David Darling & The Wulu Bunun
2004 Riverboat Records / World Music Network
This one-of-a-kind collaboration matches field recordings of the Wulu Bunun's
ancient a capella songs with the modern ambient leaning music of cellist David Darling,
who took the present-day field recordings and added musical accompaniment to the songs for the first time.
Darling does a masterful job
merging his moody studio-recorded string arrangements into the polyphonic
singing of this indigenous Taiwanese tribe.
Of particular note is the song "Pasibutbut," which is reputed to be inspired by the sound of humming bees.
While most of the songs are a simple folk tunes about everyday life, this one
starts out with a singer hitting a low sustained note with others coming in at
intervals to create eight-part harmony that goes on for several minutes.
Sometimes Darling structuring the songs, which may only have a single verse,
adding instrumental breaks, but on the above song he comes in at the top,
finishing off the song in the same circular polyphony with which it was started.
— Tad Hendrickson, Amazon.com editorial review
'One of the most daring and satisfying fusions of the year - and one that has impressed me more each time I've returned to it. Combining ethnographic songs of the Wulu aboriginals of Taiwan with classical cello, the end result is a finely constructed album that respectfully frames the indigenous music. It's magical the way the birds and insects of the forest have their voice too.'
— Songlines, January/February 2005,
Part of the 10 Best Albums of 2004
Sampler of Selected Tracks
- Ku-Isa Tama Laug 2:12
- Lugu Lugu Kan-Ibi 2:26
- Mudanin Kata 1:41
- Manas Kala Muampuk 3:14
- Malas Tapag 3:50
- Wulu Dream 3:35
- Macilumah 2:43
- Pasibutbut 8:56
- Mataisah-hik Sagan 3:08
- Wulu Mist 3:10
- Bunun Tuza 3:58
- Sima Cisbug Bav 4:14
- Malkakiv Malvanis 3:54
- Wulu Sky 1:21
- Pis Lai 8:24