Music of Nat Pwe: Folk and Pop Music of Myanmar Vol. 3 SF035

In Myanmar (Burma), many people believe in ghost spirits called NATs. These spirits are historical figures who met tragic or violent deaths. They are said to possess the power to assist or devastate the lives of those who recognize them. A PWE is a ceremony held to appease a Nat. Pwes are arranged daily throughout Myanmar for many purposes including the achievement of success in business, a happy marriage, or improving one's health. A Nat is summoned through a Kadaw; the flamboyant and charismatic master of ceremony dressed in elegant costume. The Kadaw is a spirit medium, singer, dancer, storyteller, and magician who exposes the crowd to a living incarnation of the Nat. Cash money is thrown and cigarettes and whiskey are hand delivered by the Kadaw to the willing faithful. Audience participants are often ecstatic, spontaneously launching into trance as the Nat spirit possesses their bodies while the melodically ornamental and thundering sound of the Nat Pwe orchestra plays on as perhaps the last great internationally unknown musical juggernaut existing anywhere. This collection of music documents the phenomenon known as the Nat Pwe orchestra. There is absolutely nothing like it anywhere else on earth. If you are looking for some music to groove to, soothe your mind, or relax to, this is NOT for you! This is some of the most jarring, intense, and maniacal music being created on earth today. Your head will be spinning amidst the cranked reverb and echo of the vocals as they swirl like locusts in a floating graveyard as the bells, cymbals, and tuned metal bars crash and spill down an endless staircase while the hand drums and Hsaing-Wang circle of rhythm pound the beat in and out of a million twists and turns until you’ve either had enough or you get with the program. Turn it up and submit. This is what it’s ALL about, schoolboy!