Stilling Time captured examples of traditional Vietnamese music as yet unaffected by modernization and, in one case, preserved the songs of the last remaining member of a tribe. A lavish color pamphlet is included along with detailed notes and translations.
Compiled during the first musical exchange between Vietnam and the United States since the war, this pioneering, lavishly produced digital recording compiled by Dr. Philip Blackburn documents exceptional performances of the diverse ethnic musics existing in Vietnam.
Highlights include virtuosic jazz-like improvisation on traditional instruments by Hanoi theater musicians, rarely heard two-part vocal singing by highland ethnic minorities (reminiscent of Bulgarian vocal styles), high-energy gong music with shifting, minimal rhythmic patterns, trance singing to manifest goddesses, and surrealist chanted poetry. Paddies, porches, temples, and slums, mountains, forests, cities, and farms provided the backdrops for these astonishing field recordings — many made in remote mountainous areas and previously restricted zones where no Westerner had yet set foot.
“Fantastic... From the first note to the last, Stilling Time reveals a world which frequently cannot be placed in space or time. How exciting it is to have an entirely new set of images become part of one’s life.”
- David Harrington, Kronos Quartet
“...a beautiful job. The rich diversity of Vietnamese musics and cultures is largely unknown here. The CD is a gem.”
- Meredith Monk
“I like the wide range of selections that you have included...In many ways this is perhaps the first of its kind ever produced... (in terms of) quality, both artistically and technologically. The picture on the back cover is just incredibly moving.”
- Chan Ngoc Le, Vietnamese music specialist