Untravelled Path…to New Instruments and Sounds


Untravelled Path – Dynasties Fall

This group of folks, who go by the name of Untravelled Path, actually invent their own instruments.

I’ve uploaded one song from their CD above. Double click on the link and then click on the page that appears again. At that point the RealPlayer player should appear.

Here is part of an email that they sent (each of the bold phrases are links to various places on their site):

As for information about our instruments, well there’s a general overview of our instrument craft and the philosophy behind it on the Our Instruments page. The Kalimba Family page details the evolution of our kalimba style instruments. The Bowus Family page does the same for our stringed instruments. While the Shoki Family page has a few words about how these flutes came into being and the way we use them.

Beyond that the Our Recording and Microphone Placement pages talk at some length about how we have recorded, edited, and engineered our CDs. The long Doing Music Differently page describes our musical evolution. The Indian Music Scene and The Street Singer pages give some background about when and how our musical world view started to develop. Pages like Notation, Slow, Low, and Varied, Performance, and Practice might be described as providing our musical philosophy. While the Unspecialized page tries to tie it all together…..

I realize all this is perhaps a bit overwhelming, but in your note you do ask “if there is any material….. posted on the net……”. As you see there is quite a lot.

And certainly we would be more than happy if you want to quote any of it in your post. In fact even though our primary reason for writing such a huge website was to explain to listeners how we managed to create such strangely powerful music, we also had in mind that the site would make it easy for anyone writing about our music.

So a writer who was struck by the slowness of our music could include a link to our Slow, Low, and Varied page, one taken by our quartertone kalimbas a link to our Our Instruments or Kalimba Family page, etc…..

But I realize you have other things to do than read yet another long email (having worked as freelance translators we understand the horror of job deadlines) so let me just end with a few observations about your use of the word “challenging” to describe our music.

Certainly it’s challenging to musicologists, since our music manages to hold together and be beautiful without paying any attention to the scales and rhythm schemes of which they are so fond, and without being conceptual, computer generated, ambient, minimalist, industrial noise, or saturated with 20th century angst. So when they try to talk about us, they tend to find their tools inadequate.

And certainly our words are challenging to all sorts of people who like to think of themselves as radical or at least as being down there with the struggling masses, when in fact when one squints and looks at the actual facts of their lives they’re fundamentally standard model bourgeoisie.

But there’s one huge (i.e. many billions of them) group which doesn’t find our music challenging. And here I’m talking about the hard working folks who actually keep society running. The people who for shamefully low wages work in our stores, banks, post offices, delivery services, mines, etc.

These people just love Work In Progress. Of course they notice it’s different, but they like that. They tend to find our music relaxing and many seem to have decided it does a better job of helping them chill than any other music in their collections. While not so surprisingly they feel our words are right on.

But rather than going on more about this here, if you’re curious I’ve attached to this e-mail a version of a letter on this subject.

They would probably agree that the music isn’t for everyone’s taste. But I suppose its fair to say that people looking for pop stardom tend to rely on instruments that already have been invented.

[ninja-inline id=13465]

About The Author