Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about Vietnam and even less about Vietnamese music, but I have been wanting to share my appreciation of Huong Thanh ever since I heard her cd Mangustao. In it she blends Vietnamese music with jazz in a way which
joins hands surprisingly. There is a lilt in her singing which reminds me of some of the creatures which you see in an aquarium which suddenly flick their tails to move along unexpectedly or else makes me think that the line of music is walking along a plank or springboard which suddenly bounces back up when you reach the end of it. Here is a sample of her singing (From “Fragile Beauty”, another beautiful record.)
And here is her web page (not easy to navigate, you have to click on that little rectangle in the middle to open up the menu) which plays another piece of music. As I listened to this second piece of music I went to get myself a peach and sat down to peel and eat it. After a while I realised that I was cutting and eating with special attention and enjoyment. I had always known there was music for marching and there is music I put on which makes cleaning easier and there is music which helps to wind down and clear your mind and music to give you drive, but I had never realised there was music for eating fruit. It put me in mind of the Vietnamese film the scent of the Green Papaya where cutting fruit and vegetables always seems to be an ecstatic experience. I was so caught up by the peach and the sound that I didn’t realise that the music was a
loop which went round and round in circles. Luckily it was a peach and not a water melon and it only took me ten minutes to finish it and come out of my dream.