Support for projects in Sudan
By purchasing this CD you support Doctors Without Borders’ (Læger uden Grænser's / Médecins Sans Frontières’) work in the crisis-stricken areas of Darfur in Sudan with five euros (DKK 37.50).
Follow the project on: www.mildrecords.com/msf
In 1981, Torsten Myhre Jensen and Mik Aidt travelled through Africa’s vast sahel deserts and savannahs on month-long journeys on foot as well as on the roof of trains, on top of truck cockpits and on river steamers. They kept a diary of their experiences, and frequently talked about how it could be turned into music. However, by the time they returned to their home country of Denmark after half a year's adventures through some of the most remote areas of the African continent, they were so sick that they ended up in hospital quarantine with the diagnosis: “unknown amoebes”.
Twenty years later, and much healthier, the two travel mates took up the challenge to turn their old idea into reality.
‘Balad Djemil’ is the impressive result. Having collaborated with three singers Tchando Embalo, Gudrun Holck and Pernilla Aidt and with contributions from four other gifted guest musicians, loaded with their own original 25-year-old cassette tape recordings from Sudan, this “widescreen soundscape” production has been three years in the making.
Parts of the album make you feel like you are listening to a film soundtrack with abstract interpretations of landscape scenery and impressions from Africa, whereas a few of the songs stand out as dancefloor hits in a modern mix of African beats and vocals.
The album was mastered by Ossian Ryner
2 February 2008: Travelog did a performance at a Danish school, Ryslinge Friskole, which organised a 'Global Day' for 300 pupils and parents. The video below shows a few clips from the performance which featured drummer and dancer Sellasi Dewornu and singer Gudrun Holck, some pictures from the workshop, and the concluding speech (in Danish language) by headmaster Torben Vind:
1 October 2007: The album 'Balad Djemil' by Travelog is now available (world-wide) here: cdbaby.com/cd/travelog
17 September 2007: The physical album can be purchased online with a credit card on CDBaby.com in a couple of weeks.
28 August 2007: The first print of the CD is sold out, but the good news is that Mild Records is making a new print and presently is in the process of setting up an international distribution channel for the album, so that it can be purchased online with a credit card world-wide.
22 June 2007: The fourth track on the ‘Balad Djemil’ album, ‘Zonga’, has been selected for the official Danish ‘World Music from Denmark 2008’ compilation album, published by Music Export Denmark.
The album is distributed in 3,000 free copies at trade fairs and conferences, etc, to present what Denmark has to offer in this field. Read more.
13 October 2006: The second track on the ‘Balad Djemil’ album, ‘Samoulanga’, has been nominated for the Danish World Awards 2006. Read more.
6 June 2006: Travelog now has a corner on MySpace.com: myspace.com/travelog where you will be able to read blogs (when there is something to report), listen to the music, and more
1 June 2006: The ‘Balad Djemil’ album entered its final stage after three years of preparation. It was mastered on May 31, and we are presently looking into how to and where to make the launch party. Expected release date later this year.
MUSIKEREN: “For the greater good this CD is published to support Medicine Sans Frontiere in Sudan. Long soundscapes, ethnic instruments, tribal singing and jazzy undertones create a cinematic soundtrack to an inner African journey...” Review by Marcus Winther-John Jens Sparrevohn Rønn in Musikeren no 10, October 2007
DJEMBE: “It’s billed as a widescreen soundscape of an African journey, and it’s certainly that, this mix of African, electronic and Western music. At times, in fact, it’s positively symphonic. The Danish duo of Torsten Myhre Jensen and Mik Aidt don’t recreate their journey as put together an impressionistic picture of it. Luckily, for the most part they get the balance right, creating something that draws from two cultures whilst keeping the African heart intact. There are some similarities with the Afro Celts, or Mali’s Isaa Bagayogo in the way they integrate the ancient and modern, Africa and the West, but you realize after a while they’re forging their own sound, with is much bigger, a vision that really is a fusion. It won’t be to everyone’s tastes purists might find it too much of a compromise. But you need to accept it for what it is. It’s not an African record, it’s a movie, an orchestral work of a journey. Curiously, where it works most perfectly is when it takes on true Maghrebi tones, on the title cut, which mixes a Middle Eastern melody with the jallali rhythms of Morocco over a Sudanese singer. The pieces fit magically for four perfect minutes, making a wonderful climax to this sparkling disc. Add to that the fact that the money goes to support Medecins Sans Frontieres desperately needed work in the Sudan, and there’s no reason not to buy this.” Review by Chris Nickson in Djembe no 59, February 2007
GLOBAL VILLAGE IDIOT: “World music from Denmark, a record of a journey in Africa. The mix of electronic and acoustic music is very effective yes, it's been done before, but this takes a different, more organic tack, mixing voices, percussion, and acoustic and electronic instruments very sympathetically. Throughout, there's a sense of movement, and since much of the field sources are from the Sudan, it's impossible not to find it all very relevant now. Add to that the fact that it benefits Médecins Sans Frontières and you have a very definite winner.” www.globalvillageidiot.net/ReviewsDecember2006
GAFFA: “We are situated in another Africa a place which disintegrates in mirages where outdoor sound recordings and dreams come and go, and where Danish musicians as the exciting singers Gudrun Holck and Pernilla Aidt, as well as the veteran Tchando, contributes with newly recorded stuff, which actually works very well. (...) It is an unusual input to the stream of world music, and most of the way the Danish duo has succeeded in producing a soundscape which awakens the dream about being on the road and having lots of time...” Excerpt of review in the Danish music magazine Gaffa, 2 November 2006, by Torben Holleufer. Review in full (in Danish language).
“The c/d is wonderful... i listen to it nearly every day, and have used some tracks for "warm-up" in my dance classess.....music transcends all, and I can still "feel" the stories you have woven into this magic tapestry of sound & rhythms.... merci beaucoup.” Rebekah, African dance teacher, 25 July 2007
Examples of radio stations that played songs from ‘Balad Djemil’
Travelog is a duo consisting of Torsten Myhre Jensen and Mik Aidt, both 44 years old and based in Copenhagen, Denmark. When performing live, the team is expanded with between five and seven musicians and dancers.
Mik Aidt (left) and Torsten Myhre Jensen photographed by Padma Bronée
The sound and spirit of their music has references to Western artists in the field of “visual music” such as Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream, and world music pioneers such as Peter Gabriel, 1 Giant Leap, Midival Punditz, Nitin Sawhney and Karsh Kale who have been great sources of inspiration for the duo, along with numerous other artists in the genres of chill out, lounge, ambient, psy trance and world music.
The duo's debut album, ‘Balad Djemil’, is inspired by a journey they did in Sudan in 1981.
The video-concert-show ‘Fordi Verden Er Større’ (‘Because the World is Bigger’), which is made of music composed by Travelog, is inspired by musical traditions from four continents: Africa, Latin America, Australia and Asia.
About the singers • Info about Tchando Embalo can be read atwww.tchando.com • Info about Gudrun Holck can be read atwww.mildrecords.com • Info about Pernilla Aidt can be read atwww.pernilla.dk
Travelog's live performance
‘Because the World is Bigger’
Poetry and abstract video art mixed with entertainment, powerful music and inspiring travel experiences ‘Because the World is Bigger’ is a production made in co-operation with staff members of Djembe Magazine.
FEATURING: Tchando & Gudrun Upbeat track with traditional percussion
FEATURING: Tchando & Gudrun Hiking on foot from village to village in the south, headed for Sourceyubu. Slow rhythms from one of the hottest and most humid areas on Earth
FEATURING: Tchando & Gudrun Lively African track with soukous elements of the Congo
FEATURING: Tchando & Gudrun Wedding dance in the Nuba Mountains
Instrumental Ambient and instrumental soundscape. Two weeks steamer-journey through the largest swamp in the world, AsSud
Instrumental The river steamer stopped, and we went ashore to smoke a pibe with the Manzis
FEATURING: Tchando & Gudrun Dark and rhythmic track about the civil war in the south. We were in Wao when one morning the shooting started. Eight men were killed in the hills that day
FEATURING: Pernilla Soundscape of the Sahel savannahs, viewed from the roof of a train
FEATURING: Tchando & Gudrun Optimistic song based on the rhythm of Gomé
FEATURING: Tchando & Gudrun Rhythm of the train turned into dreamy vocal voyage
Instrumental Morning atmosphere in the little village near the foot of Djebel Marra. People gather for the weekly market
Instrumental Spiritual and ambient soundscape of the highest vulcano in the Darfur region
FEATURING: Gudrun Memories from the village of Quela
FEATURING: Tchando & Gudrun Back in the city. Upbeat track for the dancefloor, based on a recording of an improvised tea party in the suburb of Khartoum, Omdurman
FEATURING: Unknown singer The same vocal track which ‘Omdurman’ is based on, but in a more acoustic mix
Instrumental Ambient and instrumental soundscape of Lake Nasser
The music on this album is composed, played, recorded, digitally
processed, arranged, mixed and produced by Travelog * a duo consisting
of Torsten Myhre Jensen and Mik Aidt, based in Copenhagen, Denmark
Recorded in Mild Records’ studio, 20032006. Supported by KODA
Torsten Myhre Jensen: guitar, percussion, vocals
Mik Aidt: keyboards, percussion, vocals, special effects, cover design
Ossian Ryner: mastering
Cover photo: Landscape in Darfur, Sudan, photographed by Torsten Myhre Jensen
Back photo: Manzi village in AsSud, Equatoria, Sudan, photographed by Mik Aidt
Gudrun Holck: vocal on 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15
Salvador Tchando Embalo: vocal on 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 15
Pernilla Aidt: vocal on 1 and 9
Mikkel Hornnes: trumpet on 1, 6, 17, percussion on 3, 9, 11, clarinet on 11 and 16
Martin Bornemann Carlsen: bass on all tracks except 12, 13 and 17
Jørgen Nielsen: drums on 3, 4, 5, 11
Ilya Magnes: djembe drum on 11
Isaac Laryea: talking drum on 2, gomé drum on 10
1: Vocal by Pernilla Aidt
2, 3, 4, 8 and 10: Vocal by Tchando
5: Vocals by guests at wedding party in Kadugli, Sudan, recorded in 1985 by Mik Aidt
11 and 15: Vocal by Gudrun Holck and Tchando
15 and 16: Vocals by unknown male singers at afternoon tea party in Omdurman, Sudan, recorded in 1984 by Mik Aidt
• In the US, you can call 1-800-BUY-MY-CD to order by phone.
Denmark • The album is distributed in Denmark by Gateway Music and GDC. • It can be purchased on www.sundcentret.dk
• Tracks as digital files for download: Gucca
• It can also be obtained by sending an e-mail with name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org paying DKK 110 + 38.50 = DKK 148.50 to giro account 1-217-9057 (if you go to the post office) or account number 1199-0012179057 (if you use netbanking) for postage within Denmark.