Weaving My Ancestors' Voices

Weaving My Ancestors' Voices


1. SPEAKING IN TONGUES I 1.45
2. DHYANA AND DONALOGUE 4.40
3. (A) NANA 2.45
(B) THE DREAMING 5.37
4. EVER SO LONELY / EYES / OCEAN 3.26
5.   THE ENCHANTMENT 4.49
6.   THE CALL 1.38
7.   BHANJAN 7.06
8.   SPEAKING IN TONGUES II 3.08
9.   SACRED STONES 4.32
10.   OM NAMAHA SHIVA 2.55

 

 
 


''Most traditions include the components of drone, either heard or implied, and ornaments for the voice. Where are the boundaries? I feel gratitude for all those singers who've inspired me – from among them I claim a new set of ancestors and give them voice.

'Sheila Chandra is the only Asian singer to have had mainstream chart success in the UK in the '80s. Ever So Lonely, Monsoon's Top Ten hit of '82 and her subsequent five solo albums have been instrumental in getting audiences around the world to accept the sounds and structure of another culture as 'pop music'. After Monsoon, Sheila forged an independent career choosing to experiment with her voice, exploring it as an instrument and pioneering new possibilities for Asian fusion music.

'The ancestors of this album are spiritual – those singers that have gone before me and provide me with my inspiration. Interestingly enough none of my family in India were professional singers and, although within that culture people sang more freely in everyday life, the 'ancestors' here could not be genetic ones!'Some people seem to be interested in analysing the differences between different cultures and traditions. I'm interested in comparing the similarities and weaving them together– to take threads of thought that come from different techniques and singers and weave them into my own pattern.

'The voice is the first and ultimate instrument – it is the one means of expression used by every culture. Although different instruments often have relationships with each other across the continents, they come in different forms, they are played differently... but the voice remains biologically the same across all people. The means by which it is used, the sounds different peoples choose to emulate, is fascinating. The voice is connected to your blood supply! Because of this biological relationship, it is always going to be closer to your instinct, your soul and your emotion – rather than your intellect. The spirit of my ancestors is more accessible to me via the voice – it links into all cultures throughout time.

'One culture's way of expressing something is just as valid as another's. I am fortunate to live in a time when a century of recordings of great singers from around the world are available to me – hearing their means of expression enriches my own.