As a new decade dawns, Wandering Rhythms looks back at the last (spectacular) year in music. As usual, these are artists you probably will not find on other best-of lists, and I sincerely hope you discover music here that inspires and surprises you. Despite the seismic global changes that seem inevitable in the coming years, the endless creativity of humans make me believe that we will ultimately get our shit together. But it’s gonna take a real team effort!
June 21st marks not only the beginning of summer in Canada – it is also our National Aboriginal Day. In honour of the 20th anniversary of our country’s re-awakening, Wandering Rhythms this week presents an hour of diverse and sublime aboriginal music from Canada (first half) and worldwide (second half). From traditional drumming to hip hop and many burgeoning scenes in between, these cultures are reclaiming their power and moving into the new age with power and purpose.
In all styles, in all places, there are strong women who craft songs just as well as the fellas. In celebration of International Women’s Day 2016, we present a playlist of great female composers and performers – from the big band era to the present – who breached the status quo to share their art, and in the process have divined a more equal world:
Deeper than the Himalayan Mountains are tall, the Mariana Trench is the most mysterious, wettest corner of our incredible planet. And the Northern Mariana Islanders call this place their backyard. If you ever get a chance, you gotta try the fish and chips..
In a bizarre chain of historical events, this far-flung chain of islands has at various points been under Spanish, German, Japanese, and American control. And if you want United States citizenship, just go there to get born!
Despite a rapidly growing immigrant population (particularly Filipino), the music of the Mariana Islands remains deeply rooted in the native Chamorro language and culture. Easy-going vibes and beautiful melodies abound, in a tongue that seems to be a lovely hybrid of Micronesian and Spanish. Can you get any smoother?!
Tambien, the first hour’s Global Mix:
If you too tire of the same melodies played on repeat every December, here’s an odd collection of songs that may worm their way around your brain and cure your seasonal soundtrack disorder. Happy Solstice, magical holidays, and may you find peace and happiness in your own singular way.