From left to right: Japanese tourist, teenage bear, Ainu couple.
The island of Hokkaido is a world of wonder and mystery. For this musical journey, we are joined by experimental multi-media artist/dancer, Sammy Chien, who recently visited Hokkaido and shares with us his experiences with the native Ainu people.
Taiwanese artist Sammy Chien
There are fascinating and disturbing parallels between the Ainu of Japan and First Nations cultures of Canada, a history of colonization and oppression – yet both groups are reclaiming their homeland and moving forward with dignity and hope.
Behold a mix of Hokkaido music – folk, rock, hip hop and more. Kane inuma!
Trip to the music of Indonesia, where traditions like the otherworldly Gamelan orchestra blend with modern sounds to manifest waves you never dreamed of!
Yes there are 17,000 islands in Indonesia, and some believe that the lost city of Atlantis is hidden somewhere beneath the Indonesian sea. What a fun idea! Did they play Gamelan? Did they have electric guitars? Maybe this band would have been tops of the Atlantean pops:
From the first hour, a world of new music:
If you are curious about blending two very distinct musical worlds, there has probably never been a better place and time than Vancouver and Now. As the city hosts large populations with European and Asian heritage, it seems inevitable that these cultures should mix and create something new and distinctly Canadian. As someone who has lived in the city for nearly 18 years, a city known for its openness and spirit of innovation, it surprises me how little musical cross-pollination seems to be happening. Enter the Sound of Dragon.
Mark Armanini and Lan Tung in Taipei
With one foot in the folk traditions of China and the other in the wild improvisational aesthetic of jazz, the Sound of Dragon Ensemble is blazing a brave new standard for what Canadian music can be. The first hour of this week’s program presents an intriguing conversation with SODE composers Lan Tun, John Oliver, and Mark Armanini, longtime residents of Vancouver and scholars of sonic alchemy. Catch their spring concert this thursday!
Man and horsehead fiddle
Happy year of the Rooster! However this week we travel to more of a horse lovin’ part of China. Explore the music of Inner Mongolia – an autonomous region rich in Mongol folk traditions mixing with Han Chinese culture and a serious inclination to rock. Throat singing and heavy guitars go together like boodog and Khar Khorum.
Strummin’ on the Kumuz
Where the Caspian sea meets the Caucasus mountains lives the Republic of Dagestan. The most ethnically diverse corner of Russia, Dagestan is a place rarely explored by outsiders and only minimally administered by the national government. As ethnic Russians make up less than 4% of the population, Dagestan is a mix of dozens of different cultures and languages singing and fighting for respect.
The rocky terrain impedes modernization and helps preserve these traditions, but also provides shelter for guerrilla groups, whose drawn-out battles for independence have haunted the region for decades. Here we explore the many colours of Dagestani music, incorporating Central Asian and Middle Eastern melodies with a view to the north and the west. May these myriad rhythms help bring the people together, and make it known to the government that diversity should be celebrated.
Lezgians have learned to levitate in the thin mountain air