International Music Compilations

I have a deep appreciation for a wide variety of music from various parts of the world, if not a very deep expertise in any particular international genre.  Over the years I have made a great many compilations comprised mostly of music from places outside the English-speaking world.  Sometimes I have made compilations focusing on one country or region and sometimes I have made compilations of music from lots of places that seem to me somehow connected or complementary.

Only a very few of my international compilations are up on this website; I hope to upload many more in the coming months.  Please find several below listed roughly in reverse chronological order.  If you click on the compilation title it will take you to a page with links to stream the compilations and complete song lists.  Send me a message (or complete the form on this page) for more information about any of my music compilations.

Music for a Great Occasion (Part One) convivio-vecchi-castagni-1945Music for a Great Occasion, Part One

January 2016.  This is part one of a two part compilation of international music I made on the occasion of an (open-minded) friend’s wedding. For the most part, the music is historical, raw, and roughly produced — made for the pleasure of the local communities rather than with thought to how it would be heard or experienced by outsiders. On the whole, the compilation is challenging but enormously rewarding listening.

Music for a Great Occasion (Part Two) Luigi Russolo, Tre Pini, 1944Music for a Great Occasion, Part Two

January 2016.  This is part two of a two part compilation of international music I made on the occasion of an (open-minded) friend’s wedding. For the most part, the music is historical, raw, and roughly produced — made for the pleasure of the local communities rather than with thought to how it would be heard or experienced by outsiders. On the whole, the compilation is challenging but enormously rewarding listening.

brazilBrazil (not the country, but the song and its state of mind)

December 2016.  This compilation is inspired by the song “Brazil” as most famously and prominently featured in Terry Gilliam’s movie of the same name.  The song represents much the same here as it does in the movie: an evocation of nostalgia; an escape from the troubles and challenges of daily life to another, largely illusionary, place.  Sonically, the compilation is a mix of Brazilian, Caribbean, Americana, and other old time sounds.

Everyday banner sizeEveryday

May 2013. This is a compilation I made in celebration of a friend’s wedding — music from lots of parts of the world, with a largely mellow, festive mood.

Voices of Longing

December 2010. This is my end-of-2010 compilation, of music from around the world, with a focus on songs with beautiful vocals that (to me) express a sense of longing.  To my ears, these songs largely avoid cheesiness and melodrama, and convey deep emotion in controlled, dignified, and wildly varied ways.  Click here to stream the comp, for the song list, and for a couple videos.

Air Afrique

December 2008.  My end-of-2008 compilation was of African music.  All compilation making is necessarily a process of exclusion as much as inclusion, and this is nowhere more the case than a compilation attempting to represent a continent as musically diverse and prolific as Africa. Thus, although I tried to represent the various major regions of Africa, I feel the need to indicate some of what this compilation does not include: rural music (as endlessly diverse as Africa itself), Afropop, Afrobeat (most identified with Fela Kuti), Afro-Cuban music, Afro-rock, Afro-jazz, Afro-hip hop, and all the stuff I haven’t discovered yet.  Due to space limitations, I also did not attempt to cover the islands of Madagascar, Zanzibar, and Cape Verde, which have their own distinctive musical traditions.  The majority of this compilation is urban African music incorporating Western influences and instruments, primarily from the late 60s and early 70s, before the glossier production of Afropop became predominant. Click here to stream the comp, for the song list, and for a couple videos.

 Wanderlust

December 2006. For the end of 2006 I made a two disc compilation of (mostly) international music from all over the world. I think compared to most commercial compilations of international music, the songs on this compilation are, on the whole, less slick and highly produced. The first disc, Wanderlust (Faster), is overall more upbeat, if not actually fast-paced for the most part. The second disc, Wanderlust (Slower) is perhaps more similar in mood to my more recent compilation Voices of Longing. Otherwise, I think the wildly diverse music speaks for itself. Click here to stream Wanderlust (Faster), for the song list, and for a couple videos. Wanderlust (Slower) is here.

Sonido VolanteSonido Volante

A collection of classic bossa nova songs from the true masters that I put together years ago. Not an obscure selection by any means, but some of the most flat out beautiful and soothing music ever made.

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One Response to International Music Compilations

  1. Morgan says:

    Arik gave me “Old Time Travels” a few years back. I listen to those songs all the time.

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