Video Talk
Lena Chen
Director, Programming and Network Operations
TRIO Network/Universal Television


Myths; Visions; Journeys and Heights of PASSION

If there is one word that fuses all my feelings on music it is PASSION.  When my contemporaries in all walks describe my thoughts and fervor for music they describe me as thoroughly PASSIONATE.  There is a theme I am going for here... 

I am lately struck by a sound; a movement; a rhythm - NO, a fusion of them all.  Where Classical meets World Beats and Trip-Hop and Groove and it all comes together in this elegant... allow me to repeat myself, "fusion."

Like some of the best restaurants in NYC, fusion can be a fantastic journey of flavor and fun.

Take a look at my play-list this issue.  The Gotan Project.  Take the sultry Argentinean Tango, sprinkle in some traditional Latin instrumentation like the bandoneon (accordion) and stir at high speed... I truly didn't think you could make the Tango sexier, but Voila!  Gotan Project achieves in their video "Santa Maria" whirling about on TRIO right now.  Have a taste and just you try and keep up!

Next meet Natacha Atlas, yes it's her real name.  Atlas was born in Belgium, is of Middle Eastern descent, with ancestral and family links to Egypt, Palestine and Morocco.  She has lived in Brussels, Greece and England, and believe me when I say her experience of different cultures has obviously influenced her music.  To add even more texture, her first three albums were treated by a variety of remixers, including Talvin Singh, Banco de Gaia, Youth, 16B, Klute, the Bullitnuts, TJ Rehmi, DJ Spooky and the Transglobals.  Is this exotic yet intricate and wild enough for you?  Well, just check out "When I Close My Eyes" on TRIO and feel how much is interwoven within this worldly woman's mind!

This brings me to Sasha Lazard.  Another worldly woman with European influences, yes... BUT this siren is so unique; she deserves a different kind of mention.  Sasha's is a journey I have not yet experienced in my music life... Her album, The Myth of Red explains it this way, each song "inspired by the story of Ishtar, the Sumerian Goddess who descended from Heaven to the Underworld...  The Myth of Red  tells of a woman who grows restless with her pedestrian life."  Pedestrian?  Sasha is a classically trained OPERA singer!  Talk about passion and the desire to take your music to a different level?  This accomplished chanteuse astounds and achieves on so many levels (and octaves).  For a first album (appropriately released on the Higher Octave Music label), I am quite simply taken to a new high.  After having seen her live, along with a kick-ass cellist and one serious techno-wizard AND one of my favorite percussionists, Everett Bradley (I first met Everett six years ago when he was in STOMP!)... I am not quite sure if she really is descending, this may just be a Myth.  Her voice transcends, as does the instrumentation.  I should mention that the beautiful and accomplished violinist Lili Hayden is featured as well as E-Day and Spooky on The Myth of Red.  Sasha's video entitled "Ode to Innocence" (you make your own assessment) is now playing on TRIO.  As lovely a person inside as she is to watch and listen to, Sasha Lazard is well on her way.  Where to?  I am happily dizzied myself... For now, let's just say quite far!!!  Trust me.

Is this all a trend?  I hope so.  I hope one that lasts.  Again, remember, each of the above are based on classical or world sounds and fused with funked-out layers of rhythms, exotic instruments, electronica and trip-hop.  Most of all and key to this whole story is that each possess the ultimate feeling you should come away with when experiencing any and all music... PASSION.

The End... Part I