recess radio program

01/05/07
Asian Dreamland
    by John Cech

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That's the Japanese singer, Rikki, with part of a traditional lullabye, "Amami No Kmori Uta," often sung to baby boys on the island of Amami in southern Japan. The song comforts them with the promise of food and the love of their mother who has returned from a day of work in the fields. It's on Putamayo's latest collection of lullabyes called Asian Dreamland, part of the proceeds from which will be donated to the Worldwide Orphans Foundation.

This is a fascinating journey through time and space and a lovely blend of instruments and styles, in which ancient instruments fuse with modern electronics. Here's how the cool, cool Yoshida Brothers from Hokkaido, Japan, update a familiar cradle song from their island:

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There are haunting passages throughout, like the guitar that takes over the cradle song from Tartarstan, sung by Zulya, who makes contemporary verses sound like eternal rhymes:

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And then there is the moving song of the Tibetan singer, Chukie Tethong: it's a chant, a musical offering, a prayer.

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Copyright 2007 John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."