Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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My approach to the original music was anything but purist—it is played in Western tuning, filtered, slowed down by a few ‘time-octaves’, cast into non-African metres (like the 13-beat pattern of the first dance) and redistributed between the players in several ways. I also used interlocking techniques where they were absent in the original models and vice versa. The first movement owes something to the style of Basotho concertina music; the title ‘White Man Sleeps’ comes from a moment in nyanga panpipe music where the performers leave off playing their loud pipes for a few cycles and dance only to the sound of their ankle rattles, to let the white landowner sleep—for a minute or two.
from notes by Kevin Volans © 2011