Laya Project (Earth Sync)
In 2004 a gigantic wall of water sailed up streets, stormed through villages and ripped away homes, livelihoods and lives, in response producer and composer Patrick Sebag, along with Earth Sync, set to the task of rebuilding a little of the creative consciousness of the people and the music of the tsunami-affected regions of India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand by creating the Laya Project. This 2-CD set with a companion DVD is the result of that musical trek.
This fantastical journey, a veritable musical carpet ride, offers up regional and folk music performances, often recorded in makeshift studios, transformed by Patrick Sebag’s programming bag of magical tricks. The result is a mélange of Asian sound that elegantly ignores boundary lines or cultural differences.
Opening with "Glorious Sun Remix," a remake a traditional Myanmar song, vocalists Shwe Shwe Khine and Khine Zin Shwe add pure shine to this track. "A New Day," composed by Sebag and Yotam Agam, is another gem, bright with flute, violin, harmonium and Buddhist chanting. And the first CD justs gets better and better with "Hai La Sa," the traditional India song "Ya Allah" and the lovely vocals of Shaheema on a song from the Maldives titled "Farihi."
The second CD is just as full of wonderful sounds like "Sunrise in Injumbakkam," "KataluTalu" and another traditional Indian piece titled "Going to Seville." The big number on CD 2 has to be "Laya Mantra," composed by Sebag and Agam. This track is like a travel log all on its own, but it’s A.K. Devi’s solo work on veena that sets this piece on fire.
Laya Project is full of haunting vocals, restless rhythms and glorious exoticism that a mere wall of water could never wash away. I’d like to say that the DVD is as captivating, but I got an unplayable DVD. Considering that the movie has hit film festivals all over the world, I can only assume that it is just as wonderful.
Buy the boxed set at www.layaproject.com.
Author: TJ Nelson
TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.
Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.
Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.