Life Is Life CD


THE COLLABORATIONS

Goodson Gomanda (Malawi) is a songwriter, vocalist, recording engineer and producer. His small home studio creates huge results, supporting and encouraging emerging musicians alongside professionals. Our collaboration on Walking Together was free flowing, experimental and just plain fun! Sam Katimba and Owen Hulera openly injected their creative sense into the piece which is based on something an Aboriginal man once told me.... "you can walk beside me, together as equals, but never in front".

Mildred 'Nachi' Ligoya (Malawi) bought her joyous love of singing, along with and openness to experiment, to each session. Driving through Blantyre with her mother and Pauline Chiwawa (one third of the Gospel Vocal Chords group, along with Chiku Kamwendo and Maurice Mbewe) singing their hearts out, was a moment which, for me, described much about the 'heart' of all the Malawians I met. While all around there was chaos, heat and poverty, Life Is Life reflects on the boundless wonders of the human spirit which rose from that dusty terrain.

The Lusolao Boys Band (Malawi) led by Chrispun Solobala (also the maker of all the recycled junk instruments they use) along with his brother Francis Solobala, Flex Chatenwa and McDonald Bwatamba, were full of the best that music and human spirit can offer. Their love of music and the sound they produce from their instruments (they create their guitar strings from the insides of car tyres!) inspired me to step outside the bounds of my intended collaborations. My time in and around remote Chikwawa district lives with me as a 'book' of wondrous memories of these spirited people.

Kamba Makolekole and his Valimba Band (Malawi) live in the village next to the Lusolao Band. The dexterity, speed and humour with which they play music, totally infected me the first time I saw them. We would then gather under the shade of a tree and try ideas for a new piece of music. It was an overwhelming experience, with huge waves of children gathering around to watch us, dancing spontaneously, laughing and mimicking me and my didgeridoo motions. One day we spontaneously began a huge circle dance, billowing dust and laughter into the air, and inspiring our eventual Childrens Dance.

Saul Callejas (Bolivia) is a maestro of the charango with a beautiful voice to match. Like so many of the musicians along the way, he openly collaborated with trust and integrity. His vast professional experience, including numerous CD recordings and extensive international touring, showed in his seamless pursuit of musicality during our two collaborations of Mini Voices and Five Corners. Together with Carlos Ponce, a virtuoso of the zampona and a musician of extraordinary musical vision, Danilo Rojas, Victor Hugo Guzman and Galo Cortez, we created our own musical journey. Mini Voices highlights the problem of child labour, and Five Corners creates a joining together of musicians from around the world.

Ruben Valesquez (Bolivia)is a wonderful guitarist who collaborated on Step By Step and Here In La Paz. Our times at the studio seemed full of too many ideas, and together with Felix Rodriguez and Saul Vino we created the flavours of our joint ideas. Here In La Paz is a melody resulting from the inspiration of that first week in Bolivia's capital - the staggering beauty of Mount Illimani, a small child begging, new sounds, smells, the children playing football on the street late at night. Danilo Rojas (Bolivia) is a highly accomplished jazz pianist. His sense of humour, huge smile and musical sensitivity, took Mariangel into a space which it belonged. A highly emotional and personal piece of music which needed his sense of harmony and passion.

Felix Rodriguez (Bolivia) would meet me at the shop where he worked and we would 'jam' song possibilities for hours. He is a gifted zampona player who is now using a three tier chromatic pan pipe and including improvisations and uncommon harmonies in his music. It was also his consistency and loyalty, his sense of humour, which were important during my time in La Paz. Step By Step.... tells of the need to look within for our positive nature, to continually walk tall and forward in this life. All we need to take is one small step, followed by another. Composed together with my good friends, and the new wave of Bolivian musicians, Felix and Ruben.

Cornel Pana (Rumania) is undoubtedly one of the world's great nai virtuosos. Now focusing on a repertoire of classical music as an orchestral soloist, he tours the world giving concerts. The Big Slide was our way of creating a link between his skills, the flavour of Rumanian brass and an old melody that had resurfaced. It also reconnected us, from over a decade previously when I had been his student of the nai in Bucharest.

Yumika Nozaki (Rumania) agreed to work with me at a time when it seemed no inspiration would present itself in Rumania. I first met Yumika some ten years previously, as a fellow nai student of Cornel Pana. Forrest Gods is dedicated to all those people who stand up to save our forests. Geamparalele is based on a traditional Rumanian form, featuring Yumika playing nai along with the wonderful bassoon ensemble of Viorica, Adam, Orban and Gabriel.

The first time I heard Maria Raducanu (Rumania) improvising in the jazz style to a traditional piece of Rumanian folk music, I knew I had to ask her to collaborate. Nobody Ever Wins At War and Five Point One are testimony to the breadth of her talent. Beyond the music, Maria said that "life and friends before art" were what her life involved, a statement which was to taunt me during my lonely times in Rumania.

CHILDRENS DANCE

Written by: Valimba Band, Keelan

Musicians:
Kamba Makolekole: vocals, valimba, drum
Shiku Manyowa: valimba
Bendson Lauzhi: valimba, vocals
James Shagant: shakers
Peter Keelan: pan pipes, nose flute, bass drum, gong, bass, vibraslap, mouthbow, chimes

Recording Engineers: Evans Masamba, Peter Keelan

Words:

Ana avine
Asangalale kwambiri
Asiyeni ayimbe
Valimba nthawi ino

Asangalale avine anawo
Asangalale avine kmambiri
Asiyeni ayimbe
Valimba nthawi ino

The children dance
smiles so wide
let them play
valimba a while

Shaka shaka shaka
dega de dega de
bah bah bah

ANGEL DANCE

Written by: Rojas, Keelan

Musicians:
Danilo Rojas: piano
Felix Rodriguez: malta, zanka
Ruben Valesquez: guitar
Saul Vino: charango
Galo Cortez: bass
Peter Keelan: malta, toyos, bombo, tin tin, whistle

Recording Engineers: Ivan Barrientos, Peter Keelan

CIRCLES

Written by: Pana, Keelan

Musicians:
Cornel Pana: nai
Peter Keelan: didgeridoo, bass drone, air pan pipes

Recording Engineers: Victor Panfilov, Peter Keelan

FIVE CORNERS

Written by: Callejas, Ligoya, Raducanu, Keelan

Musicians:
Saul Callejas: vocals (Spanish), charango, sonko
Carlos Ponce: zampona
Danilo Rojas: piano
Victor Hugo Guzman: drums
Galo Cortez: bass
Mildred 'Nachi' Ligoya: vocals (Chichewa)
Shane Kearney: talking drum
Maria Raducanu: vocals (Rumanian)
Cornel Pana: nai
Stefan Radu: hammered dulcimer
Subhan Hartree: vocals (English)
Peter Keelan: chromatic pan pipes, caporale bells

Recording Engineers: Ivan Barrientos (Bolivia), Victor Panfilov (Rumania), Evans Masamba (Malawi), Peter Keelan (Australia)

Words:
Spanish (words by Saul Callejas)

Con tu voz
con mi voz
quiero expresar
el sentir
de la humanidad
al vibrar
con la musica
dejamos otra vez
del ritmo
el baile
bailar

Chichewa (translation by Mildred Ligoya)

Tonse pamodzi
inu ndi ine
Tiyimbe nyimboyi
ndi mtima umodzi
Pogwirizana
Tidzaona
Tonse ndife amodzi

Romanian (translation by Maria Raducanu)

Glasul tau
si al meu
sa rasune acu m
sa cantam lumii
intr-un glas
Doar un cantec
sa fim
dincolo de timp
si-in dans
sa ne-nlantium

English (words by Peter Keelan)

With your voice
with my voice
I want to express
the feeling
of humanity
to vibrate
with the music
lets move again
with the rhythm
to dance and dance

FIVE POINT ONE

Written by: Raducanu, Keelan

Musicians:
Saul Callejas: charango
Danilo Rojas: piano
Victor Hugo Guzman: drums
Galo Cortez: bass
Maria Raducanu: vocals
Cornel Pana: nai
Stefan Radu: hammered dulcimer
Peter Keelan: pan pipes, whistle, bombo drum

Recording Engineers: Ivan Barrientos (Bolivia), Victor Panfilov (Rumania), Evans Masamba (Malawi), Peter Keelan (Australia)

FORREST GODS

Written by: Nozaki, Keelan

Musicians:
Yumika Nozaki: nai
Adam Siminiceanu: contra bassoon
Gabriel Sava: 1st Bassoon
Orban Godri: 2nd Bassoon
Viorica Feher: 3rd Bassoon
Peter Keelan: chromatic pan pipes, chimes,didgeridoo, bird noises, bass drum, gong

Recording Engineers: Victor Panfilov, Sergei Panfilov, Peter Keelan

GEAMPARALELE

Written by: Nozaki, Keelan

Musicians:
Yumika Nozaki: nai
Adam Siminiceanu: contra bassoon
Viorica Feher: 3rd Bassoon
Gabriel Sava: 1st Bassoon
Orban Godri: 2nd Bassoon
Stefan Radu: hammered dulcimer
Silviu Prodan: double bass
Victor Panfilov: vocal
Peter Keelan: pan pipes, bass drum, drinking glass, vocals, vibraslap

Recording Engineers: Victor Panfilov, Peter Keelan

Dance dance dance because we can
Dans dans dans ca pute

HERE IN LA PAZ

Written by: Rodriguez, Valesquez, Keelan

Musicians:
Felix Rodriguez: zampona
Ruben Valesquez: guitar
Saul Vino: charango
Carlos Ponce: bombo
Galo Cortez: bass
Peter Keelan: malta, rondador, caporale bells, bird sounds, whirlie, cymbal

Recording Engineers: Ivan Barrientos, Peter Keelan

MOYO NDI MOYO (Life Is Life)

Written by: Ligoya, Keelan

Musicians:
Mildred 'Nachi' Ligoya: vocals
Goodson Gomanda: vocals
Pauline Chiwawa: harmony vocals
Chiku Kamwendo: harmony vocals
Maurice Mbewe: harmony vocals
Owen Hulera: guitars, bass, drum programming Sam Katimba: piano
Peter Keelan: pan pipes, clapping, woodblock, cowbell, rainmaker, chimes

Recording Engineers: Goodson Gomanda, Peter Keelan

Words:
Chichewa (translation by Goodson Gomanda)

Tiyeni tivine
nthawi ndi yomweyi
tilulutire kuyimba
kuzungulira pa bwab
Tivine usiku onse
kuno kwathu ku Malawi
mpaka kuche mbee
moyo wathu ndi liero
Vina vina

  Do it now
Use our time
Make some sound
Getting down
Dance the night
Right away
Here in Malawi (Orztralia)
Dancing yeah.... eah
Life Is Today!
Life.............. e
Life
Is................. s
Life is
Life is for living
Don't you know that
Life............. e
Is for living
Don't you know that life
Is for living
Walkin down the street
Everybody tellin me that
I look like a
Well.... like a canary
They're asking me
Why I'm so happy
When they're all so sad
And I tell them that
Life.......... e
Is for living
Don't you know that
Life is for living
Listen here
Hey my brother
Hey my sister
Don't you know
You've got one life to live
Make your choices
Learn from your mistakes
Hey.....ey.....ey.....ey
Hey my brother
Hey my sister
Find something that
Will make you happy inside
Life is for living

LUSULAO JOYS

Written by: Lusulao Band, Peter Keelan

Musicians:
Chrispun Solobala: vocals, rhythm guitar
Francis Solobala: lead vocals, lead guitar
Flex Chatenwa: drums
McDonald Bwatamba: bass
Simon Nield: vocals
Subhan Hartree: vocals
Peter Keelan: pan pipes, didgeridoo, cowbell, lekolilo flute, vocals

Recording Engineers: Evans Masamba, Peter Keelan

Words:
Pa pa pa
Ife anyamata Alusolao Band
Peter anatipeza tikuimba
Nyimbo zathu x 2
Ndimtima onse pamalo a padera
Munthu ukakhalawekha
Nthawi zina
Umakhala ndimaganizo
Maganizo oipa x 2
Ife anyamata a Lusolao
Tingathe kupeza njira poimb nyimbo x 2
Zathu mosangalatsa x 2
  Find that joy
special place
deep inside
sweetest taste
When you're alone
deep in trouble
look again
for that bubble
Lusulao boys
lead the way
singing songs
move and sway
And they know
its the way
Sing sing sing
Move ahead
take first steps
positives instead

MARIANGEL

Written by: Rojas, Keelan

Musicians:
Danilo Rojas Piano
Felix Rodriguez Zampona
Ruben Valesquez Guitar
Juan Vera Quena
Saul Vino Charango
Subhan Hartree Vocals
Galo Cortez Bass
Peter Keelan Malta, chimes, guiro, bombo

Recording Engineers: Ivan Barrientos, Peter Keelan

Words:
Mariangel
Mi otro cuerpo
Nos juntos te amo
Juancito
En tiempos pasados
hemos vivido otra pueblo
tierra Wajcha alma solito
ahora conozco
eres mis brazos
ahora conozco
mis sonrisa y aliento
ahora conozco
Mariangel, angelito
Mariangel, angelito
  Maria my angel
my other body
together we love
Juan
In times past
we have lived in another village
the solitary life
now I know
you are my smile and breath
now I know
Maria the angel
Maria my angel

MINI VOICES

Written by: Callejas, Keelan

Musicians:
Saul Callejas: charango
Carlos Ponce: chulli and malta, zanka, toyo
Danilo Rojas: piano
Galo Cortez: bass guitar
Victor Hugo Guzman: drums
Peter Keelan: chromatic pan pipes, didgeridoo, bells, flexitone, recorded sounds

Recording Engineers: Ivan Barrientos, Peter Keelan

NOBODY EVER WINS AT WAR (Nimeni Nu Castiga En Razboi)

Written by: Raducanu, Keelan

Musicians:
Maria Raducanu: vocals
Petru Popa: piano
Mihai Iordache: saxophone
Stefan Radu: hammered dulcimer
Peter Jeavons: double bass
Subhan Hartree: vocals
Russell Burrows: congas, drums, cymbals
Peter Keelan: chromatic pan pipes, didgeridoo, guiro, bass drum

Words:
Nobody ever wins at war
but faceless men who sell the law
nobody ever wins at war
especially not the hungry and the poor
so why do we make more
sending sons and daughters to the fore
  Nimeni nu castiga din razboi
Poate doar cei fara de chip, fara de zei
Nimeni nu castiga din razboi
Nu noi, cei multi plini de nevoi
Si atunci de ce sa se-intample
De ce din nou motii sa ne dam

STEP BY STEP

Written by: Valesquez, Keelan

Musicians:
Ruben Valesquez: guitar
Felix Rodriguez: zampona
Saul Vino: charango
Victor Hugo Guzman: drums
Russell Burrows: shaker
Galo Cortez: bass
Peter Keelan: chulli, malta, zanka, chimes, guiro, bombo, triangle, shouts, congas

Recording Engineers: Ivan Barrientos, Peter Keelan

THE BIG SLIDE

Written by: Pana, Keelan

Musicians:
Cornel Pana: nai
Mihai Iordache: saxophone
Marius Radu: hammered dulcimer
Peter Keelan: toyo, malta, buzz pans, bass
Ieronim Pogorizovschi: trombone
Pechis Suchio: clarinet
Marius Costache: tuba

KUYENDA LIMODZI (Walking Together)

Written by: Gomanda, Keelan

Musicians:
Goodson Gomanda: vocals
Mildred 'Nachi' Ligoya: vocals
Owen Hulera: guitars, bass, drum programming
Sam Katimba: piano
Shane Kearney: talking drum
Russell Burrows: shaker, cowbells, claps
Simon Nield: vocals
Peter Keelan: assorted blown bottles, piano, goats nails, cowbell, clapping, pan pipes

Recording Engineers: Goodson Gomanda, Peter Keelan

Words: (Chichewa translation by Goodson Gomanda)
Peace to you
musician brothers
playing true
sisters and others
Sing this song
Join our noises
Make us one
Through our voices
  Mtendere kisa nonse
Anyamata onse oyimba
Kuyimba kwa uthetemwa
Atsikana a mangoli
Tiyeni tiyimbe nyimboyi
Tili pamodzi
Tigwirizane mukuyimba
Mau okondwera