Dear Customer and friend of the Far Side,
There are two superb albums of Vietnamese music, both loosely of ‘chamber music’, but very different. One a new recording, the other more than 50 years old. Tri Nguyen is a dan tranh (zither) player and an accomplished pianist, whose new album is recorded with a string quartet. Quach Thi Ho, is considered the greatest Ca Tru singer in Vietnam who revitalised the tradition following the revolution in 1945. There’s also a new album of Burmese traditional music, featuring the singer Khine Zin Shwe. You can watch videos or listen to tracks from all three albums.
Sandii has been one of our favourite Japanese singers for many years, firstly with Sandii and the Sunsetz, then singing Indonesian and Malaysian music and for the last decade or more, Hawaiian music. She hadn’t released anything new for a while, but like a London bus, two albums arrive at once. One is her 8th Volume of Hawaiian music, and the other, her third album of Tahitian music.
There are two albums of Japanese traditional music, but played in a radical style. Kazue Sawai (now in her mid 70s) continues to push the boundaries of koto music. Her latest album (with DVD), Koto Recital, is a concert from January this year, with various guests playing the music of contemporary composers. Taiko drummer Takuya, meanwhile, sings and combines taiko with rock.
Finally, a documentary on the last geisha from Tokyo’s Yoshiwara district gets a release with English subtitles.
There’s quite a flavour of 60s/70s music from Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong, plus some recent new releases. The latest show is of the songs of Haruomi Hosono, sung by other artists. There are no Far Side radio shows during August as Resonance FM has different programming this month.
To keep up to date with news, new releases, radio, videos and anything else, best way is to Like us on Facebook
or we’ll be along with the next edition of this newsletter in about a month’s time.
Until then, hope there’s something of interest.
All the best