DAVID DARLING & WULU BUNUN
SPECIAL PROJECT

A CMN Tour funded by Arts Council England, supported by Taiwan Council of Cultural Affairs and Visiting Arts. Produced by KAPA Productions.

The music of the Bunun people from the deep mountains of southern Taiwan preserves a rare and ancient style of singing. Seldom using instrumental accompaniment or dance movements, Bunun music is based on alternate choral singing involving the entire village community and embodies their aesthetic of bringing out harmony and wholeness in the social structure while emphasizing restraint and peace of mind.

Grammy-nominated American cellist David Darling, heard the singing of the Bunun people of Wulu village for ther first time in 2000. He was stunned by the richness of Bunun’s polyphonic choir. The delicate hamonic progression in the music reminded him of the work of modern composers such as Ligeti and Berio. He embarked on a project to bring these two different cultures together in a new musical adventure. An adventure aiming to create a dialogue between West and East, between ancient tradition and modern concept, between an untamed tribal voice and a contemporary cello sound.

Bunun’s polyphonic song style, considered a very unique form of music in the world music landscape, is now facing the danger of extinction. However, this project is not aiming to preserve or collect the music but to open the doors to a fresh interpretation and experience. In an effort to respect and retain the singing in its most original ancient form, David travelled to Wulu village to develop and record this project together with the Bunun people. After several more months of composing and recording work the project toured live in the UK (CMN Tour, May 2004) and was relased on CD (Mudanin Kata, Riverboat).

Date End Country, City Event
20 May 04   UK, Brighton St George's Church
21 May 04   UK,Bristol Colston Hall
22 may 04   UK, Kendal The Brewery
23 May 04   UK, Salisbury Blackledge Theatre
24 may 04   UK, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
26 May 04   UK, London Queen Elisabeth Hall

If you are interested in this music you will find the record in the KAPA Shop.