- Released: May 17, 2004
- Label: Riverboat
New Age Retailer - pp.92-3
"[A]n unusual, deeply engaging crossover album."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.903 stars out of 5
- "[T]hese are complete songs, and eerie things they are too....The three cellos fit the mood perfectly....Unusual, but definitely a treat."
- 1.Ku-Isa Tama Laug
- 2.Lugu Lugu Kan-Ibi
- 3.Mudanin Kata
- 4.Manas Kala Muampuk
- 5.Malas Tapag
- 6.Wulu Dream
- 9.Mataisah-Hik Sagan
- 10.Wulu Mist
- 11.Bunun Tuza
- 12.Sima Cisbug Bav
- 13.Malkakiv Malvanis
- 14.Wulu Sky
- 15.Pis Lai
Personnel: David Darling (cello); David Darling; Chin Niang Hu, Chun Yu Chiu, Chiu Yu Hu, The Wulu Bunun (vocals).
Audio Mixers: Jon Moon ; Mickey Houlihan; Tommy Skarupa.
Recording information: Camp David Studios (04/2002-11/2002); Wind Over The Earth (04/2002-11/2002); Wulu Village, Taitung, Taiwan (04/2002-11/2002).
Editors: David Darling; James Tuttle ; Tommy Skarupa.
Photographer: Winter Chiang.
Translators: Chien Hui Chen; Jin Niang Hu; Elaine Hsiung.
Arranger: David Darling.
This collaboration between the Wulu Bunun--amateur vocalists from the Taiwanese region of Wulu--and cellist David Darling is no average "world music" project. While albums like BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB or Ry Cooder's duets with Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure have the polish and overall sound of contemporary North American music, MUDANIN KATA is comparatively unadorned, maintaining a somewhat indigenous and "na?ve" sound. The Wulu Bunun consist of both children and adults, and their unusual choral sound may remind some Western listeners of gospel, field hollers, and campfire sing-alongs. The harmonies, though, are utterly distinctive.
Darling's cello joins the Wulu Bunun in an unobtrusive manner, adding bowed backing or simple, repeating figures, or arpeggios in a way that blends naturally with the group's performance. Though there are a couple solo spots for both cello and group singing, the majority of the album consists of these delicately balanced duets. The performances were captured in a valley near Bunun, so the recordings have a wide, open-air feel to them that perfectly complements the organic, soul-stirring music.