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Laya Project

Laya Project

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Released in conjunction with a movie of the same name, Laya Project is a two-disc compilation of music recorded in some of the locations that the 2004 tsunami hit with the greatest devastation: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives, India, and Myanmar. The genesis of each track was a field recording made by the film's producers using a portable studio;


Released in conjunction with a movie of the same name, Laya Project is a two-disc compilation of music recorded in some of the locations that the 2004 tsunami hit with the greatest devastation: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives, India, and Myanmar. The genesis of each track was a field recording made by the film's producers using a portable studio; one is a song of mourning for a man's wife lost in the tsunami, another is a song of welcome offered spontaneously to the group by a woman in the Maldives; there is a recording of a percussion ensemble, of Buddhist chanting, and one of a couple who, when they saw the recording crew, pulled out traditional Thai instruments and began playing. The music producers, Patrick Sebag and Yotam Agam, then took the field recordings and added other instruments: a string section from Madras, tabla, harmonium, bansuri, keyboards, electric bass, and sampled rhythms. In most cases, one wonders whether the original artists would recognize their contributions (and one also wonders what it means that so many tracks show as having been "composed by" Sebag and Agam -- perhaps in this context the word "composed" means "arranged"). It's also slightly troubling that for all their discussion of the resilience and resourcefulness of the people whose musical traditions are documented here, neither the album's liner notes nor, as far as can be discerned, the project's website offers any explanation as to whether and how this recording (and the accompanying documentary film) will translate into material aid for them and their fellow victims. Presumably such arrangements have been made, but the lack of any statement to that effect leaves one wondering. Still, the music itself is mostly excellent: a traditional song from Myanmar titled "Glorious Sun" is presented in two mixes (both very good, though the original mix is much subtler and lovelier than its more aggressively dance-oriented remix); "Hai La Sa" is mournful and quietly funky, with a faintly bhangra-inflected rhythmic structure; "Touare" is a trancey instrumental with dubwise scraps of vocal floating around in the mix. Not everything on the two discs is equally entrancing, but all of it is worth hearing.

Product Details

Release Date:
White Swan

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Abdul Ghani   Vocals
Yotam Agam   Horn,Bells
K.V. Balakrishnan   Percussion,Tabla
G. Parthasarathy   Percussion
Patrick Sebag   Bass,Gong,Keyboards,fender rhodes
Supardi   Choir, Chorus,Didong
Mohamed Ibrahim   Percussion,Vocals
B.V. Ragavendra Rao   Violin
Yoosuf Al Rahman   Percussion,Vocals
Zakariya Hameed   Percussion,Vocals
Yoosuf Abdul Qadir   Vocals
Teuku Admidral   Percussion
Suthikappam Ensemble   Vocals
Sing Tao   Flute
Shwe Shwe Khine   Vocals
Sabumudeen Babha Sabeer   Vocals
Raj Prakash Paul   Hand Clapping
Paul Jacob   Bass
Oca Lot   Choir, Chorus,Didong
Mohammad Yusuf Bombang   Percussion,Narrator
Lwin Ko Oo   Vocals
Khine Zin Shwe   Vocals
Jul Arsi Jalil   Choir, Chorus,Didong
Ismail AK   Vocals
Hassan Amir   Percussion,Vocals
Fri Jalil   Choir, Chorus,Didong
K.A. Gunasekharan   Vocals
B.B.R. Basil Perera   Violin,Harmonium
Ajah Maideen   Vocals
Ahmed Sobah   Percussion,Vocals
Ahmed Hussein   Percussion,Vocals
Abdul Nasir   Percussion,Vocals
Wanna Jarasmathusorn   Vocals
Mohamed Rasheed   Percussion,Vocals
Jayasundara Thilakawardena   Vocals
Indra Kala   Choir, Chorus,Didong
Fajar Siddiq   Vocals
Teuku Admiral   Percussion,Vocals
Madras String Section   Strings
Naushaad Abdullah   Percussion,Vocals
Kasmira Fatra   Choir, Chorus,Didong
Tengku Ama Nifara   Flute
Samuel Jebaraj   Hand Clapping
Tomer Bachar   Harp
Chinmayi Sripada   Vocals
Boduberu Group   Vocals
Abdullah Rasheed   Percussion,Vocals
Abdul Azeef Yoosuf   Percussion,Vocals

Technical Credits

Traditional   Composer
Yotam Agam   Composer,Engineer,Sound Design
Patrick Sebag   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Sonya Mazumdar   Producer,Writer
Sastry Karra   Executive Producer
Paul Jacob   Producer
Mustafa AK   Composer
K.A. Gunasekharan   Composer
Jess Gorick   Cover Art
Timur Angin   Still Pictures
Fajar Siddiq   Composer
Joanne de Rozario   Producer
David Chaudior   Cover Art

Customer Reviews

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Laya Project 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
FunkmasterFurbish More than 1 year ago
The Laya Project was created as a piece of art to join music culture of the regions affected by the 2004 tsunami that struck India,Indonesia and many other countries. Due to the fact that may countries participated in this project of hope, the sound foundation is very wide as well giving the two CD album a unique variety of sound. Not only culturally are these songs quite diverse but also instrumentally. Since every country has different instruments used in their traditional folk music every song has some other sound to it. Some are based heavily on rhythm with strong drums and deep bass, others have distinct melodies. Both are well balance throughout the album. The vocals vary as well from monk-like male chanting to beautiful female solo parts letting the listener experience of the culture in a somewhat different way. To some audience that is more used to the western sound and intonation this album with its musical background might seem very different. That however does not mean that it can't be appreciated by everyone. The fact that some of the songs on this album were passed on from generation to generation only by playing them and were not commonly recorded or even written down is very interesting to me. This,to me is proof of the originality of the musical and cultural experience The Laya Project has to offer. The first CD of the double feature Laya Project begins with a remix of the song "Glorious Sun". This is somewhat unique in that the listener has probably not even heard the original version of the song by then. However this is well intended since the remix has a mellow but yet harmonic tune to it and does not start the listener of with a severe culture shock. After this introductory tune the audience is gradually brought closer to increasingly more traditional melodies and rhythms of these foreign countries. The second CD,however, immediately has a very esoteric touch and feeling of complete harmony. Again this CD starts with the song "Glorious Sun" which in this case however is the original version. Throughout the entire two CD album this track could be considered a theme song and is repeated more than once in different versions which frames the work nicely. Starting off with this much more traditional version the entire second part of the double feature takes on a completely mellow mood and concludes with being very relaxing. Since the first CD is a bit shorter than the second it can be seen as an introduction to the main part and theme of the project which is expressed fully within the songs of the second disk. Through multicultural endeavors such as the Laya Project more people become aware of the importance of culture and its heritage which may increase appreciation and concern. This is why I can highly recommend this musical creation to pretty much anybody. This album is a truly superior example of world music in all its facets and therefore can be highly recommended to any musically open minded audience. It can also be exciting to learn about new and different cultures, as well as their traditions.This may be hard to do at time which is why I think The Laya Project offers a great opportunity for this as well. If you have not come across any music from the countries mentioned this could be a good introduction and is almost certain to further your curiosity.The music needs to be heard in order for it to be passed on from person to person as it already has for thousands of years.