Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Visions of the Orient: Music From Laos
Genres: World Music, Pop
A Wonderful CD
Elektratig. | New York, New York USA | 01/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"[...] this CD, the finest disc of traditional Laotian music I know of.The disc features Nouthong Phimvilayphone on khene, an instrument composed of two parallel rows of reed pipes, typically 7 to 9 pairs, up to 3.5 meters in length, attached to a wooden mouthpiece. The instrument is described as a "mouth organ", and the description is entirely apt. But for the pictures of the instrument in the booklet, I would have assumed that the sounds were being produced by a small electric organ. I would never have guessed that a wind instrument is the source.Because the khene is played both by exhaling and inhaling, the musician can produce a continuous sound without having to take breaths between notes. The result is mesmerizing: a continually shifting sound that gradually fluctuates, distinct notes against the background drone of the instrument -- an uptempo version of Western Minimalist music.Only two pieces are solo. All others add other instruments, including multiple khenes, flute, laotian lute (which sounds to be plucked, not bowed) and percussion. Male or female voice appears on about one-quarter of the pieces.Since I came across this disc several years ago, it has consistently been one of the most-played in my (very large) collection. The sinuous and yet inexorable progressions of unfamiliar instruments produce a hypnotic and otherworldly atmosphere that keeps drawing me back as few discs have."