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All Over the Map II

The Indian stories and the roots of ragas in women’s tales from the Mediterranean, and in American ballads.

In this program, Blue Thread brings together the Hindustani and Carnatic classical and folk music traditions and pairs them with Portuguese, Sephardic, Celtic, and American song traditions, as well as with folk ballads.

For the past ten years, Catt and Radan have been conversing and collaborating on the ways in which music connects people as it travels. Like a replicating organism, overland or by sea, music adapts and regenerates, finding life in new times, and different places. Through music, cultures and languages find common ground. For each program, Catt and Radan invite special guests and local communities to join the conversation and a new thread begins. This time 

Catt specializes in Medieval music and has built numerous performance and recording projects around the Galician-Portuguese Cantigas de Amigo folk songs. Nikola Radan, on the other hand, has long been fascinated by Sephardic ballad traditions that have traveled from Spain to diverse points around the globe, as well as by the roots of western music influences from the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Together with their special guests, Radan and Catt trace ballads that have traveled from Portugal to India, Greece, the Ozarks, and beyond. 

A beloved Portuguese romance and folk song, Bela Infanta, is also a world traveler. It pairs perfectly with the Cantigas de Amigo. In the cantigas, a woman waits by the sea for her lover to return. Bela Infanta opens with a young woman waiting by the sea and her lover returns in disguise. He, then, tests her loyalty and, in most versions, the two lovers are reunited. In their new album, Blue Thread presents a new telling of this tale that weaves together Portuguese, Sephardic, and Ozark ballads with its Indian roots. They also include a new version of the popular ballad, Cruel Sisters. This version shows traces of its travel through China, Scandinavia, Ireland, Iceland, and the US. Join Blue Thread for a musical journey of global storytelling full of love, longing, suspense, betrayal, and in some cases, murder.

Cristi Catt, voice 

Nikola Radan, flutes

with guests: 

Daniela Tosic, voice

Priya Ram, voice

Kartik Balachandran, violin

Cody Lucas, guitar

Santosh Ramaswamy, mirdangam 

The program includes: 

  • Medieval Cantigas de Amigo

  • Scottish and Al-Andalus dances

  • American, Italian, Balkan, Portuguese, and Sephardic folk songs

  • A set of Carnatic and Hindustani ragas (Jog, Yaman, Sindhu Bhairavi, Bilahari, and Madhuvanti Raga)

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