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Sophiline Cheam Shapiro | Seasons of Migration

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Cambodia

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World: Asian Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Spiritual
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Seasons of Migration

by Sophiline Cheam Shapiro

Percussive classical Cambodian music.
Genre: World: Asian
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Euphoria
8:09 $0.99
clip
2. Rejection
9:50 $0.99
clip
3. Adjustment
10:44 $0.99
clip
4. Equilibrium
8:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
SEASONS OF MIGRATION

Choreography, lyrics & traditional music arrangement by Sophiline Cheam Shapiro

Musicians

Seang Ngornly (roneat ek), Ep Theary (roneat thong),

Se Phalla (gong thom), San Kim Suar (gong tuch), Pum Bun Chanrath (skar thom)

Chem Sok (sampho), Nol Kol (sralai)

Vocalists

Doung Marey, Sim Chanmoly



Every year, millions of migrants abandon their homelands in search of a more promising future. And while the reasons and circumstances why people choose this path are
numerous, the process through which they acculturate themselves to their new environments is remarkably similar. Structured around the four stages of culture shock first described by anthropologist Kalvero Oberg, Seasons of Migration follows the transformation of identity of heavenly spirits who have come to earth to live among humans. Seasons of Migration explores the expressive boundaries of classical dance, rendering contemporary ideas timeless and the ancient utterly modern.

Section 1 Euphoria

As the divinities arrive on earth, they are full of excitement. Everything around them seems wonderful and exotic. They move about the human world like soldiers marching off to war, full of barely contained enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations.

Section 2 Rejection

After a while, the exoticism of earth wears off, and the divinities find themselves withdrawing from their new surroundings. This section portrays the mythological serpent Neang Neak as she becomes uncomfortably aware of her tail, which follows her wherever she goes, and makes her different. Out of frustration, she tries to tear it off. But she cannot, for it is part of her.

Section 3 Adjustment

When the divinities finally grow tired of being angry at the world around them, they begin to venture out into it. The choreography of this section is based on the interplay of shadow and light or past and future. Neang Amari, who represents the Spirit of the Present, eagerly tries to avoid her shadow by moving toward the light. When this fails, she comes to understand that her shadow and light (past and future) are equal parts of who she is and that she can only move forward with both.

Section 4 Equilibrium

As the divinities adjust to life on earth, they gain a sense of balance in which they feel comfortable with who they are in this new place. The choreography for this section depicts the pre-Angkorian deity Harihara, who combines the attributes of Shiva and Vishnu – and that is why the dance is performed in pairs. Although little is known about Harihara, his creation seems to symbolize the middle path, which leads to harmony.

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Reviews


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Shaun Johnston

Lacks backup information
The sound quality is fine. The instruments are pleasantly exotic and clearly reproduced. But I had two problems. First, the CD wouldn't play, was rejected by my CD player, though would play on a friend's. OK, then I got it to play. Then, I found no information to help me appreciate it. It lacked, for example, the commentary above which I will print and stuff into the CD-box! I am now playing the CD over and over again trying to appreciate it as a piece of composition. Some parts of it, part one for example, sound like Japanese Buddhist "music." They also resemble Steve Reich's circular spirals of simple phrases slowly varying. In part three I detect variations on a familar traditional chinese melody. The singing is to my ear identical to children singing in the Kyoto Gion festival that I have on CD. I feel I've glimpsed less than 10% of what's going on in Seasons of Migration, and I would have welcomed more guidance. I am trying to be ready for when I get the DVD of the company dancing (I bought the CD first in mistake for the DVD). I am entranced by the way the composer/dance director is melding modern and pre-modern cultures. That melding feels like the only possible way for Westerners to glimpse at all the human nature of a pre-modern age. It's precious. I'm working at it.
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