Soname ‘Natural Mind’ (Enja) 3/5

sonameTibetan singer Soname Yangchen belongs to that indefinanble category of singers/musicians that are now commonly referred to as world fusion. In her case the instrumentation shifts between US country roots, West African with classical instrumentation thrown in for good measure. In the inner sleeve notes the chanteuse declares, ‘We all share the dream of world peace’ and while this is a laudable objective most would subscribe to, it does also reveal that in strictly musical terms she lacks any clear focus as to where her music is heading and her voice, while undoubtedly a pleasant one, is fairly unexceptional. However, it is not all bad news for she does come to life on the excellent ‘Running (like children)’ and more compositions in this vein are required. Slide guitar accompanies Soname on the lyrical ‘Bird sad song’. One major gripe is that the production here really lets her down. It would significantly have enhanced the listener’s understanding and ultimate experience if a more detailed insight into the singer’s background and career was provided, particularly since she has had a most fascinating and probably harrowing to reach the west. She is actually the authoer of ‘Child of Tibet’ and escaped the Himalyas to settle permanently in Germany. Lyrics are provided in English and German, though she sings in her vernacular language throughout.

Tim Stenhouse