E N I G M A

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E N I G M A

Post  *Anxhi* on Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:17 am

Returning to and from "Innocence": Taiwan Aboriginal Recordings.(Critical essay)

COPYRIGHT 2008 American Folklore Society

For many, the Taiwan aboriginal music world begins and ends with pop group Enigma's controversial single, "Return to Innocence" (1993). (1) Interweaving the voice of Amis singer Difang with layers of electronic sounds, "Innocence" was exotic and ambient, and it also proved catchy enough to serve as an advertisement theme song for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Through this song, much of the world came to hear Taiwan aboriginal music for the first time, without realizing what they were hearing. Difang (1922-2002) discovered his stardom through a friend who had caught the song on radio, and he asked EMI to be credited on the album (Interview, August 10, 2000). When his request was turned down, he filed a lawsuit against Enigma in 1997. The parties reached an out-of-court settlement in 1999.

Various reports on the case by Guy (2002), Taylor (2000), and Yvonne Lin (1999) provide views on the role of ethics in negotiating social justice and copyright law. Enigma sampled Difang's voice without authorization from him; the group drew its sample from a 1978 recording of a weeding song collected by Taiwanese ethnomusicologist Hsu Tsang-houei. (2) Hsu deposited this and other Taiwan aboriginal recordings in Paris's Maison des Cultures du Monde in 1988. Some of the 1978 recordings were in turn issued, together with new material, on the Inedit album, Polyphonies vocales des aborigenes de Taiwan (1989). After hearing this album, Enigma sought and obtained permission from Maison to use a sample and paid a transference fee (Wong 1999). No one, however, bothered to determine the identity of the original singer or consider his intellectual property rights until Difang made the claim himself.

The politics of assigning blame and claiming compensation was tricky. Was Difang's name acknowledged on the Inedit release or even on Hsu's original field recordings, some of which featured ensembles with variable soloists? The answer to the former was "no:" Reports varied as to whether royalties paid by Enigma were eventually channelled to the original singer. Taylor and Guy also point to Difang's fame, gained after his Olympic exposure. The Amis farmer was soon signed by the Taiwanese label Magic Stone Music to release two albums, Circle of Life (1998) and Across The Yellow Earth (1999). These albums, put together by Deep Forest producer Dan Lacksmann, featured electronica remixes reminiscent of the problematic "Innocence."

This story is relatively well known, though most versions depict Enigma and EMI as using strong-arm tactics. That "Innocence was a turning point in the Taiwan aboriginal record industry is without doubt. Difang's subsequent albums won accolades at Taiwan's equivalent of the Grammy Awards, the annual Golden Melody Awards. His success inspired a revival that saw aboriginal singers release their own albums. At the same time, it sparked debates about cultural ownership: some aborigines wondered whether the court settlement should have been made not to an individual but to the Amis people. The case also generated heightened awareness of copyright protection among village singers, now wary of singing to researchers and eager to claim authorship of aboriginal songs previously released on old vinyl records. Indeed, a thriving Taiwan aboriginal record industry had existed from the 1960s. Prior to "Innocence," the aboriginal music scene boasted a cassette dynasty, whose largely aboriginal clientele spanned southern and eastern rural Taiwan.

Aboriginal listeners are not the only audiences of aboriginal recordings today. Chang Huei-mei, a superstar in the Mando-pop world whose fan base extends beyond Taiwan, is of aboriginal Puyuma descent. (3) Beyond Difang's "Weeding Song," pieces from other aboriginal genres have also been making their way onto tape and CD. Some of these--evangelical hymns converted from aboriginal tunes-are products of church choirs, and others cater to urban audiences and the world music market. This review seeks to provide a survey of such trends and their interwoven histories.

A discussion of the scene must begin with a definition of Taiwan aboriginal song and of Taiwan aborigines, Yuanzhumin ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) (4) Numbering some four hundred thousand, aborigines are descendants of the original Austronesian inhabitants of Taiwan, before the seventeenth-century mass migration of Chinese from Fujian province led to the island's current Han demographics. While it is believed that aborigines occupied the entire island before the sixteenth century, Dutch colonization (1624-61), followed by Qing governance (1661-1895), forced them further into the mountains. This movement was slightly reversed during Taiwan's period of Japanese rule (1895-1945), whereby aborigines were coaxed to live nearer cities. Today, they make up 1.7 percent of Taiwan's population and include at least thirteen officially recognized indigenous groups: Amis, Atayal, Kavalan, Truku, Saisiat, Bunun, Paiwan, Puyuma, Rukai, Tsou, Thao, Sakizaya, and Dawu (Thao). (5)

Most aboriginal communities are scattered among small townships in Taiwan's southeastern tracts. Residents tend to be middle aged or older and engage in farming, fishing, and hunting. Indigenous languages are spoken, with some use of Japanese and Mandarin. Younger aborigines, usually proficient in the official language of Mandarin, have traditionally left their ancestral homes to find work in the city, returning to village life during festivals. These events usually revolve around extended bouts of communal singing. Without detailing individual genres, one general point must be established: many aborigines--especially those aware of the fast-disappearing (and constructed) ideals of village life in modern Taiwan-refer to "traditional song" as an entity different from "modern music." Amateur Amis historian and composer Lifok highlights the distinction, invoking the complexities of translation:

I know we use the word, ge [[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]], in Mandarin to describe all that is sung. But it's a foreign word; sometimes it refers to yinyue [[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], music]. In our culture, we call singing ladhiw, and ladhiw is not music; it's not meant to be performed. It's traditional; it can be ritual, it's how we worship our ancestors and gods; how we sing while were working in the fields, drinking with friends. It's our everyday life. Yinyue, on the other hand, is foreign; it's not our life. It's the radio, CDs, art, karaoke, entertainment. (Interview, July 5, 2000) (6)

The subtle distinctions between ladhiw and music shed light on insider versus outsider ideas about the record industry. Would all sound recording, for example, by virtue of its decontextualized existence from real-time happenings in a village, be classified as "music" instead of ladhiw? The answers would depend as much on the circumstances in which recordings are played as they would on their subjects.

Going back to "Innocence, Difang's field rendition of "Chant de sarclage" (Weeding song)--performed in his raspy voice, negotiating the vocables "ehyaihai hawuwan haiyay," and sung against the counterpoint of his wife Igay--might technically be deemed "music." It is, after all, presented as an objectified document occurring away from real time. However, recontextualized a second time by Enigma and heard in a pop environment, the cultural coordinates are reckoned again. While the "Innocence" track as a whole could be "music," specific segments during which Difang's voice had been sampled could, at a stretch, gain the status of ladhiw by virtue of juxtaposition and the back story of his lawsuit.

Recontextualized a third time on Difang's own album, Circle of Life, the exact same melody is now "music, referred to as "Elder's Drinking Song" on the album sleeve. This rechristening could be an attempt by Difang to reclaim aboriginal ownership of his tune. But another explanation is that in the years that passed, this hitherto nameless tune, as with other traditional songs, had already migrated from its work-song origins in the fields (due to advances in weeding technology) to the communal dinner table, ultimately becoming a drinking song. In turning all ladhiw into recorded "music; the ladhiw concept acquired new meanings by virtue of assigning names to tunes for the sake of being labeled on vinyl or tape.

Culturally layered readings of song names, meanings, and melodies also posed problems when lyrics began to appear in Chinese and Japanese. This coincided with the development of an aboriginal record industry after the Kuomintang arrived in Taiwan in 1949. The seeds of this industry, however, had already been planted decades earlier, when Taiwan was still a Japanese colony.

[URL"http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-34214982_ITM"]Burimi[/URL]

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Enigma - Return to innocence


Enigma- Mea Culpa



Enigma- Eyes of Truth



Enigma-Gravity of Love



Enigma Silence Must Be Heard



Enigma - Sensing The Spheres



ENIGMA - INVISIBLE LOVE



ENIGMA - SHADOWS IN SILENCE



Enigma - Between Mind & Heart


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Re: E N I G M A

Post  Anxhi on Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:08 pm

Enigma- Push the Limits



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucc78Ug4Pn0

Enigma - Silent Warrior



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB_qsKGjTrg&feature=related

Enigma - Indian Chanting



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PWzW4t0ns0&feature=related

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Re: E N I G M A

Post  zojs on Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:20 pm

eh këtu e ke gjetur veten, anxhi...

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Re: E N I G M A

Post  Anxhi on Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:54 pm

zojs wrote:eh këtu e ke gjetur veten, anxhi...

Mos duhet valle t'ju kujtoj se as ketu dhe as aty nuk jam per ju? hmm...

++++++++++++

Enigma - Celtic Dream



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nhWVi_51kc&feature=related

Enigma - Sensing The Spheres



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWJ6qBPIfZs&feature=related

Enigma - Following The Sun



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-3Qklz0SvQ&feature=related

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Re: E N I G M A

Post  Anxhi on Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:09 pm

Enigma - Goodbye Milky Way



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSdw8kYxnks

Enigma - Fell me heaven



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYPWjjvcmKQ&feature=related

Enigma- Age Of Loneliness



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOUb-MPQ4L4&feature=related

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