Saturday, February 06, 2010

Reflection Pond #12

Joglaresa - Dreams Of Andalusia (2009)

This is a found band for me, which basically means that I didn't get it through the usual channels, which actually quite often means that Xtimu discovered it somewhere and told me about it, since I only have four or five outlets from where I get most of my music. My Baby really connected on Joglaresa. Love the gypsy inspired spiritually tinged music from an era long lost in the past. Joglaresa has been playing since the early 90's and it appears that they are really riding the peak of the wave at this juncture of their career. Tapping into a variety of influences from Irish to the middle east, from Judaism to Islamic to Christian verse, from Spanish-Hebrew to Arab-Andalusian poetry. This group of individuals are truly connecting to a divine voice in this sphere of life. Just take a moment to silence your brain and then put Dreams Of Andalusia on the player and measure your worth. They will take you into another atmosphere where humanity and dignity spread across the lines we've laid in the sand.

My Neighbor Totoro-Hayao Miyazaki (1988)
Whisper Of The Heart-Yoshifumi Kondo (1995)

I could put a Studio Ghibli film on the list every time they release a movie because they are simply that good. Forming in the mid-80's with the intent of moving anime toward a new tomorrow, they began creating beautiful and luscious imagery combined with very imaginative storytelling. These two films are both at least fifteen years old but they resonate with clarity even today. Miyazaki is the master director behind many of the great Ghibli movies including the only oscar winning anime film in history, Spirited Away. My Neighbor Totoro is a classic Ghibli tale about two girls who move to the countryside with their father while their mother is in the hospital with a life-debilitating illness. They run into a wild group of creatures including many different rabbits of various sizes, as well as a bus that is actually a giant cat. Yeah, complex and interesting, it delves into the emotionally fragile life of children when they are faced with a crisis, Incredibly, the story and animation work with both children and adults and the artwork is mind-blowing. Same thing goes for Whispers of the Heart, although the kids in this one are high school students who are learning about love for the first time. Studio Ghibli does a wonderful job tapping into the essence of human nature, mostly through the perspective of children, and every movie seems to have a genuine sweet spirit that embraces life with magic and love.

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