Anaphoria is a mysterious, obscure island that Los Angeles microtonal composer Kraig Grady has been exploring for years. His addictive 1994 album "Music From The Island of Anaphoria" is richly exotic, but it's not exotica. No Martin Denny-type Polynesian pop here. Tho the music is sometimes reminiscent of Indonesian/gamelon music, the island's 73 different ethnic groups ensure that no one style predominates. It all sounds like nothing I've heard before. Why so much of this wonderful stuff is out-of-print and not as famous as Radiohead is something I'll never understand.
Pump organs, chants, hammered dulcimer, all manner of clanging, chiming, and thumping percussion are heard here, as well as the strange sounds of native Anaphorian instruments unknown to the uninitiated. Shadow plays are sometimes performed along with the music at Grady's concerts. Hypnotic drones and atmospheric sounds (acoustic? electronic? both?) suggest esoteric rituals and ancient ceremonies. If Harry Partch wrote the music for Disneyland's "Enchanted Tiki Room," it might sound like this.
Also on hand here is L.A. experimental music legend Brad Laner, a guy I first knew of from his notorious noise band Debt of Nature - I saw 'em get booed opening for Wall of Voodoo way back when. He has since gone on to play with Savage Republic, Medicine, Brian Eno, Yoko Ono, and many others.
Kraig Grady "Music From The Island of Anaphoria" [UPDATE 2-4-11: Back on line! Music For Maniacs and the North American Embassy of Anaphoria Island proudly co-present this album.]
01 Ecstasy of Exiles
02 Wedding Song (with Petra Haden)
03 Duet With Fogbound Oars
04 Ceremony At Airports Edge
05 Ritual Offering
06 A Sacred Feast
07 Banaphshu Remembers her Father the Clock Maker
08 Shadow Play - The Birds Rout The Demon Of Swords
09 A Farewell Ring
More Kraig Grady and the music of Anaphoria to come in future posts...