Amelia Cuni – Parampara Festival 13.3.1992 (Black Truffle, LP/digital)

Oren Ambarchi continues to gift his audience with some real, well, musical truffles. Next month will see the release of »Becoming Air / Into The Vanishing Point« two new works by Annea Lockwood, on his Black Truffle label, after he delighted us this month with a long overdue (and already sold out) reissue of »Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri« by Alvin Curran. He also however has unearthed a rare live recording by Amelia Cuni. Born in Milan, the Berlin native spent ten years in India, where she intensively studied Indian classical music, especially the Hindustani dhrupad tradition. On the recording of a concert at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, her singing is therefore the central element of the three pieces. To the sounds of Gianni Ricchizzi's vichitra vina and her own tanpura, Cuni first reinterprets a classical composition with »Raag Bageshri,« before she brings together the text of the Franciscan monk Jacopone da Todi with traditional ragas on »Devino Amor.« For the crowning finale, Helmut Waibl joined Cuni and Ricchizzi on the pakhawaj to rhythmically ground the Carnatic »Raag Shahana Kanada« with his playing. Equally traditional and free-form, this recording continues to be immensely stimulating nearly three decades after the actual performance.