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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 arrangements.

"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.

Regina Carter - Reverse Thread 


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