The fine folks at Festival Five Records, known to the rest of the world as Dan Zanes' record label, dropped me a line this weekend and said that Elena Moon Park, Zanes' violinist and trumpeter, had begun a new Kickstarter project. As soon as I read the one or two sentence description -- something along the lines of "family folk music album featuring music from China, Japan, and Korea" -- I was pretty much sold.
For personal reasons, I've always been on the lookout for a family music album that featured Asian music, particularly from Korea, and saddened that nothing's been available. Putumayo's Asian Dreamland is OK, and Elizabeth Mitchell has featured a few songs scattered amongst her past couple albums; I think Zanes also has a track or two on his albums.
But an album that introduced Asian music to families, both native-speakers and non-, has been a large hole in the family music spectrum. And Park's plan -- to incorporate a large group of musicians to sing songs in native languages and English, using Eastern and Western instruments -- to do just that is overdue. (Heck, with the complicated political history those three countries have shared, even intra-Asian cross-cultural understanding can't hurt.)
That's why, for the first time, I've actually kicked in some money for a project. Because it won't just create some great music, it fills a need, both for me personally and the world generally.
So give the video a spin. Zanes pops up in the video to offer his full support. I can't imagine that he's not going to be part of the album itself. Should be a great album, even if "family Asian folk music album" isn't on your Top 5 list of albums that need to happen (as it -- and hopefully was -- mine).