The tsunami that ripped across the Indian Ocean from Aceh to Sri Lanka in 2004 was one of unmitigated disasters of the last century. At the time I worked and led the Australian Red Cross’s response to the disaster which was, and continues to be, the largest international operation the organisation had ever been involved in. By the end of 2005, one year in to the humanitarian response, I left my job on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
The Laya Project, an audio-visual celebration of the music and lives of communities whose lives, livelihoods, homes, families, plans and dreams were rudely interrupted and knocked off course by the big wave, is one of the small but good things to come out of that experience.
When I left the Red Cross at the end of 2005 I did not imagine I would return. Or that I would again involve myself in humanitarian work. But life has its own twists and in the past three months I find both of those ‘never agains’ have become a reality. Currently, it is contributing to a massive Red Cross response to Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines that preoccupies the mind and working day.
Today’s post is a musical link between these two stages of my life. Remixed, swooped up and DJ’ified versions of traditional music and songs from the tsunami affected countries [India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar and Indonesia and Thailand] could have been a disaster. But the more I listen to these tunes the more I love them. Like the elegant and peaceful cover shot of a man fishing in a turquoise sea I find these arrangements a thing of beauty. The marriage of contemporary beats with traditional rhythms does signal a new day, a fresh start. And gracefully but beautifully remind us that natural disasters like the tsunami and super typhoon are not ‘once in a lifetime’ events, but yearly. And the lives they destroy and derail number in the millions.
1-01 A New Day (Pitch Black Remix)
1-02 Nium Nium (EarthRise SoundSystem Remix)
1-03 Glorious Sun (Bhakti Brothers Remix Featuring MC Yogi)
1-04 Sunset in Akkarai (Desert Dwellers Remix)
1-05 Hai La Sa (Eastern Spirit Remix)
1-06 Glorious Sun-Ya Allah-Muliya-Farihi (Ferenz Kallos Remix)
1-07 Muliya (Shaman’s Dream Remix)
1-08 Sunrise in Injumbakam (Pathaan’s Tribute Remix)
1-09 Waterside Tales (Bombay Dub Orchestra’s Blade Runner Remix)
1-10 Glorious Sun (Karsh Kale Brand New Dawn Remix)
2-01 A New Day (Chris Zippel’s Genuine Remix)
2-02 Tapatam (Dub Gabriel Remix)
2-03 Ya Allah (Sufi Dubstars Remix – Celt Islam And DJ Umb Featuring Dawoud Kringle)
2-04 Sunset In Akkarai (Desert Dwellers Dance Remix)
2-05 Touare (The Ambergris Remix – Cheb I Sabbah)
2-06 Ya Allah (The Please Wipe Our Tears Remix – Cheb I Sabbah)
2-07 Rain Buddha (dimmSummer Remix)
2-08 Katalu Talu (Midival Punditz Remix)
2-09 Going To Seville (Kaya Project Remix)
2-10 Hai La Sa (Nickodemus Remix)
2-11 Farihi (Fabian Alsultany Remix)
2-12 Laya Mantra (Kartick & Gotam Yalla Mantra Remix)