Monday, January 19, 2009

CD Review: Meet The Women of Lake Sebu

Various Artists
Philippines: Women Artists of Lake Sebu
Buda Records

One of the most exciting releases of 2008, Women Artists of Lake Sebu is a collection of talented women in the village of Dekolon from the southern part of Phillipines. The instrumental and vocal music on this album is the result of a poetic saga from the Tudbulul Epic, which gave birth to the Tboli nation. In fact, the collective of women singers call themselves Lemhadong, which is named from the location where Tudbulul organized a musical concert in the 1800's. The Tboli society inhabited the mountains around Lake Sebu at the south of the Mindanao Island in the Philippines. The Tboli society's close connection with nature is a primary impetus for musical creation and instrumentation. Many of the tracks include rooster calls, rain, water, birds, frogs, and insects. The instruments include wooden lutes, branches, sticks, leaf horns, reed-whistles, bamboo flutes, fiddles, jaw harps, gongs, and zithers. Only a handful of vocal songs are incorporated, which provide a unique aesthetic listening experience as the instruments and nature sounds envelop the aural landscape. Liner notes are included for each track in French and English. This is ideal for fans of lutes, Indonesian/Sasandu string music, and gong music, though everyone should include the Women Artists of Lake Sebu as part of their listening repertoire. ~ Matthew Forss

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