#3988: Remembering David Lewiston

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For this New Sounds, hear music recorded by the late British-born producer and joyful ethnomusicologist David Lewiston, a self-described “musical tourist,” who, notably, made recordings of gamelan music from Indonesia, pan pipers from Peru, and chant of Tibetan monks (recorded in India), many for the  Nonesuch Explorer Series. Lewiston died on May 29, 2017. (Read Nonesuch’s remembrance).

From his first “field trip” in 1966, listen to a work for Indonesian gamelan, the gong-like tuned percussion orchestra, recorded on the island of Bali, released on the album called Golden Rain in the Nonesuch Explorer Series of recordings. There’s also music “From the Morning of the World,” listen to the Ketjak: Ramayana Monkey Chant – one of the great choral traditions of Indonesia – all performed with voices, instead of metal percussion.

Also, listen to chordal singing, where the voice can produce two, even three notes simultaneously, from the Tibetan tradition. Hear Lewiston’s recording made in the 1980’s of the Lamas And Monks Of Shartse Dratsang Garden Monastery, in a ritual Buddhist chant, recorded in northern India. There’s also music that he recorded in the highlands of Peru, traditional music that had echoes of Incan culture, released as another in the Nonesuch Explorer Series, Kingdom of the Sun - Peru's Inca Heritage. Rounding out the show is classical music from the Dagar Brothers, who are trained in an ancient Indian tradition known as dhrupad singing – also recorded by Lewiston on one of his trips to India.

In a statement from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress quoted in the Washington Post, it was said that Mr. Lewiston’s “documentation of village music cultures in South America, Africa and Asia, has enriched our understanding of human wisdom and genius.”

Read the New York Times obit by William Grimes. 
Read a 2007 interview with Lewiston in Tape Op Magazine.

PROGRAM #3988, Remembering David Lewiston (First Aired: 6/02/2017)     

ARTIST: Various Artists: Gamelan Gong Kebjar
WORK: Hudjan mas (Golden Rain) [6:05]
RECORDING: Bali Golden Rain
SOURCE: Nonesuch Explorer #79716
INFO: nonesuch.com

ARTIST: The Balinese Gamelan
WORK: Ketjak: The Ramayana Monkey Chant, excerpt [9:54]
RECORDING: Music from the Mornings of the World
SOURCE: Nonesuch Explorer #79714
INFO: nonesuch.com

ARTIST: Lamas And Monks Of Shartse Dratsang Garden Monastery
WORK: Jigje Kyi Dagjug Chenmo (The Grand Self Empowerment of Yamantaka), excerpt [12:44]
RECORDING: Various: Trance 1
SOURCE: Ellipsis Arts 4000
INFO: Out of print. The recording is also available as “Tibetan Buddhism: Shartse College of Gaden Monastery” on Bridge Records 9015 or on Amazon.com

WORK: Adios, pueblo de Ayacucho [3:40]
RECORDING: Kingdom of the Sun - Peru's Inca Heritage
SOURCE: Nonesuch Explorer #79728
INFO: nonesuch.com

ARTIST: Various Artists - Ustad N. Zahiruddin Dagar and F. Wasifuddin Dagar
WORK: Raga Mian Ki Todi, excerpt [12:33] 
RECORDING: Various: Trance 1
SOURCE: Ellipsis Arts 4000
INFO: Re-released as part of the Trance Box Ellipsis Arts ELLICD 4340. Out of print.