Amai taken from the final track, comes from the Shona language, spoken widely in Zimbabwe. Amai means "mother" and "woman". This theme is reflected in many of our selections, which represent a wide variety of languages, geographical locations, and historical periods. You will hear love songs to women, womens songs of lost love, personifications of natural phenomnea as women, mothers who tire of housework, children and mothers mourning the loss of one another, and prayers to the Mother Creatrix.
Laulu Voim features 21 selections, including music from Amasong's directors between 1999 and 2003. Women's voices sing music from 14 countries in 23 languages. Selections include Bobby McFerrin's tribute to his mother (the 23rd Psalm), Estonian folk songs, a lament from Afghanistan, a Quaker hymn, a Sephardic lullaby, a love song from the Sichuan Province of China, a traditional Brazilian song with live percussion, and commissions by composers Zae Munn and Kristina Boerger in honor of Amasong's 10th anniversary. The cover art is a ceramic tile entitled "Woman and Bird," created by Champaign-Urbana artist Tanya Shur.
On Amasong's first CD over here the water is sweet, 50 women's voices sing music from 14 countries in 11 languages. The title is taken from the Japanese folk song, "Hotaru Koi," which entreats the firefly to eschew the bitter water because, "over here, the water is sweet." Selections include a chant by Hildegard von Bingen, devotional music from the Spanish Renaissance, protest music from South Africa, spirituals from the United States and the Bahamas, dance music from Norway and Russia, and laments from Ireland and Yiddish Lithuania.
Since 1990, Amasong: Champaign-Urbana’s Premier Lesbian/Feminist Chorus has been connecting with far-away cultures and next-door neighbors through music. Time and again, singing has built bridges that help us to understand one another, just as it has around the world for thousands of years. In the hope of bringing you, our listener, into the atmosphere of an Amasong concert, this collection includes live recordings from the past six years (2002-2008). We feature songs from thirteen countries that celebrate the communion of cultures, the search for unity, the joys of sisterhood, and the enduring power of making music together.