In March women all over the world will celebrate International Women’s Day. A national holiday in many countries and commemorated by the United Nations, International Women’s Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history.Though often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, this day allows women everywhere to look back on a tradition of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.
As a tribute to this tradition, Putumayo World Music is releasing an album that literally sings its praises.Women of the World:Acoustic is an exploration of acoustic music by some of the world’s leading female artists.
Some of the women featured on Women of the World:Acoustic are already well-known in various parts of the world,including Sandrine Kiberlain and The Wailin’ Jennys. Kiberlain is known first and foremost as an actress, having appeared in over 20 French films. “M’envoyer des Fleurs” is from her first and only album,Manquait Plus Qu’ça.The career of Canadian trio The Wailin’ Jennys has been sparked by Garrison Keillor,an avid fan who has featured them on his radio program A Prairie Home Companion on numerous occasions.The group harmonizes together beautifully on “One Voice,” a song from the group’s debut album 40 Days, which won the 2005 Juno Award for best roots/traditional album.
The half-Icelandic,half-Italian Emiliana Torinni is perhaps most recognizable as the voice behind the enchanting “Gollum’s Song” from The Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers.She has also toured with Thievery Corporation and penned the pop smash “Slow,” a number one hit for Kylie Minogue. But for her second album,from which “Sunnyroad” is taken,Torinni stripped away all the elements and recorded with just her voice and a guitar, making it a perfect addition to this album. Likewise, Algeria’s Mona traded in the rhymes of her former rap career for the softer strains of the traditional sounds from her Andalusian birthplace to deliver the captivating “Sekna.”
Other artists on Women of the World: Acoustic have found their inspiration down different paths. Marta Topferova was born in the Czech Republic, but found her voice in the folk traditions of Latin America after discovering the Chilean protest group Inti-Illimani at an early age. Colombia native Marta Gomez contributes the haunting “Paula Ausente,” a song based on the book Paula by noted Chilean author Isabelle Allende.
This celebration of women’s voices also includes those artists whose music hits closer to home. Cameroon’s Kaïssacontributes the heartfelt “Wa,” a tribute to her late sister, while Popular Croatian singer Tamara Obravac creates music inspired by the Istrian folk songs of her homeland. Greece’s Anastasia Moutsatsou brings her country’s rich traditional musical legacy to the fore with “Ola Ta Aiskola,” and Lura sings in the Kriolu dialect (Portuguese Creole) of the Cape Verde islands. “Bida Mariadu” is from Lura’s second album, which is her attempt to resurrect classic Cape Verdean music that has been largely forgotten.
Rounding out the album is Luca Mundaca. Originally from Chile, she moved to a small town south of São Paulo, Brazil with her family when she was six,and now resides in the U.S. Mundaca fuses her contemporary folk sensibilities with bossa nova and contributes the lovely and lilting “Não se Apavore.” Luca will also tour internationally for a series of in-store performances in support of Women of the World: Acoustic’s release.