a new recording of music performed on clay
The Burnt Earth Ensemble
music seems to encompass every culture, reaching the listener on a
- Joan Roberts, California
Click here to order the CD TERRA COTTA by The Burnt Earth Ensemble
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haunting flutes, growling didjeridus, raucous fiddles and thundering drums,
the Burnt Earth Ensemble coaxes tantalizing music from the material of
the Earth herself. The group's music is uniquely original, with Celtic,
African, Middle-Eastern and jazz influences. Fantastically original and
organic instrumental forms swirl together in an improvised stew that uniquely
expresses the delicate beauty and raw earthy power of ceramic musical
Hall, Richard Smith and Beth Hall
only thing I didn't like about this CD was that it ended!"
- Lisa Lewenz, Director, Maryland
The CD "Terra
Cotta" includes 19 tracks with over 70 minutes of music. Click on
the name of a track for notes on the music and to listen to a sound sample.
2. Cactus on Mars
4. Tar Zen
8. Oy Comamos/Tourdion
10. Song for Ireland
13. Blue Ice
16. Terra Zona
17. Tundra Enlightening
19. Siberian Hoedown
to your music I found myself relaxed, meditating, or moved, depending
on the song. My 9-year-old daughter danced to it with wild abandon.
There is some kind of primal essence in your music that seems to take
us home again."
- a listener in Norwalk, Connecticut
|"This, to me, is world music. Maybe even 'Universe Music'."
- Reviewer on iTunes
Attebery (flute, triple-chambered ocarina) is
an award-winning musician, composer and music educator. He specializes
in composing music for dance and theatre that incorporates many
unusual wind instruments. Mark holds a BA in Music and an MA in
Arts Education, and is currently a band director at the prestigious
Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx.
Brown (didjeridu) is an eclectic musician who, after
25 years as a drummer, fell for the didgeridoo when he heard Stephen
Kent's work with TranceMission on the radio. For the last dozen years,
he has been using the didgeridoo, hand percussion, and the Tibetan
singing bowl to play for improv dance and for yoga classes. He also
plays traps for the occasional rock-n-roll band. He has a large collection
of didjeridoos, but two of his favorites are Barry's ceramic ones.
Geoff makes his living working for Apple Computer and doing Watsu
or other forms of aquatic massage.
Hall (fiddle, globular horn, overtone flute, ocarina,
recorder, nose flute, didjeridu, clay bass, percussion, voice)
is the founder of the Burnt Earth Ensemble and the creator of the
group's instruments. An expert in the design and construction of clay
instruments, Barry is the author of the book and CD, "From Mud
to Music: Making and Enjoying Ceramic Musical Instruments," published
by the American Ceramic Society. Barry is also a Fellow of the Society
of Actuaries, and practices as a consulting actuary.
Hall (flute, didjibodhran, voice) plays winds and
percussion with Burnt Earth. She has played string instruments for
37 years and also writes original songs and music, including many
of the pieces on "Terra Cotta". Beth is a licensed psychologist
with two doctorates in clinical and counseling psychology. In her
spare time she plays the Great Highland bagpipe and enjoys working
with her hands doing silversmithing, blacksmithing, and fiber arts.
Smith (doumbek, udu, flowerpotophone, conundrums, shaker,
voice) is a multi-percussionist conversant in a wide variety
of musical styles. In his diverse musical career, he has been the
architect of many musical groups, including the organic-electronic
"Janus Ensemble" and the jazz trio "Vivant," as
well as modern dance and theater productions and film soundtracks.
Richard is currently working with the 12 piece multi-media improv
in the San Francisco Bay area.
Kent (didjeridu) is one of today's most respected
and prolific didjeridu performers, bringing the ancient Aboriginal
sound into a contemporary context. During a career which led him from
his native South Africa to Australia, London, and San Francisco, Stephen
has developed an approach that is unmistakably his own, exploring
a broad range of playing styles and musical genres. Along the way
he has amassed a catalogue of over a dozen critically acclaimed CDs,
including four solo releases and others with his group projects Trance
Mission, Beasts of Paradise and Lights In A Fat City.
Tower (huaca) composes and performs extensively
using multi-chambered ceramic huacas created by Sharon Rowell. He
is also an accomplished didjeridu player and an innovator on the hang,
a modern Swiss metallophone. Alan is the leader of the band Free Energy
and the founder of Octave Alliance, an organization dedicated to using
music as a voice and catalyst for a more humane sustainable culture.
planet is wrapped in clay, wherein lies the origin of all life on Earth,
as well as the source of all of the music on this recording.
of turning clay into a musical instrument involves a magical combination
of what the ancient Greeks determined were the four basic elements: earth,
water, air and fire. Clay is formed over millions of years, as rain slowly
dissolves the Earth's mountains. Other organic materials mix with the
tiny stone particles, giving clay the proper consistency to be molded
into almost any shape - water jars and cooking pots, or flutes, drums
and horns. When this fragile earth-water mixture is combined with fire
and air, a remarkable structural change occurs. The clay's molecules rearrange
into a "crystal lattice" that is extremely strong and acoustically
resonant. This is what endows ceramic musical instruments with their unique
tone - the sound of the Earth herself.
Many of the
clay instruments I build are based on traditional designs, such as flutes,
pot drums, and goblet drums. Others, such as didjeridus and fiddles, are
ceramic versions of instruments traditionally made from other materials.
Some are experimental designs such as globutubular horns with resonators.
And others are hybrid instruments such as the didjibodhrán (a combination
frame drum and didjeridu) and the stone fiddle (a combination fiddle,
flute and drum made from ceramic stoneware). Although some of my instruments
use non-ceramic components such as gut strings or goatskin drum heads,
all of the instruments you hear on this recording are constructed primarily
from clay. I find it extremely satisfying to be able to transform such
a simple material into a vessel for one of the most powerful human expressions
- Barry Hall
here for the main Burnt Earth webpage.