gough with a lot of information about the composition The World Encompassed: http://www.fretwork.co.uk/what/contemporary#page=Orlando-Gough

Program of a concert with the fretwork ensemble (to download as PDF follow  “weitere Informationen”): http://www.ndr.de/orchester_chor/das_alte_werk/fretwork102.html

Wikipedia über Sir Francis Drake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Drake

Wikipedia über die Weltumseegelung von Francis Drake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Drake#Circumnavigation_of_the_earth


Vishtèn ✵ Great Acadian Folk and Step Dance

On the homepage of the Musical Instruments Museum I have found a video by the Acadian group Vishtèn who will play a concert in January in this museum. I was immediately hit by this video,  and I decided to find out more about this group.

Vishtèn was founded about 10 years ago and is located in the Eastern part of Canada, the part named Acadia which consists of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Prince Edward Island.

Vistèn play a selection of franco-canadian folk music and other folk music with accordeon, fiddle, guitar, flute, bodhran, banjo and also with mandolin. And they use their feet to add some extra percussion to their performances, or even add some step dancing to the songs. Great music with a lot of energie that animates to dance and move with the music.

Members of  Vishtèn

  • Emmanuelle LeBlanc – Bodhran, Piano, Whistles, Dance, Voice.
  • Pascal Miousse – Fiddle, Mandolin, Guitar, Voice.
  • Pastelle LeBlanc – Accordion, Piano, Dance and Voice.
  • Louis-Charles – Vigneau Guitar, Banjo, Mandoline, Voice.

Some videos with Visthèn:

Vishten Va T’assir

Playlist Vishten

Additional Information

Homepage (including a player with 4 songs): http://www.vishten.net/en/index.htm

Videos: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=vishten&aq=f

Wikipedia (engl.) about Vishtèn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishten

Herschel Freeman about Vishtèn (with player): http://www.herschelfreemanagency.com/vishten/vishten.html

Album Review Mosaik: http://tradconnect.com/profiles/blogs/album-review-vishten-mosaik

Interview about the new  CD Mosaik: http://www.cbc.ca/allinaweekend/2012/09/16/acadian-and-quebecois-influences-for-vishtens-new-album/

aa mandolin guitar

Jill Barber – Lovesongs – New Album “Chances” –…

Some days ago I listened to a podcast from CBC Canada Live – a podcast with the Canadian Singer Jill Barber. This concert was also available as a concert on demand.

I liked to listen to this concert very much and have also listened to several youtube videos. The podcast is over one hour and includes all the announcements of Jill Barber and gives a fantastic impression of her personality too.

Concert on Demand – Jill Barber

New concert 2011: http://www.cbc.ca/radio2/cod/concerts/20110216jbarb (no more available)

Jill Barber can also be found in some other CBC concerts – just use the search function to find more concerts.

Instead of the concerts you can listen to the free streaming radio:


Podcast mit Jill Barber – 26. Februar 2010


Jill Barber shows off her beautiful smoky voice and romantic songs in this concert, recorded as part of the Toque Sessions in CBC Vancouver’s Studio 40.

Two official videos with songs of the CD Chances can be found at youtube,  the title song Chances and a gospal / rhytm and blues title Oh My My:

Jill Barber Oh My My

Jill Barber Chances

Jill Barber Links

Homepage Jill Barber: http://www.jillbarber.com/

youtube channel with more  Jill Barber songs: http://www.youtube.com/user/outsidemusic1

more posts tagged Canada: http://www.mandoisland.com/?tag=canada