Blue Lotus Society | Gulf Coast Bellydance

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Blue Lotus Society on MySpace Blue Lotus Society Official Website Darkest Heart project also by Shelly Emusic MusicIsHere PayPlay Tradebit

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United States - Louisiana

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World: Belly Dancing World: World Fusion Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Gulf Coast Bellydance

by Blue Lotus Society

An Instrumental CD of Bellydance Music for the Classroom & MORE.Feels like a rhythmic migration with BIG organic drums and a few African thumb piano inspired Guitar pieces; Arabic, North African and New Orleans rhythms for dancing or just bouncing
Genre: World: Belly Dancing
Release Date: 

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1. Breathe It In
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11:23 $0.99
2. The Eye Opens
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8:37 $0.99
3. Two By Two
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3:58 $0.99
4. Shake The Sands
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4:10 $0.99
5. Stomp & Wave
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5:06 $0.99
6. Rest From Flight
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4:57 $0.99
7. Burning Wings Sunken City
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10:02 $0.99
8. Shady Landing
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5:49 $0.99
9. Gathering Ground
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5:19 $0.99
10. Changing Weather
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7:19 $0.99
11. Sunset On Folded Wings
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6:07 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Blue Lotus Society
This project started as a question to several gulf south bellydance teachers and performers. “What do you need for a teaching/practicing album?”
The answer is the 11 songs on Gulf Coast Bellydance.

Shamsi complied all of the feedback into an outline of rhythms, instruments, tempos and times. Then I disappeared into the studio for about 3 months.
What follows is a breakdown of each song and its intended purpose; along with some of the original notes and some info about the sessions and instruments used.

I tried to mix the album with the feeling of being in the room with a live group. Very little effects were used so it would be clear in noisy environments with open spaces for dancers to fill with zils, etc. There are no loops or punch-ins on this album. Every track is one take all the way through. It does get a little brutal sometimes on a 10 minute song with a hypnotic rhythm. I didn’t dare screw up because I just didn’t have enough juice left to do it again!

Song 1 – Breathe it in
Slow warm up song for grounding & breathing.
Rhythm used: 8/8 Bolero
Track length: 11:24
Tempo: Slow for the first half then speed up to moderate (58bpm – 76bpm)
Instruments Used: Ocean drum, Bendirs, Rain Stick, Udu, Tar
About the recording:
They asked for a slow long warm up song; something to ground, breathe and stretch at the beginning of class and then get into the movements of the class. I thought of morning on a flat sandy beach (yoga, tai chi, slow movement); so that’s why I went with the ocean drum for rolling waves and the airy frame drums and rain stick for a shaker.
The typically “Flamenco” rhythm sounded very different when played slowly like this.

Song 2 – The eye opens
Fast warm up song.
Rhythm used: 6/8 Chaka
Track length: 8:34
Tempo: Starts with moderate tempo – builds to upbeat, increase to fast at end (80bpm – 112bpm – 144bpm)
Instruments Used: Djembe, Asonge, Casaba, Triangle, Tar and electric guitar
About the recording:
This was another warm up song; just a little faster. Love this Chaka 12 with the electric guitar swells. I tried to be earthy and dark with clear cues as to speed/tempo changes. It’s a shorter warm-up song that starts off faster and ultimately ends up blazing.
Shamsi gave me an awesome new guitar for Christmas ’06, right before I started recording this. I was goofing around on the new guitar, using some organ/keyboard sounding volume swells that sounded really cool, so it ended up on this track.
I really-really like playing Chaka on the drums 
I also got a hay rake triangle for Christmas too. Did I mention I got a hay rake triangle?

Song 3 – Two by Two
Technique song 1; sparse song for technique practice.
Rhythms used: 2/4 beat combo of Malfuf/Karatchi/Saudi
Track length: 3:59
Tempo: Start with slow tempo and build up speed near end and end with quick tempo. (66bpm – 86bpm)
Instruments Used: Klong Yaw, Triangle, Riq
About the recording:
Teachers/Dancers also wanted some sparse drum rhythm ‘songs’ with clear accents on the beats to help beginners understand the rhythms better.
Here, the Triangle is on the down beat to keep it clear with the Riq playing the main rhythm.

Song 4 – Shake the Sands
Technique song 2; Sparse mix for technique practice.
Rhythm used: 4/4 Maqsum
Track length: 4:11
Tempo: Start moderate speed and build up to quick finish. (84bpm – 112bpm)
Instruments Used: Doumbek, Tar, Riq
About the recording:
This is another sparse song with simple, clear accents. The doumbek and tar are on the main rhythm with the riq playing upbeats.
This can be used either as a teaching tool or a great trance piece because of the overtones created by using the 3 ‘simple’ instruments together.
The visual I got while I experienced this song was of a bunch of little birds running in the sand.

Song 5 – Stomp & Wave
Technique song 3; this is a drum song with lots of accents to practice locks and isolations.
Rhythms used: 4/4 Gawazi & Saidi
Track length: 5:06
Tempo: Start with moderate tempo/ slow down for middle / build up speed at end. (100bpm – 84bpm - 108bpm)
Instruments Used: Hand claps, Djembe, Ashiko, Clave, Triangle
About the recording:
This is more of a ‘filled’ technique practice song with lots of different accents and stops all repeating in patterns of 4 (3 times then an ending accent.)
This song changes back & forth between Gawazi and Saidi with a varying tempo in order to show the same moves at different speeds.
We like the lots of ups and downs :)

Song 6 – Rest from Flight
Open feeling taqsim
Rhythm used: well…mostly arrhythmic….since it’s supposed to be a taqsim you know…
Track length: 4:58
Tempo: Begins with moderate tempo building speed and intensity in the middle. (60bpm – 110bpm)
Instruments Used: Steel String Acoustic Guitar, Nylon String Acoustic Guitar, Udu, Spoons, Ocean Drum, Flock of Birds on loan from the creator.
About the recording:
This one begins with a taqsim to practice long curvy moves, arms & undulations. It picks up toward the end and becomes more rhythmic for shimmies.
When I first started recording this song, a huge flock of black birds landed in the big pecan tree outside my studio window. They were so loud I couldn’t record quiet guitar tracks, so I recorded them until they flew away. That’s the sound you will hear at the beginning of the song.
And yes, I can play spoons.

Song 7 – Burning Wings Sunken City
Application Song 1
The application songs are more filled in and orchestrated than the earlier songs. This application song has BIG drums, breaks and changes in the tempo with lots of accents.
Rhythms used: 4/4’s - Farsee 4, Saidi, Farsee 4, Beledi
Track length: 10:03
Tempo: Starts with and upbeat/quick tempo / transitions into slow tempo – little more sparse / back to upbeat with full sound – finish upbeat with Beledi. (120bpm - 60bpm – 120bpm)
Instruments Used: Klong Yaw, Ashiko, Asonge, Clave, 350 Chevy Oil Pan, Djun Djun, Riq, Tar, Doumbek, Nylon string guitar, Electronic drums, Ocean Drum, Shaker.
About the recording:
This one’s for the Tribal Girls. It’s got more fills, changes, starts, stops, slow downs, speed-ups, and plenty of room for a dancer to add her own zils.
My ‘wings’ were burnin’ by the time I finished all these drum parts. The ‘sunken’ feeling guitar along with some low bass and drums are of course for all those low bottom hip moves.
This song goes out to all the little birdies who had to fly away from their Sunken City; some are still wings on fire trying to find a place to land.

Song 8 – Shady Landing
Application Song 2
The FuNky Song
Rhythms used: First Thukile (Hambone), Saidi
Track length: 5:49
Tempo: Starts moderately / build to upbeat / slow to end. (92bpm - 108bpm – 54bpm)
Instruments Used: Goblet drum, Shakers, Bendir, Djembe, Copper doumbek, Aluminum doumbek, Electric guitar, Bass guitar
About the recording:
Did someone say Funky? No, I cannot play bass like Bootsy, but I can program a sound like his! And I can play the Bo Diddly beat and some very slippery electric guitar.
Bounce baby bounce
You did know this was a World Fusion Album right?
Then a screwed-down Saidi to end.

Song 9 – Gathering Ground
Application Song 3 – with changes in rhythm & tempo
Rhythms used: Taqsim, Beledi, Ayoub
Track length: 5:19
Tempo: Slow taqsim/arrhythmic / into big Beledi with slow tempo / build to moderate / end with quick Ayoub. (arrhythmic - 120bpm - 112bpm – 224bpm)
Instruments Used: Guitar, Shakers, Bendir, Tar, Triangle, Copper doumbek, Aluminum Doumbek
About the recording:
This is a more complete soloist piece from slow taqsim through moderate tempo Beledi with clear fills & accents in patterns of 4 ending with a quick Ayoub upbeat finale.
Lots of drum solo trade offs between different drums.

Song 10 – Changing Weather
Application Song 4 – with lots of changes and fills.
Rhythms used: Chiftatelli, Ayoub, Taqsim, Chiftatelli, Ayoub
Track length: 7:20
Tempo: Begins moderately / upbeat / stop / taqsim / slow build to fast / back to rhythm upbeat / end with quick tempo. (88bpm - 104bpm –stop- taqsim slow – 104bpm– 112bpm)
Instruments Used: Doumbek, Bendir, Guitar, Riq, Triangle, Shakes, Ocean drum
About the recording:
This is an extended group or soloist piece with several solo instrument and rhythm changes.
From low and earthy to high and bright drop down to electric taqsim & ocean drum back to low and earth to finish with quick and upbeat.

Song 11 – Sunset on Folded Wings
Cool down song
Rhythm used: 12/8 – African 3 beat
Track length: 6:08
Tempo: Start moderate and slow to end (120bpm - 104bpm)
Instruments Used: Klong Yaw, Djembe, Triangle, Nylon string guitar
About the recording:
Something low and earthy to cool down.
This guitar part comes from listening to Cheik Lo and other African guitarists too much. They have this thumb piano feel to their playing and that’s what I was really reaching for.
I hope you don’t trance out and fall into Delta Waves on your cool down :)


Reviews


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Noura

Excellent Job!
Hey Shelley - you've outdone yourself w/ this new cd!!! It's a great addition to any dancer's collection. Heck, it's a great addition to *any* music lover's collection - particular if they have a tendancy to the Middle Eastern style and/or drumming. Keep up the great work. You're one of the hardest working musicians I know.