From a distance

The last time I posted a sound file it was from Prague via New York and I thought it benefitted from a bit of intervention in the form of added echo. This one has its origins in Romania but needs no effects. Recorded some time in the 60s (I think) and put out on the state record label Electrecord this seems to be a folk song from the Cindrel Mountains and is sung by Ana Pop-Corondan. There are 4 tracks on the record but the others are swamped in orchestration and sound banal in comparison to the sparse arrangement of this song. Listening to it, the music jumped out at me as something quite unlike anything else I have heard. The title (Cînd Era Badea-n Cindrel) comes out in various forms using online translation tools and none of them make sense: ‘He was Uncle-n Cindrel’, ‘When was Badea-n Cindrel’ and ‘When was B-n Cindrel’.

The copy I bought in Oxfam came with this cover:


On Discogs it is shown with this rather more exciting sleeve:


Ana Pop-Corondan died in 2005 and there is not much information about her on the net.

Familiar sound


It might seem a bit of a cheat to include this in a blog about sound. Last week I visited Housman’s bookshop in Kings Cross and, as ever, I went down to the basement where all the book are priced at £1. (That basement has special resonance for me because I am convinced that I spent a night there in 1971…but that’s a different story.) I found this magazine from 1974 with its beautiful cover design by Richard Hollis. It exhibits the patina of use in the form of a faded edge and Haringey Libraries stamps that is at odds with the rigorous typography and layout. I hope that the scan allows a reading of the poem….that goes some way to justifying showing this here.