Friday, October 8, 2010

CD Review: Myanmar Meets The West

Khing Zin Shwe & Shwe Shwe Khaing
Voice Over The Bridge

Khing Zin Shwe and Shwe Shwe Khaing are both Myanmarese singers that have studied the classical and traditional songs of Myanmar's distant past. Using the Maha Gita, which is a classical work of songs praising kings as early as the thirteenth-century, the singers convey delicate moods and emotions with their angelic vocalizations. The addition of contemporary instrumentation 'updates' traditional music by immersing the listener in electronic washes of color with classical strings, piano, drums, flute, guitar, bass, and contrabass. The melding of East-meets-West is not an unfamiliar concept, though it is rare to find any music coming out of Myanmar today. Rarity aside, Voice Over The Bridge echoes the sounds of the East and the West with a sense of epic serenity. Listeners may also be interested in the film and music of the Laya Project (EarthSync, 2010), which features the music of Southeast Asia. Experience Myanmar for yourself! ~ Matthew Forss

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