Winding Down – Meditation Time with Coyote Oldman’s Time Travelers!

So now it is time to relax unwind and get ready for sleep. For the last two weeks I have, on most mornings, done one of the days from the Yoga Journals 21 Day Yoga Challenge beginner series. Over the last forty years while never doing yoga on an everyday basis I have done it a lot. Predominately, Hatha yoga, but I also have done Iyengar yoga, and Kundalin, which I did for about a year. Usually I find that if I do yoga for a few days in a row  I feel better, have a lighter step and more energy. Most times I catch myself asking why I feel so good and of course my response is you are doing yoga, duh! And then of course I stop! Why I don’t know! Anyway, over the last two weeks I am seeing the same results and while part of the wellness that I feel may be attributed to the fact that I am away from my self-inflicted stressful job I am still working around the house and feeling great!

Time TravelersAlong with the yoga, I am also trying to incorporate 20-30 minutes per day of  meditation into my schedule and so far  have been able to do it over the last week or so. I really haven’t followed the course outlined by Yoga Journal although I may try it. Basically, what I have been doing is to try to quiet my mind and concentrate on my breathing, keeping it very slow. Additionally, I have been using music. I have pretty much used a different artist everyday. I started with Michael Brant DeMaria’s The Maiden of Stonehenge and have also use Get Tribal’s Gods of Drum and an album from Anilah titled Warrior all have worked well. Tonight I used Coyote Oldman. I have one Coyote Oldman album in my collection Thunder Chord and it is a favorite. Tonight, I used the 2011 release Time Travelers and I had the best 25 minute plus meditation yet! Now it may have been the terrific Native American flute but I also think maybe it is that I am getting better at meditating! Here is some background on Coyote Oldman….

Coyote Oldman is an exploration into music of the human spirit and the reintroduction of lost flutes. The michael_graham_allen_lgelusive flowing melodies of flute player / maker Michael Graham Allen combine with the compositionally rich sound scapes of engineer / musician Barry Stramp.

Michael Graham Allen began building and selling ancient North American flute replicas throughout the United States in the mid 1970′s and was a very early and prolific force in the reintroduction, refinement and popularization of what was at that time an obscure and almost forgotten instrument.

In 1986 and 1987 M. G. Allen introduced the North American flutes to mainstream and alternative music markets throughout the US, Europe and Asia with the groundbreaking recordings: Tear of the Moon and Night Forest. These recordings were very early introductions of ancient flute to North American, European and Japanese radio programs and gave millions of people their first encounter with this beautiful and little-known instrument. Coyote Oldman recordings are used in film and television programs around the world.Continue Reading

Here is a “Nebula in Orion” from Coyote Oldman’s 1995 release The Shape of Time

P.S. I would be interested in hearing about any other music that anyone may use for meditation!

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New Age- World Music from Adam Hurst – Nightfall

NighfallSo at Number 23 on the Echoes Music Chart for January of 2014 is Nightfall from Adam Hurst. Now of the 25 artists/albums listed there is really only one artist whose name I recognize and Adam is not it. Moby is really the only artist whose name I’ve known for more than a few months! Artist’s whose music i have recently explored include: Bombay Dub Orchestra(7), David Helpling and Jon Jenkins (10) and Darkside (9).

Adam HurstAnyway I went to Spotify to hear what Adam’s music sounded like. The above picture, which is the cover of his album Elegy gave me my first clue!! Cello music!! duh! So I turn on Nightfall and was immediately entranced by his music! When I went to read his biographies at various sites, I read this description

The original music of Adam Hurst is at once haunting, ethereal, evocative and romantic

And I’ll add mesmerizing! It seems I just can’t stop listening. I turned on Nightfall, when I started writing this post, and now I am listening to the second track,of his 2012 release Festivale one of his gypsy sounding tracks! His music has a World flavor and in his compositions you may hear hints of Middle Eastern, Indian, Native American and Celtic music!! Hurst who calls Portland, Oregon home has released 13 albums. In addition to that (yeah right!) he has also composed the entire score for the ballet Broken Sparrow as well as scoring three independent films, Cloth and Bone, Anima, and Ambrosia!!

Hurst studied cello at Skidmore College while in highschool and Brown University while in college. He holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design (1997). He taught cello at Providence College as an adjunct from 1998-2002.

Here’s a quote from Adam’s website that about sums up the way I feel about the music……

There are some artists whose work literally stops you dead in your tracks. You catch your breath, transfixed, afraid that if you breathe it might fade and dissolve. Encountering art at this level triggers an immediate, intimate familiarity, yet it is unlike anything you know, only what you have hoped would be. The experience is transporting, ecstatic, poignant and achingly beautiful all at once, in a moment of meeting that you will never forget. This was my experience in first hearing tusic of Adam Hurst, and even more so in seeing… him playing the gypsy cello.” -Robert Gould, Musings from the Realm

So now for some music!. Here’s Adam performing “Sparrow” Oh. I forgot he also plays piano and guitar on his albums!!

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Today in Music – Feb 1, 1959 – Ottmar Liebert’s Birthday!!

Ottmar LiebertToday is the birthday of one of my favorite acoustic guitarists Ottmar Liebert. From Wikipedia: Ottmar..

….was born February 1, 1959 in CologneWest Germany to a Chinese-German father and a Hungarian mother. As a child, he spent most of his time traveling throughout Europe and Asia with his family. He began playing classical guitar at 11, and flamenco guitar at 14, after he “found a Flamenco LP in the bargain bin at a local supermarket”.[1] After performing rock music in his native Germany, he moved to the United States and settled in Boston for a few years, performing in various rock clubs.[2] In 1986 Liebert settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he began looking to create a new musical sound...Read More

And what a new sound he and his band Luna Nigra have created. Building on influences such as “Carlos Santana, Paco de Lucía, John McLaughlin, Robert Fripp, and Jeff Beck, Ottmar has created a music that is not Flamenco in the strictest sense because it doesn’t follow the song forms, “compas” or techniques. He has labeled the music “New Flamenco.” or “Nuevo Flamenco”. Personally, I don’t care what you call it, all I know is that it is great music, and I think that the general public agrees with me. Liebert has received five Grammy Award nominations, and 38 Gold and Platinum certifications in the United States, as well as certifications in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. His début album Nouveau Flamenco (1990) is a double-platinum album in the United States!! Often when I am working away at work on a project that needs writing verses CAD or calculations, Liebert’s music is playing in the background. It’s the same when I’m at home relaxing with a good book!! Links: Website: http://www.ottmarliebert.com/index-flash.php: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottmar_Liebert AllMusic:http://www.allmusic.com/artist/ottmar-liebert-mn0000157377 So let’s kick off a relaxing Saturday morning with Ottmar and Luna Nigra and a performance of “Snakecharmer”.”Happy Birthday” Ottmar!!

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An Eclectic Music Day – A Little Folk, New Age and Prog from three great guitarists!

More New EverythinhSo today was an eclectic music day. I had to return to Lambertville today, so I loaded music on the iPhone from two different genres. First some folk music from a longtime favorite, Brooks Williams,  his latest release, More New Everything which is an EP. Then some New Age from guitarist Alex DeGrassi. I listened to those two albums on the way to the site. Then on the  way back, I listened to music from a third genre Prog Rock from the album Ravens and Lullabies from Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman. As I was listening on the way back, I thought about what tied all three of these albums from different genres together. The answer was that three of the four artist are exceptionally fine acoustic guitar players!!

I have enjoyed the music of Brooks Williams since his 1999 release Hundred Year Shadow. The first time I heard the album I thought “This is one damn good guitarist!! Brooks’ next release in 2000 was Little Lion his first all instrumental album and to this day it is one of my favorite guitar albums!!  Since those two albums, I’ve liked some of his releases better than others, so I have not picked up every album. But listening to More New Everything today I was hearing the Brooks Williams that I first enjoyed 13 years ago!! Some great songs and some great guitar!! Now i have to go back and listen to New Everything, since the tracks on More New Everything are left over from the New Everything session!! Because if these songs were left out, how good must New Everything be!!! I also need to go back and listen to some of the albums that I haven’t listened to over the years!!

As You Drift AwayThe second album that I turned on was Alex deGrassi’s  2008 release As You Drift Away:Lullabies On Guitar. Hum I didn’t see the complete title of this very good album, that was doing a good job of relaxing me this morning on the last leg of my trip! From AllMusic

….AS YOU DRIFT AWAY is a collection of both classic and original lullaby songs, ideal for late-night unwinding or early-moring chilling-out in addition to lulling young children to dreamland. A fine, discerning addition to an already extensive body of work, AS YOU DRIFT AWAY is one of those rare recordings that transcends age and genre. doing a good job of putting me to sleep on the last leg of my trip this morning.From AllMusic:. Read More

 

Ravens & LulllabiesThe last album actually connects to the second album because of the title and the acoustic guitar of Gordon Giltrap. . The album is Ravens & Lullabies a collaborative album from Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman. The album is probably one-half instrumental and the other half vocals and also one-half Gitrap and the other Wakeman. in turn Wakeman alternates between some beautiful piano work and his steady organ work. The only things that I really didn’t like were a few of the vocals and some of the lyrics. The lyrics seemed a little simplistic at times, at least to me. The other musicians that join Giltrap and Wakeman on the album include: Paul Manzi of Oliver Wakeman Band and Arena on lead vocals, Johanne James of Threshold plays the drums, and Steve Amadeo the bass. Benoit David of Mystery and Yes contributes a guest vocal on “From The Turn Of A Card”.

This album has been on the iPhone for a while and this is really the first extended listen that I’ve given the album and I’ve come away impressed by both artists – Giltrap’s guitar work and Wakeman keyboards are both outstanding. Now if the lyrics were a little better??

All and all, it was a fine musical journey today Here’s Gordon and Oliver performing “Ljw” from Ravens and Lullabies”

 

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“Into the Morning” with Eklipse and David Guetta’s “Titanium”

So the other day I was checking the Echoes list of top 25 albums for November and at number 13 was the band Eklipse.and their album Electric Air. I went to MOG and found the album and on the cover were four women holding three violins and a viola. Hum, I thought that looks pretty interesting. So the album went on the iPhone and played in the background while I did some chores around the house. I didn’t pay close attention to the music, but I really like it and felt that this certainly could be part of my work’s soundtrack!

Elecxtric air

What I read later at Femme Metal Webzine – (the result of a google search) was that…….

The band Eklipse is made up of four ladies playing classical interpretations of pop and rock songs. Their debut album is titled “A Night in Strings”, and while it may not be strictly a metal album, there is no denying the talent that this band possesses; besides they are opening for Nightwish, which is a cool thing. Recently, the Viola player Viola was kind enough to answer some questions and give us more info on Eklipse.

 

First of all, congratulations on a unique album (“A Night in Strings”). For those who don’t know, how would you describe the music of Eklipse?

 

Thanks for the compliment on our album. We are a string quartet playing the beautiful themes of the great bands and composers of contemporary music…….Continue Reading

Anyway it’s late and let me just say that the music is great, and let’s go “into the morning” with some of it. The first track on the album is David Guetta’s “Titanium” and I had to make a trip to Wikipedia to find out who he is…

Pierre David Guetta (French pronunciation: ​[pi'ɛʁ daˌvid ɡɛˈta]; 7 November 1967) is a French house music producer and disc jockey (DJ).[1] Originally a DJ at nightclubs during the 1980s and 1990s, he co-founded Gum Productions and released his first album, Just a Little More Love, in 2002. Later, he released Guetta Blaster (2004) and Pop Life (2007). Read More

Then I went to YouTube and listened to the original song here And since there are over 1.5 million views I guess just a few people know who he is!! Ya’ Think!!

Anyway, here’s Eklipse’s version of “Titanium” So you all can go into the morning and I’ll go off to bed!!

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2013 – New Age Sounds from David Helpling and Jon Jenkins – Found

FoundSo I made a quick stop at the Echoes with John Diliberto’s website this morning and about all I had time for was to check out the album of the month which is Found from David Helpling and Jon Jenkins. After the visit I went to MOG put the album on and the wonderful music of this duo provided a perfect soundtrack for my morning. I think after listening to Found and reading about the music that the two create and the comparisons to other artist I have another all new sub-genre of New Age music to explore. The good thing is that it ties in very well with the symphonic prog music have listened to and like lately!! Helpling is a self-taught musician and composer for film. One of the films Trade Offs, immersed him in the music of India. The score features several guest artists including vocalist Nidhi Bhatmuley David lists Elliot Goldenthal, Edward Shearmur and David Julyan as his favorite film composers, while U2 and Björk afre two of his favorite musicians, . David has also provided several themes, scores and ambient beds for numerous television, corporate and interactive projects. David says this about composing for television  “Creating music for TV is certainly rewarding and streamlines the process in producing my own music.” Helpling’s  debut release, Between Green and Blue, was a finalist for the 1997 INDIE Album-Of- David HelplingThe-Year award. In 1999, David’s second album was Sleeping on the Edge of the World  

Throughout the years David spent producing music for film, he was also working side by side with fellow artist Jon Jenkins on the album Treasure. It took six years from inception, to the album’s release in 2007. Since that time, Helpling and Jenkins have created a sequel to Treasure, entitled The Crossing, which only took  two years to produce and was released in 2010. Here’s some press about their collaboration.

“Helpling and Jenkins have each released a couple of solo albums, but over the last four years they’ve been formulating a two pronged attack which has been released as Treasure…it sounds great!” – John Diliberto / Billboard, Pulse, Echoes   “The collaboration between Helpling and Jenkins seems a natural one, their styles seamlessly fusing together into an organic sounding release. Treasure is easily one of my favorite CDs of 2007.” – Phil Derby / Electroambient Space

Jon JenkinsHere’s some more from the Deep Exile website about Jon Jenkins…..

Working side by side with recording artist Jon Jenkins, David’s driven pursuit to create the music of his dreams was fully realized with the release of TREASURE. The international success of this collaborative album proves that the combination of these two artists is explosive and limitless. Fearless in their pursuit of the lush and monumental sound that dominates their artistic vision, Helpling and Jenkins pushed forward on their sophomore release THE CROSSING. With all the essentials for an epic musical journey: compelling and expansive multi-layered drum elements, strong melodies over powerful synths and guitars, vast spaces of deep and mystifying ambience, THE CROSSING led listeners to the ends of the earth, and beyond……   As a recording artist, Jon Jenkins sees it as his responsibility to reach out, grab the listeners by the ears, drag them into another world and show them around a little bit. “I’ve always been fascinated by the ability of a good piece of music to stimulate the imagination and transport the listener to another place in their mind without ever leaving their chair.” “Growing up, I listened to Pink Floyd, Genesis, Marillion, Peter Gabriel, and Tangerine Dream because they always made albums to be experienced rather than just listened to; they maintained a nice balance between power and space.” This led Jenkins to begin experimenting with his own compositions. “I couldn’t get enough of that stuff, so I just started to create the music I wanted to hear.” Read More

See I told you there was a definite connection between Helpling  and Jenkins’ music and prog rock!! Anyway let’s get back to the Echoes album of the month Found. Found is…..

The dramatic final chapter of the award-winning three-album series by celebrated ambient-electronic artists David Helpling and Jon Jenkins, “Found” follows the path set by the duo’s genre-defying releases Treasure and The Crossing. Blending cinematic electronics with rock power and spacemusic sensibilities, this release showcases the duo’s unmistakeable sound, highlighted by thundering drums and percussio n, shimmering electric guitars, intimate pianos wrapped in lush synth textures, and a poignant guest vocal by virtuoso Miriam Stockley. Filled with powerful rushes of adrenaline, beauty, loss and triumph, “Found” discovers uncharted territory in the expanding world of electronic music. More 

While I didn’t find anything at YouTube from Found on my first trip through, I did find this fantastic video using the music of Helpling and Jenkins from Treasure A great combination don’t ya’ think!!

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More from the Birthday Boy Jesse Cook as I go “Into the Night” and move “Closer to Madness”

Closer to MdnessSo I was all set to go “Into the Night” with some Airbag a prog-rock band that was recommended by son Andrew and whose music I have been enjoying over the last two days. And then my ADD struck when I saw on the YouTube sidebar another of my favorites from birthday boy Jesse Cook and since I’m going back to work at Target tonight on this Black Friday Weekend, the title was right – so let’s go “Into the Night: and move just a little “Closer to Madness:…. …. and tomorrow you’ll hear about Airbag…

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Yesterday in Music Nov 29, 1964 Part 2 – Happy Birthday Jesse Cook!

Jesse Cook   Yesterday I wrote about Chuck Mangione and how recognizable “Feels So Good” was in the 70s, how about if of this morning I play some music from my music library, that I instantly recognize Jesse Cook’s “Mario Takes a Walk!”

Jesse Arnaud Cook is a Canadian guitarist, composer, and producer. Widely considered one of the most influential figures in “nouveau flamenco” (new flamenco) music, he incorporates elements of flamenco rumba, jazz & many forms of world music into his work. He is a Juno Award winner, Acoustic Guitar (magazine)’s Player’s Choice Award silver winner in the Flamenco Category, and a three-time winner of the Canadian Smooth Jazz award for Guitarist of the Year. He has recorded on the EMI, E1 Music and Narada labels and has sold over 1.5 million records worldwide. Read More

and from All About Jazz ……

Born in Paris on 29 November 1964 to photographer and filmmaker John Cook and television director and producer Heather Cook, Jesse Cook spent the first few years of his life moving between Paris, Southern France and Barcelona. As a toddler he was fascinated by the guitar and tried to emulate the sound he heard coming from his parents’ recordings of Manitas de Plata, a famous Gypsy guitarist from the region of Southern France known as the Camargue.   After his parents separated, Cook and his sister accompanied his mother to her birth country, Canada. Recognizing the musical aptitude of her son, lessons followed at Toronto’s Eli Kassner Guitar Academy. Kassner’s other famous pupil was classical guitarist Liona Boyd. While Cook was still a teenager, His father retired to the French city of Arles in the Camargue where his neighbor just happened to be Nicolas Reyes, lead singer of the flamenco group the Gipsy Kings.   During frequent visits to Arles, Jesse Cook became increasingly fascinated by the “Camargue sound”, the rhythmic, flamenco-rumba approach that could be heard on many corners and cafés in the “gipsy barrio”.   Cook has recorded seven studio albums, two live DVDs and has traveled the world exploring musical traditions that he has blended into his style of rumba flamenco. In addition to headlining concerts and festivals, he has opened for such legends as B.B. King, Ray Charles and Diana Krall. He has performed with Welsh soprano Charlotte Church on the Tonight Show and toured with legendary Irish band, The Chieftains.

Many of those albums are in my music library. Hey I thought that Jesse’s latest release The Blue Guitar Sessions was in my library – hum maybe I’m due a trip to the Princeton Record Exchange?? Check out Jesse’s music at: Facebook AllMusic Guide All About Jazz Ok now let’s get to the morning music and take walk with Mario and Jesse I hope you had a nice 49th birthday!!

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Lunchtime Music from R Carlos Nakai and Will Clipman!

Awakening the FireSo yesterday I was all excited because I saw a R Carlos Nakai and Will Clipman album that I had neve seen before Awakening the Fire. I downloaded it and gave it a listen last night and like of all of the work of these two masters – I love it! Nakai is a master of the Native American flute and Clipman is an extraordinary percussionist! What I learned this afternoon is that the album is from 1995!! Hell, its still great! Some information from Carlos’ website.

Grammy-nominees R. Carlos Nakai and Will Clipman delve into a primal sonic odyssey, channeling a sound that grounds each of us in the center of our being, a place where all cultures merge into the river of human existence. The ancient call of Native American cedar flute and the vibration of African, Native American and Asian rhythms connect to our innermost essence and finely tune the awakening energies inside each of us nourishing inner balance and harmony

So here’s some relaxing lunchtime music from Carlos and Will!!

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2013 World Music from Anoushka Shankar – Traces of You

Traces of YouTraces of You the latest release from Anoushka Shankar is album thirteen on the list of Top 25 Albums for October at Echoes,org, Like my jazz listening, my New Age listening  gravitates toward the artists that I know, and the instruments that I like! As a result of that narrow focus, I knew very little about Anoushka Shankar. But after both listening to Traces of You and Traveller yesterday and today, I can say I’m sorry that I’ve not listened to her great music before today!! So if you’re like me let’s find out a little about this remarkable woman!! Anoushka was born in London on 9 June 1981 and is an Indian sitar player and composer, She is a daughter of Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and Sukanya Shankarand. half sister of Norah Jones.(Norah is the daughter of Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones) Anoushka’s other sibling was Shubhendra “Shubho” Shankar, who died in 1992. Anoushka’s childhood was divided between London and New Dehli. As a teenager, she lived in Encinitas, California and attended San Dieguito Academy. A 1999 honors graduate, Shankar then decided to pursue a career in music rather than attend college.[1] Anoushka ShankarHer first album, Anoushka,was released in 1998,next came Anourag in 2000. Both Shankar and Norah Jones were nominated for Grammy awards in 2003. At that year’s Grammys Anoushka became the youngest-ever and first woman nominee in the World Music category for her third album, Live at Carnegie Hall. Her fourth album RISE, was released in 2005 and Anoushka received yet another Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary World Music category. At the 2005 Grammy Awards held in February 2006 she became the first Indian to play at the Grammy Awards. Shankar, in collaboration with Karsh Kale, released Breathing Under Water on 28 August 2007. It is a mix of classical sitar andelectronica beats and melodies. Notable guest vocals included her paternal half-sister Norah Jones, Sting, and her father, who performed a sitar duet with her. Anoushka was also the youngest and first female recipient of a House of Commons Shield from the British House of Parliament when she received the award in 1999. Here’s a summary of her awards and honors:

  • Woman of the Year (shared with Kareena Kapoor, Ritu Beri, and Rhea Pillai) awarded on International Women’s Day 2003[1]
  • Named as one of 20 Asian Heroes by the Asia edition of Time in 2004
  • Nominated for a Grammy award in 2003 in the World Music category for her third-album, Live at Carnegie Hall. She was the youngest-ever and first woman nominee in this category.
  • In 2005 she was nominated for another Grammy, in the Best Contemporary World Music category for her fourth album RISE.an
  • British House of Commons Shield, 1998[4]
  • Voted Homecoming San Dieguito High School, Class of 1999
  • Woman of the Year (shared with Kareena Kapoor, Ritu Beri, and Rhea Pillai) awarded on International Women’s Day 2003[1]
  • Named as one of 20 Asian Heroes by the Asia edition of Time in 2004
  • Nominated for a Grammy award in 2003 in the World Music category for her third-album, Live at Carnegie Hall. She was the youngest-ever and first woman nominee in this category.
  • In 2005 she was nominated for another Grammy, in the Best Contemporary World Music category for her fourth album RISE.
  • In 2012 she won Best Artist in the Songlines Music Award[5] for her album Traveller 

Man, talk about having it all together!! Here’s what some folks say about her music!! “Ms. Shankar, sounding utterly different from her father, improvised against tablas, using aggressive geometric ideas, ramming home her improvisations; the crowd cheered her loudly, and Mr. Shankar, beaming, was as proud as Ms. Coltrane had been of her son.” -The New York Times – June 16, 1998 “Most people are musicians simply because they play a certain instrument; when they play that instrument, the music appears. But Ravi – to me, he is the music; it just happens to be that he plays the Sitar. And it’s like that with Anoushka. She has that quality – She is the music. -George Harrison – 1997 and the proud papa….. “…I am waiting for the time when I will be called Anoushka’s father… Anoushka has indeed a rare talent… there is something spiritual in the way she plays… she feels the music and gives in to it. Ravi Shankar in an interview to Maya Bahir, Yedioth (Israel) Here’s “Traces of You” featuring step-sister Nora… and you know I may have found another musician to add to my New Age rotation at work! The sitar is a very calming instrument!!

 

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