FEATURED THIS WEEK:
ESSENTIAL ECHOES CDS for 2005
Our staff reviews the year 2005 in music and tabulates the best new releases. Before you do your final Christmas shopping be sure to peruse the Echoes list of 25 Essential CDs from 2005 as compiled by John Diliberto and the Echoes staff.
AN ECHOES WINTER SOLSTICE
Echoes paints a chilled winter's eve in sound including music from Windham Hill's Winter Solstice collections, the Celtic/Scandinavian/German group, Norland Wind, and more. There's a frost in the air and a warm fire in the hearth of an Echoes Winter's Solstice.
ANOUSHKA SHANKAR: SIREN OF THE SITAR
Anoushka Shankar has been studying at the feet of her father, Indian sitar icon Ravi Shankar, for all of her 24 years. Now the young musician is stepping out on her own, finding her own voice on her CD, RISE . It's her first album of all original material and it finds her working with members of the MIDIval PunditZ to synthesize her love of Goa Trance dance music with Indian raga. Anoushka Shankar talks about a her vision of an Indian music moving ahead in time.
SONIC SEASONINGS: LIVING ROOM CONCERTS FOR CHRISTMAS
Each year on Sonic Seasonings we bring together four artists evoking the spirit of the season in sound. This year, we go into the Echoes attic for some vintage performances.
Pianist George Winston comes into the Echoes living room, playing music from his annual "Winter" concert tour. Mixing his original open air compositions that evoke Montana in the chill of winter, along with some seasonal classics, Winston reveals why he remains a top selling concert draw as his "folk-piano" melodies unfold.
The Mediaeval Baebes
It's back to Mediaeval Europe via some punky contemporary singers when we visit the home of the Mediaeval Baebes in London. They're an eight-woman choir specializing in medieval plainsong. We hear them sing chants and carols from their seasonal album, MISTLETOE & WINE (Nettwerk).
The Angels of Venice
In their living room in Southern California, The Angels of Venice perform seasonal music and originals on Celtic harp, cello and flute. Billboard magazine called their evocative style "suffused with an enchanting sense of drama and atmosphere."
From Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, Clannad singer Maire Brennan brings a Celtic sound to the Holidays, playing Celtic harp and singing in the smokey, ethereal voice that was so beloved by fans of her group, Clannad. She carries us to a Celtic Christmas of the imagination.
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