There is a long and exciting road that the collision of worlds has constructed, since Debussy was exposed to music of the Far East in the universal exposure of 1889. Then the lessons of Suzuki to Cage, the travels of Steve Reich in West Africa, but more than history I would look at the common reasons, at the fundamental features of union. I would neglect the hierarchical temptations, where there is not much to joke and I would concentrate myself, if you allow me, on the sound.
The sound of the world began to enter our houses in 1976. Some record labels took the initiative: the heroic Lyrichord records in NY and Tangent followed the example of Unesco Records and we were swept up by a river of unknown, incomprehensible music, often much beautiful indeed. These were recordings on the field, often a bit rough, but they nearly always included the focusing element, they had the sound of the place in which these musics were normally played.
Water Lily Acoustics, the publisher of this estimabile object, is not your usual record company and it appeals to me to remark this. We enjoy, usually, a sort of privileged space, above all in a technological sense, still convinced of our superiority. But the lesson here is even technological, logistic, to demonstrate that convincing artistic performance cannot live without the right context. Sure, recorders, microphones and amplifiers are made by hand here, but the real point is the disposition towards a reunited, compact, universal, music of the planet that will be the music of our common future, or will not be.
There are more and more individuals, resistant and well educated, in America and Europe, which are up to compare with these ancient and noblest and evolute shapes of human music. There are a little less of them that wish to do it with the just humility that same music imposes, still less are able to make it without many contracts, tests, assurances. But Ryland Cooder, the American hero of the guitar of the next world, has all the papers in rules: purity of heart and touch, notion of the ancestors, fluidity of language and mind. This disc contains the keys for the world as it will be, be prepared with a special care.