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Marlui Miranda: IHU, Todos os Sons

With IHU, Todos os Sons (Blue Jackel 5005; 54:32), Brazilian singer and musicologist Marlui Miranda brings the world of the rainforest, the still-esoteric culture of the Brazilian Indians, into musical settings which could be called modern. But the term is deceptive: the reality of Brazil’s indigenous peoples, even if cut off from the world of wires and info glut, is as real and “contemporary” to the touch as anything else extant in the late ’90s. This is a fascinating project, celebrating music of organic, rootsy appeal from a country which is as much a crossroads as anywhere in the world. Miranda, who has composed music for various media and performed with Egberto Gismonti, Gilberto Gil and Milton Nascimento in addition to her many years of studying the indigenous Brazilian Indians, has brought together the native and urban cultures with a rare degree of success. The album, supplemented by guest appearances by Gil, Uakti, keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft and others, has native chants and songs as a foundation, arranged with an eclectic sensibility.

The album starts with the festive fire of “Tchori Tchori,” from the Jaboti Indians, and closes with the fairly epic, 13 minute piece “15 Variacoes de Hai Nai Hai,” based on festival rituals of the Nambikwara Indians. “Ihu” translates to a broad definition of the word “sound” from the Kamayura Indians, referring to the fabric of being. To this end, Miranda has created a respectful tapestry that is modern in more ways than one.

Originally Published