Hani - Polyphonic Singing in Yunnan China SF123
Mystic choral beauty drifting far into the outer cosmos, this other worldly traditional music ensemble creates a contemporary-sounding avant-garde vocal fusion combined with strange instrumental accompaniment.
The HANI are linguistically derived from the YI branch of the Tibeto-Burmese and number a million and a half in the southern part of Yunnan province in China above Laos and Vietnam where smaller Hani communities also live.
As with many other ethnic groups of the area, an original traditional singing pattern is used with each singer adapting the words to the context. The choir that gathers all singers at the same time is considered to be a very unique style of vocal polyphony or heterophony. The cascading, mournful feel of this music is powerfully transcendent and you’ve never heard anything like it.
Many of these songs express intimate strong emotions that bring tears to the performers while they are singing.
Instruments used by the ensemble include the BABI (single tree leaf ) and MEPA (rolled up tree leaf in a shape of a horn or mirliton), a CHIWO (3-stringed bowed instrument), a LABI (6-holed bamboo flute), a LAHE (3-stringed small lute) and a MEBA (vertical reed instrument).
Recorded by Laurent Jeanneau in 2011
Limited editon vinyl pressing (release date September 15th)
digital download (mp3 on SF site and wav. files on bandcamp)