New Reviews: June 21, 2004

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss

The Music Of Tuva
Arc Music

Ay-Kherel, meaning “ray of moonlight”, was founded in 1994 by master throat-singer Vladimir Serenovich Soyan. Hailing from Tuva, Ay-Kherel performs five different throat-singing styles accompanied by a plethora of traditional instruments. Instruments used include kengirge (drum), limbi (flute), synyi (rattle), shyngyrash (bells), khomus (Jew’s harp), byzaanchy (violin), doshpulur (lute), chanzy (lute), duyug (horse hooves) and igil (violin). Excellent, traditional music from the steppes of Tuva! A detailed booklet in English, German, French and Spanish languages are included.

Charbel Rouhana
The Art Of The Middle Eastern Oud
Arc Music

Lebanese oud master, Charbel Rouhana, brings us new perspectives on traditional maqams. Charbel’s repertoire includes fourteen other performers on violin, qanun, riqq, tabla, bass, accordion, ney flute and male/female vocals. Traditional Arabic rhythms and classical compositions reflect Charbel’s signature style. Overall, Charbel successfully incorporates various Arabic instrumentation and vocals that masterfully portray the essence of the oud. A detailed booklet in English, German, French and Spanish is included.

Various Artists
The Very Best Of Japanese Music
Arc Music

A variety of musicians from Japan, brings us the best in instrumental, traditional music. Several instruments are utilized including, the shakuhachi flute, koto, taiko drum and juschichigen. Musicians include Yamato Ensemble, Richard Stagg, Clive Bell, Wadaiko Matsuriza, Nihon, Daiko and Dr. Ayako Hotta-Lister. Beautiful rhythms and melodies echo the Japanese spirit in instrumental form. A detailed booklet in English, German and French is included.

Matthew J. Forss is currently a full-time student at Lakeland College-Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He is majoring in Biology and German Language/Culture. Since 1998, he has collected numerous musical instruments and CDs from around the world. Also in 1998, he wrote a paper on Mongolian Ethnomusicology, entitled: How Does Music Play An Important Role In The Life And Culture Of Mongolia? Currently, he has collected over 100 CDs that represent dozens of different countries. His general interests include ethnomusicology journalism and researching the traditional/contemporary ethnic music of various cultures from around the world. His specific, geographic areas of study include the traditional and popular music from Central Eurasia (especially Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.) In November of 2000, he accepted the position of writing world music CD reviews for this site.