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    Joan La Barbara – Shamansong

    November 8th, 2010

    Joan La Barbara - Shamansong

    Joan La Barbara Is an avant-garde composer and vocalist who has been, um, composing and vocalising since the 1970s. Shamansong is a collection of three long atmospheric pieces that each exceed the 20-minute mark. Composed in 1991 but revised in 1998, the title track opens it all up with a film score that follows a woman into a bleak desert. Her breathy vocals meander languidly through the barren landscape accompanied by only an acoustic instrument or two at a time–cello, dumbek, gender, harp, music box, percussion, rainstick, shakuhachi and rattle–plus other elements like crystals, stones, metal rods and more. What it all amounts to is an ultra-restrained exercise in spare subtlety and nature-as-music ritual.

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