Tag Archives: Hanitra

Timelessly Crafted Songs of Resilience

Various Artists – A Woman’s World – Songs of Resilience & Hope (ARC Music, 2018)

Songs of Resilience & Hope highlights songs from triumphant female singer-songwriters, composers and instrumentalists. These flourishing artists celebrate the hardiness of women throughout the world who have demonstrated the ability to recover rapidly from hardships.

The enduring concept world music album, rooted in traditional music crosses geographical and language boundaries, incorporating singers from India, Spain, Ethiopia, Colombia, Russia, Portugal, Serbia, Madagascar, the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa.

The artists include Marta Gómez, Minyeshu, Hanitra, Lenka Lichtenberg, Khiyo, Ana Alcaide, Maria Ana Bobone, Bilja Krstić, Folk Group Arinushka, Ceumar, Kiran Ahluwalia and Afrika Mamas.

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Hanitra’s Songs from Madagascar

Hanitra – Songs from Madagascar – Lasa (ARC Music EUCD2688, 2017)

A frequent complaint from listeners about world music releases is that they are too various. Artists from musical rivulets outside the mainstream seem to feel like representatives of their beloved homelands’ entire musical tradition, and try to share it all in one CD release. It is a natural impulse, akin to the “First Release Syndrome” reviewers often sense even in mainstream pop. It is, however, rarely possible for an artist to successfully pack forty pounds of ethnomusicology into a two-pound bag. Hanitra, on ARC’s new offering, “Songs from Madagascar – Lasa,” is an exception.

Song topics on this disc range, as liner notes announce, from “deforestation … to same-sex love, maltreatment of wives and a rebellion of housewives,” yet has continuity and impact as a package.

Hanitra has an ideally broad background as an individual and in educational background, and is a perfect representative of Madagascar’s various physical and cultural concerns. The tracks are as much songlines as songs, providing listeners maps of her country and her heart. Elegantly simple in instrumentation, the songs are beautifully layered and sophisticated in presentation, thanks both to the backing combo and the engineers. “Lasa” is a tribute to Hanitra, her recording team and her label.

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