MAHALINGAM, T.R. - Mali: Essential Recordings of Carnatic Bamboo Flute, 1969-70

EM Records and Meditations, from Kyoto, are pleased to announce the reissue, on double vinyl and double CD, of two classic 1969 and 1970 LP releases from Indian bamboo flute legend T.R. Mahalingam, known as Mali" to his fans. Born in Tamil Nadu in 1925, Mali was a true original whose musicality revolutionized Indian flute playing, elevating the instrument from its folk origins to the heights of art music, imbued with spirituality, without losing vitality or succumbing to the blandishments of fame. Mali was a beguiling combination of virtuosity, spirituality and rebelliousness, and his music reflects this, and much more. He was a legend and a master. Malis virtuosity was innate; he picked up the flute, against his fathers wishes, at the age of five, and gave his first performance at seven, to great acclaim, eventually playing with other legendary musicians including the revered violinist Palghat Mani Iyer. Mahalingam developed tremendous control of the instrument, able to sustain single notes for over 40 seconds, able to play any music after hearing it only once, but he used his virtuosity to serve the music, pursuing the Carnatic ideal of the voice as the purest form of music. He sang with the flute. In contrast with the mechanically-keyed Western flute, the Indian bamboo flute allows the player to directly touch the finger holes, allowing access to a wider range of tones and contributing to this vocal quality. Mali added an extra hole to his flutes, increasing his expressivity, and performed other modifications to bring him closer to the ideal of the human voice. Malis technical innovations also included the development of new fingering techniques and the introduction of a unique hand positioning, the "parrot clutch." This relentless search allowed the flute, for the first time, to be elevated to the highest ranks of Carnatic music. Mali was spiritually driven. He had a life-changing religious experience at the age of sixteen, lending a sense of depth and introversion to his music. He claimed to have seen god many times while playing, and was known to cut concert appearances short in such instances. He was also said to have been able to communicate with birds through his music. Legendary in India, Mahalingam was very influential in Europe and North America also, especially among composers including La Monte Young and Terry Riley. Olivier Messiaen, another bird lover, was keenly interested in Malis music, and one may hear this influence in a number of Messiaens pieces. So, a legend. A master. And beyond words. Please listen to Mali." -EM/Meditations

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After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
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