Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Gypsy Music recorded at the Festival of Les Saintes Maries De La Mer, 1955 (London Records)

Picked up this wonderful recording of flamenco music from a local boot sale recently, and what a treasure it is. The album was released in the late '50s, but it was recorded at the annual Gypsy pilgrimage to Saintes Maries de la Mer way back in 1955. Some breathtaking performances on this disc and all the music is performed amidst a real carnival atmosphere. Here's what the sleeve notes have to say:
Gypsy Music recorded at the Festival of Les Stes. Maries De La Mer, 1955
These recordings of Flamenco music were made at the festival held in May each year by the Gypsies at Les Stes. Maries de la Mer in the South of France. In recording this festival, it was hoped to find some link between the Flamenco type voice-production and the songs of the wandering Bauls from Bengal, whose vocation is to never remain rooted in one place for any great length of time, but to roam throughout India singing religious, philosophical and amorous songs.
The researchers wondered how a recording machine would be taken by the Gypsies; perhaps they would resent it as an intrusion on their festivities. But from th moment of arrival at the festival they were accepted with a warm, naïve delight, mingled with childish shyness on the part of some of the women, although very few were at all reluctant to sing in front of the microphone. The music and dancing of these people is so powerful that one is hardly aware of material surroundings beyond the thick sound of many people clustered round the groups of singers and guitarists. Although the Gypsies come not only from Spain, but also from France and Italy, difference of language was no barrier to communication between them; it was very beautiful to see the way their music forms a strong link and means of expression between the different races.
The recordings were taken under rather difficult conditions. The Microphone was taken from one group to another, as they sang and danced night and day in the streets and arena, intoxicated by alcohol and the rhythmical fire of their music. Although there is a certain spirit of rivalry between the different groups of Gypsy musicians, they become as one, rushing to surround the singer, clapping hands, stamping feet, shouting encouragement, caught up in the throb of the music and the lust of the dancing. There is a brutal, savage quality in the wild strangely long drawn out cry of these songs and in the sadness of the Cante Jondo.
Side 1:
(All the pieces of music on this side of the record were performed by the same group singing in front of a constantly increasing audience who helped the music to grow more and more lively, also adding the necessary atmosphere to this spontaneous ensemble. The language is Spanish.)
  1. BULERIAS: Love song by a group of Spanish Gypsies now wandering in the South of France. The song is alternated with instrumental interludes, and while the singers, both men and women, performed, the Gypsy audience took active part in the performance by clapping the rhythm. The accompaniment is on guitar.
Side 2:
Artists: FARE MICHEL and party
Get it HERE.

Just to whet your appetite, her
e's a couple of great clips from Tony Gatlif's moving film about the Rom people, their journeys and their musics, Latcho Drom:


Walker said...

Fantastic find! thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Mr Tear said...

Thanks Alana, I'm pleased that you've found something interesting here. While you're aound maybe check out Walker's great blog, Burning Aquarium :)

icastico said...

Loved Latcho Drom. Love this record. Thanks for sharing.

Spinning said...

Thanks so much for this one!

ADF said...

Hello! This sounds absolutely incredible, but the page appears to be down?
This is an amazing website! Thank you.

Vinyl Room said...


Do you recognise this music, and if you do what is the title and artist?


viagra online said...

It sounds very cool, not my kind of music, but Im open to listen any kind of music.

viagra online said...

this festival was wonderful, I remember my parents talking about this, it was awesome for them...

poker said...

poker online terpercaya | poker online | Agen Domino | Agen Poker | Kumpulan Poker | bandar poker | Judi Poker | Judi online terpercaya | bandar qiu | situs judi online

Ayo segera daftarkan diri anda dan bergabunglah bersama kami !! Situs Agen Poker Online Terpercaya di Indonesia akan melayani Anda dengan profesional, memproses depo/wd dgn cepat. Come join and be a winer with us !!

Untuk info selanjutnya silakan chat ke :
Livechat_____: delimapoker
BBM__________: 7B960959
Facebook_____: delimapoker
Phone number_: +85595678845