Regina Carter - Reverse Thread
When preeminent violinist Regina Carter made the decision to record an
album primarily of African folk tunes, she created a great challenge
for herself: how do you take beautiful traditional music and infuse it
with a contemporary feel while remaining true to its past - and then,
not compromise its beauty?
Regina turned to the World Music Institute in New York City, in
which she found a diverse and inspirational resource for material,
including ethnographic field recordings.
Regina looked not just to the music, but also the accompanying
sounds and nuances of everyday life from anthropological and
sociological perspectives which informed the spirit of the new
"There is an immense amount of amazing music coming from all around
the world, much of which is barely accessible," emphasized Regina.
"Reverse Thread gave me the opportunity to explore and celebrate a tiny
portion of music that moved me."
Both "Hiwumbe Awumba" and "Mwana Talitambula" are based on field
recordings from the Ugandan Jews, a community in eastern Uganda who
although are not genetically or historically Jewish, practice the
Jewish religion. Setting the inspirational tone for the album, the
first track "Hiwumbe Awumba" originates from a field recording of a
group singing, "God creates and then He destroys." Although the title
is dark, the uplifting quality and spirit of the voice on the recording
inspired Regina, and the final arrangement is a paean to the resiliency
of the human spirit.
Using the field recording of a woman singing "Mwana Talitambula" as a departure point,
Regina's bass player Chris Lightcap split the melody between the violin and bass with a hypnotically emotive result.
Reverse Thread also embraces music of the African Diaspora. As but
one example, "Un Aguinaldo" skillfully layers the rhythmic aspects of
African music with harmonies originating in India and Puerto Rico.