What you're about to read is a collection of pointers to some of the music I've discovered on the iTunes Music Store, music I like enough that I want to share it. If you're an iPod owner and an iTunes fan (and if you aren't, what are you doing here?), maybe you'll find something new. Click on any of the CD covers to bounce over to the store and sample a few tracks. And then maybe stop by my other blog for a few well chosen words (and maybe a random snark or two).RSS feed
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Wed, 12 Apr 2006

Intonation - Harmonized Songs from the Southern Plains / Alex E. Smith & Cheevers Toppah
Some years ago I joined an old friend and her part-Cherokee husband to a Native American powwow in Gilroy. I remember it as a long afternoon: hot, dusty and filled with an endless and to my ears monotonous chanting and drumming. Not one of my more interesting memories.

Which is why I was surprised when I started listening to Intonation. Because although the tracks are unmistakably Native American and consist of a duet of unadorned vocals, those vocals are a wonder to behold. That word Harmonized from the album's subtitle tells part of the story: two voices join and separate and soar and dive and mix in all sorts of interesting ways. And there are lyrics to some of the songs, which as best I recall wasn't part of that earlier experience. Some are in English, others are in some Native American language. But my understanding what they're singing about doesn't matter nearly as much as the fact that I know they're singing about something.

I could try to make some clever remark about my growing interest in foreign cultures, or about the fact that in this case, it's my culture that's the foreign one. Heck, I just did. But Intonation is interesting for itself. It's music like I've never heard before. And want to hear again.

Intonation - Harmonized Songs from the Southern Plains
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