Mudanin Kata

COMPOSERS: Wulu Bunun Singers; David Darling
LABELS: Riverboat/World Music Network
WORKS: Mudanin Kata
PERFORMER: Wulu Bunun Singers; David Darling (cello)


Finally, a mix that misfires. Several recordings have been made of aboriginal Taiwanese choral music, which strikingly combines harmonic richness and vigour. In this highest-profiled one to appear, the Wulu Bunun Singers are accompanied by a Western cello.

Maybe it worked at the time, and the lightest moments with simple pizzicato support do come off, but in the studio they have been backed up with layer on layer of ultra-smooth string playing which clashes with the fresh, open-air voices in an obvious and horrendous way, in timbre as much as ethos.


David Darling is an old enough hand at collaborations to be more sensitive, but either he or his producer apparently just couldn’t stop. Seek out a Bunun choir on its own.