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Orenda: Native American Songs Of Life
Joanne Shenandoah
Orenda: Native American Songs Of Life
Genres: World Music, New Age, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Multitalented, award-winning composer and musician Joanne Shenandoah gets better with every album. On Orenda, the singer and instrumentalist, herself of Iroquois descent, is joined by Mohawk Lawrence Laughing; and their du...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Joanne Shenandoah
Title: Orenda: Native American Songs Of Life
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Silver Wave
Original Release Date: 9/1/1998
Re-Release Date: 8/25/1998
Genres: World Music, New Age, Pop
Styles: North America, Native American
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 021585091825, 5038827900123, 7935159221293

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Multitalented, award-winning composer and musician Joanne Shenandoah gets better with every album. On Orenda, the singer and instrumentalist, herself of Iroquois descent, is joined by Mohawk Lawrence Laughing; and their duets, including "Deer Dance" and "Unity," are among the album's strongest tracks. Shenandoah's voice is a rare gift; on Orenda, it's rich and clear, and never falters. The mix of backing instruments works well, including several percussion and wind instruments as well as guitars, while the spare arrangements allow Shenandoah's and Laughing's voices to stand out. The blend of the traditional and the contemporary in her music works very well indeed, bringing out the best of both. --Genevieve Williams

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CD Reviews

Stunning harmonies, haunting themes.
an eclectic - | United States | 05/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I picked this disc up by chance on a vacation in Yellowstone with my family. It quickly became the signature music for a magical journey.

Joanne Shenandoah is a quietly powerful advocate for her musical and cultural heritage, which she presents on this disc with deep compassion. The album title means the oneness of all things, and the songs explore that theme in a few of its many components.

The album begins with the speaking voice of Lawrence Laughing describing the meaning behind the disc. We are here not just to live physically, but to be present and available spiritually. The final track brings this home in a most compelling way with lyrics (spoken in English by Shenandoah before they are sung in the native language) that emphasize our responsibility to stand up and be counted "in the spirit world." Like most good albums of its kind, this one represents life as a journey: "And when you are ready, O maker of life, I'll come home to you."

The female harmonies are simply stunning. Whether singing of love or friendship or reverence for life, they speak quietly but unmistakably to the central theme of the album --- oneness in different voices. A simple courtship dance, thoroughly accessible to children no less than to adults, is poignant in its simplicity and harmony.

Much recent "Native American" music has tended toward the New Age, and like artists in any genre, many Native American artists have sacrificed authenticity to make a buck. Not Shenandoah, at least not on this disc. The musical techniques are modernized, but the performers avoid catering to "pop" tastes and excessive sentimentality. Each tune is fresh, unique and purposeful, and Shenandoah uses rhythm as a complement to the music, not a substitute for it.

I recommend this as a first disc for anyone looking to begin exploring Native American themes through modern artists."
Orenda Had An Effect On My Spirit
Ryan Paul | Kenosha, WI | 06/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not one to do this sort of thing so here goes...I happened to be sitting on the porch alone on a VERY dark night when the stars were out. I had my stereo beside me playing Orenda. The effect it had on my spirit was unreal. I don't know what it was, but I could feel SOMETHING... this is powerful music. Joanne, of Iroquois descent, is joined by Lawrence Laughing who is Mohawk; and their duets 'Passage' & 'Across The Sky' are the best Native songs I've ever heard. Shenandoah's voice is a rare gift - never faltering. This is quite simply the best Native album I've EVER heard, and I have over 200 albums.ANYONE would be foolish not to get this album. You will not be disappointed!"
Simply beautyful
Ryan Paul | 11/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The songs on this album shows the rare beautyful harmonies of the old Native American songs, and is backed by the flute and the drums in a way, so that it brings you straight to the campfire and the ceremonies. Creator's song and Prophecy song brought tears to my eyes the first time i heard this album. Beautyful work!"