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Celestial Harmonies
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Musik von Frauen, doch sicher nicht nur für Frauen. Jaslyn Halls Auswahl umfasst wieder so viele Kulturen und unterschiedliche Aspekte wie möglich. Los geht's mit Francine Martels afrikanischer Gruppe Takadja. Ja, Frauen trommeln tatsächlich, und wie! Gleich darauf das zart-virtuose Spiel von Tomoko Sunazaki auf der japanischen Harfe Koto. Nancy Hennings Klangschalen, Krishna Chakravartys Sitar, Barbara Thompsons Saxophon, Anna Mailans armenisches und Ida Wadawatis javanisches Lied, - und mehr. Wirkt überall etwas Gemeinsames? Das Wesen der Frau?

the project

Celestial Harmonies recognizes that there is a great sisterhood in the world of music. With that thought in mind, Sisters was born—a unique compilation featuring fourteen female artists/groups from Celestial Harmonies. To be a musician is to take on one of the most emotionally demanding, exasperating, and deeply satisfying tasks that any human being can undertake. The composers and performers included in this anthology showcase the diversity of women who have chosen to be music makers and their commitment to creating an engaging, stimulating and courageous world of music.

Here are women from Japan, India, England, Australia, Armenia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and North America; all testimony that music is the universal language. A common thread throughout this recording is that the women are all musical alchemists with a deep sense of history: blending ancient song with modern production, or actively involved in extending the boundary of possibilities for their chosen instrument. We are fascinated by all that is shared by women in different historical periods and social systems, like the songs of Hidegard von Bingen, who at a time when few women were accorded respect, became a highly regarded and sought after writer, poet, composer and visionary, or the courage of Vietnamese sisters Trung Trac and Trug Njh, whose bravery is commemorated in song and dance.

the artists

This unique compilation opens with a West African percussion piece by Francine Martel, of the group Takadja.

The Japanese koto is performed by internationally recognized master Tomoko Sunazaki and the Japanese bass koto is featured by master Satsuki Odamura, further expanding its lyrical beauty and tonal possibilities.

A pioneer in sound, Nancy Hennings plays bells from Tibet producing sounds of East and West.

From the critically acclaimed series The Music of Armenia (19909), Anna Mailian hauntingly sings a medieval chant, and Karineh Hovhannessian plays an expressive solo of what was originally a vocal work.

Krishna Chakravarty, a truly gifted sitar player, combines ragas with talas.

British multi–instrumentalist Barbara Thompson draws on her jazz and classical background creating a dreamlike state.

Ida Wadawat, leader of Lingkung Seni Malati, performs classical Sundanese music of ancient, lyrical court poetry.

The Hue Traditional Art Troupe captures the essence of Vietnamese Imperial culture.

Multi–instrumentalist and vocalist Therese Schroeder-Scheker is featured with a delicate tune for harp and voice.

Sylvan Grey is a composer and master of the zither–like kantele Finland's national instrument dating back to ancient times.

The trio Sinfonye pays tribute to Hildegard von Bingen.

And closing with a thrilling listening experience is violinist Claes Pearce, of the Australian comtemporary music ensemble Coolangubra.


1 Wula performed by Francine Martel from Takadja (13097) 6'29"
2 Kamimu performed by Tomoko Sunazaki from Tegoto (17068) 8'06"
3 Skybells II performed by Nancy Hennings from Tibetan Bells II (13005) 2'44"
4 Khorhurd Khorin performed by Anna Mailian from The Music of Armenia, Vol. 2 (13116) 2'41"
5 Raga-Pancham-Malkauns performed by Krishna Chakravarty from Ananda (17046) 8'39"
6 Suspira Coracao Triste performed by Barbara Thompson from Songs from The Center of the Earth (15014) 2'28
7 Pangabagea (Mand Suwarna) performed by Ida Wadawati from Tembang Sunda (13134) 3'55"
8 Eskhemed performed by Karineh Hovanessian from The Music of Armenia, Vol. 4 (13118) 3'26"
9 Nu Tuon Zuat Quan performed by Hue Trad. Art Troupe from The Music of Vietnam, Vol. 2 ((13084) 5'25
10 Down in Yon Forest performed by Therese Schroeder-Sheker from In Dulci Jubilo (13039) 3'31"
11 Dreamlight performed by Sylvan Grey from Recurring Dream (17063) 3'00"
12 The Devil's Suggestion performed by Sinfonye/Stevie Wishart from The Complete Hildegard von Bingen, Vol. 1 (13127) 7'07"
13 The Hour of the Chicken performed by Satsuki Odamura from Matsuri (13081) 8'56"
14 Affirmations performed by Coolangubra from Spirit Talk (13122) 5'13"
  Total Time:   72'47"