This Sunday, for a change, the Soundcloud round-up is occurring early, very early in the morning; I have a lot on at the moment and may as well send it forth now.
First up, thanks to a kind tip by Chris Garland (of The Psychedelic Manifesto), is a collaboration between the English DJ, producer, and songwriter Mikey Dee, currently residing in Singapore, who goes by the moniker Mobidextrous, and the Chinese singer known as Miss Melody, a song entitled “Ru Meng Ling.”
On her Youtube channel there is a video for their track, and the note underneath explains that the lyrics are drawn from a poem by Li Ching-Chao (or alternately: Ch’ing-Chao, Qingzhao), who flourished during the Song dynasty, around a thousand years ago. (She has been translated into English notably by Kenneth Rexroth.) In it, along with the lyrics themselves in English and Chinese, Miss Melody too is quoted by way of clarification: “Li Qingzhao wrote it in the morning when she woke up with a little hangover from a stormy night. She noticed there were less flowers in the garden whereas the maid, being somber all the time, failed to notice this happening. It is a discussion about truth. Is truth what is seen, or what is ignored? When tragedy happens to the unknown, who will see it as truth, and who will simply ignore it? Who is being somber? And who can see the change?”
Moving on now from poets to photographers, the second of today’s tracks, or actually, a short set of three, was kindly made available on the Soundcloud page of the website Portals; it is the work of the Canadian artist, born in Edmonton and now residing in New York, Landon Speers, who works not only in photography but also in music, under the moniker Headaches, with a number of albums available on his Bandcamp page.
(Headaches? Well, Speers’ page on Soundcloud is also worth a look for what he has on his head – namely, the very large and very red hat worn with aplomb in his profile photograph, which is presumably a self-portrait.)
The last of today’s pieces is not a set but a single track that’s the work of the large ensemble hailing from Cotonou in Benin, Le Tout-Puissant Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, founded nearly fifty years ago and still going strong – it tours numerous countries frequently; much of its music is available on disk and in the Internet, including on Soundcloud: and of this œuvre the blog Analog Africa has uploaded onto its Soundcloud page an especially memorable song, “Écoute ma mélodie.”
This orchestra’s poly-rhythms and melodies are powerful, delightful, and very much worth listening to.