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Laya Project

Laya Project

(EarthSync; US: 13 Jul 2010; UK: 24 Aug 2009)

Persistence is the theme here. The musicians say that they wanted to “affirm the human spirit” in the face of disaster, and the album itself is sustained from one end to the other with meditative electronic hums and chimes. Most of the non-electronic sounds come from communities of people who lived on South-East Asian coastlines struck by the 2004 tsunami. The brains behind the project travelled from one group to another, around Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldive Islands, Myanmar, and eastern India, recording the survivors as they played instruments and sang. The mood is tranquil, carried on by chants, the long hum roughed up with moments of instrumentation, a tabla, a handclap, a stringed instrument playing a Thai dance. India dominates. At the end, the hum resolves itself into a drone, spinning in circles, so that the whole album seems to have flowed here and formed a spiral. It concludes with the sound of the thing that gave rise to all this in the first place: the subdued wish-wash of the sea. A peaceful sea. No. A sea with its claws in. In light of the Laya Project’s background, this moment of sea-noise has the air of an offering laid superstitiously on an altar. We acknowledge you. Please be kinder in future.

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Tagged as: south-east asia
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