xyzAsia is a magazine for independent travellers exploring the exciting continent of Asia in their golden years.
"Travel, in the younger sort, is part of education; in the elder, part of experience"
Aside from travelling, photography and gardening, another interest that I'm passionate about is world music, and Asian music in particular - which can be everything from Chinese classical music to Tibetan mantras.
One of the great pleasures of travelling is the opportunity to listen to music from different countries. There is so much music that is composed and performed by artists around the world that we never get to hear in the countries where we live. Finding such music that appeals to your own personal taste can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, but once in a while you come across a real ‘gem’ that you will never hear on your local radio station.
I recall when I first visited Mongolia , I was given a CD of that country’s most renowned folk singers, Namjiliin Norovbanzad, performing four of Mongolia ’s best traditional songs in what is known as ‘Bogino Duu’ style. Apart from a few Joni Mitchell songs, I have never been particularly keen on folk music, so I wasn’t expecting much when I slipped it into my car CD player when I got home. But I was blown away by it! Namjiliin Norovbanzad has one of the most incredible vocal techniques that I have ever heard, and I found myself listening to her songs over and over again.
For years I have collected CDs of Tibetan mantras, but discovering the voice of Namjiliin Norovbanzad whetted my appetite to search for more world music.
I have collected every Buddha Bar compilation published to date, and hope there will be many more releases in the years to come.
My current top ten World Music tracks, according to my iTunes playlist, are as follows:
1. Jaahan sharga (Namjiliin Norovbanzad)
2. Mantra of Avalokiteshvara (Song Huei Liou & Ya Ging Ging)
3. (A Passage To...) Tibet ( Tibet Project)
4. Monsoon (Flam)
5. Anni Rose (Tulku)
6. Amatevi (Agricantus)
7. Por-Do-Sol (Cellar 55)
8. Hanshan Temple (Jin Long Uen & Song Hhuei Liou)
9. Yeha Noha (Sacred Spirit)
10. La Fille De Pékin (Frédérick Rousseau)
If you know of similar music by artists not listed above, I’d very much appreciate you letting me know about it.
Here are links to a couple of good World Music websites:
I have not included above any tracks by Enigma or Deep Forest, because many would say they should not be classified as World Music, but as New Age or Alternative music (although both have won World Music awards).
My favourite Enigma tracks are:
Principles Of Lust
Principles Of Lust - Sadeness (Reprise)
Callas Went Away
Back To The Rivers Of Belief – Hallelujah
Back To The Rivers Of Belief - The Rivers Of Belief
The Rivers Of Belief (The Returning Silence)
The Eyes Of Truth
Return To Innocence
I Love You ... I'll Kill You
The Dream Of The Dolphin
Age Of Loneliness (Carly's Song)
Out From The Deep
The CROSS of Changes
Here is a link to a good site about Enigma and its music: http://www.enigmamusic.com
My favourite Deep Forest tracks are:
Sweet Lullaby Night Bird
The First Twilight
The Second Twilight
Sweet Lullaby (Ambient Mix)
Will You Be Ready
Most of those tracks are from their first albums, Deep Forest, released in 1992, and Boheme, released in 1995. I was lucky enough to see Deep Forest perform live in Brisbane, Australia, in October 1996, which was on their first world tour and only their fourth live performance.
It was around that time that the group seemed to be changing to a more ‘synthetic' style, without the same level of orchestration and vocals from native performers, and I have been disappointed with what they have produced since then. There was almost nothing that I liked on their Music Detected and Pacifique albums - most of the tracks sounded like computer music to me. I’d be interested to know if there are any other performers out there with a similar style to that of Deep Forest ’s early days.
Here is a link to a good site about Deep Forest and its music: http://www.deepforestmusic.com
Aside from listening to music from different parts of the world, I enjoy quite a lot of contemporary rock and popular music, especially Boyce Avenue, Coldplay, Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus (don't laugh!) and Tina Arena. Amongst older artists that I still like to listen to are Bryan Adams, Phil Collins, The Cranberries, Julee Cruise, Eurythmics, Genesis, Annie Lennox, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Era and Zucchero. And I'll even listen to a little country music once in a while - Shania Twain and Lady Antebellum being my favourites there.