In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
In 1990, a year before beginning her master's degree in choral conducting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kristina Boerger decided to form what she advertised as a lesbian/feminist chorus called Amasong. The group's name was a play on the words amazon and song. Boerger said, "The word amazon conjures up images of strong women who make their own decisions. It was a way of coding our group in a certain way."
Boerger posted flyers around town about her new choral group, Amasong. Many local women responded to the flyers. A roomful of women showed up at the first choir rehearsal, consisting mainly of lesbians, feminist housewives, and students. The decision to label Amasong as lesbian/feminist was important. In the PBS documentary The Amasong Chorus: Singing Out, produced by Jay Rosenstein, Boerger explained, "There's lesbian-feminism with a hyphen, which refers to women who are lesbian and feminist. But if you put a diagonal slash between, then it means either/or. And that's very important. Whenever I tell people on the phone who we are, I make sure they get the punctuation correct. It doesn't mean you have to be both to get in the choir. It means you've got to be one or the other." The choir's first members were diverse in interest, age, and experience, and this has continued to the present version of the chorus.
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Review: 'Amai', the title of Amasong's second CD release, means 'mother' and 'woman' from the Shona Language in Zimbabwe. Amasong is a 60 women strong Premier Lesbian/Feminist chorus from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Graced with traditional arrangements from around the world, this CD is both enjoyable and educational. Favorites include; 'The Stove,' a short and humorous Feminist composition, Four Russian Peasant Songs by Igor Stravinsky, and 'Cradle Song,' an Amasong original of prayer and inspiration. Intense emotion and sensitivity are generated through dynamic movement and rhythmic expression. Having chosen so many languages the degree of difficulty is incredible, yet these women sing with ease. Their diction and sympathetic perception of the music are right on the money, and their dedication is admirable.
Songlist: Blood and Gold, Women of Ireland , Lauluja Merelta , Draum om Nedsnodde Bruer , Orientis Partibus , There is no Rose , The Stove , Four Russian Peasant Songs , On Suuri Sun Rantas Autius , Fisher Lid, J'ai Fait Mon Idee / La Danse de Marti Gras, We Will Walk with Mother and Mourn , Cradle Me , All is Well , Shenandoah , Keep Your Lamps , Job, Job, Amai
Jsniejze mi, usnij
Review: Since 1990, Amasong: Champaign-Urbana's Premier Lesbian/Feminist Chorus has been connecting with far-away cultures and next-door neighbors through music. Time and again, singing has built bridges that help us to understand one another, just as it has around the world for thousands of years. In the hope of bringing you, our listener, into the atmosphere of an Amasong concert, this collection includes live recordings from the past six years (2002-2008). We feature songs from thirteen countries that celebrate the communion of cultures, the search for unity, the joys of sisterhood, and the enduring power of making music together.
Songlist: Come Dance and Sing, Omama Bakudala, I Thank You God For Most This Amazing Day, Mouth Music, Laulusild/ Bridge of Song, Ach! Synku Synku, I Went To The Market, Yonder Come Day, Hoj Hura Hoj!, A Ma Lei A Ho - Chinese Mountain Songs, Gathering in the Naked Oats - Chinese Mountain Songs, Ga Da Mei Lin - Chinese Mountain Songs, Cuncti Simus, Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind, Rain, Gonja, Jsniejze mi, usnij, I Thank You God, Mrs. McGrath, March of the Women, The Parting Hand, Deep Peace, Singabahambayo Thina
Review: The pride of Champaign-Urbana, IL, premier lesbian/feminist chorus Amasong, over 100 strong, brings us an exuberant collection of 21 folk songs, some accompanied, from many different traditions. 'Laulu's' smorgasbord of cultures begins with Brazilian (the joyful 'O Xote Das Meninas'), Chinese (the love song 'Kangding Qing Ge'), Estonian (the lilting 'Tantsides'), Afghani (the mourning dance song 'Lailaw'), Scottish ('Gone the Boat'), Finnish ('Taivas On Sininen' The Sky Is Blue), Quaker, Sephardic, Italian, Provencal, Guadeloupe, Bulgarian, American Indian and others. Beautiful, extensive liner notes with all lyrics. Amasong's third excellent CD-'Laulu' is a sumptuous joy!
Songlist: O Xote das Meninas, Kangding Qing Ge , Laulu Voim , Lauliku Lapsepolv , Tantsides , Lailaw , A Waulking Trilogy: Gone the Boat, Hame oor Bottachan, and Na Himbo , Taivas on Sininen , Song from Cymbeline and Ballade with. Skydellh Christine de Pisan , How Can I Keep from Singing? , Puirt a Beul
Review: Amasong is an inclusive women's chorus that brings together women from all lifestyles and experience in the pursuit of choral excellence. Largely a cappella, though several of the tracks are judiciously accompanied (e.g., the horns, trombones and bells of 'Ave: Meditation on Two Marian Chants'), this recording integrates works from a variety of cultures, be it from the World War II Jewish ghettoes of Lithuania ('Unter Dayne Vayse Shtern') or 'Strange Fruit,' written for Billie Holliday. The interpretation is exclusively Amasong's (as directed by Kristina Boerger, their founder), though thoroughly consistent with classical values in structure and arrangement. A 1998 GLAMA winner.
Songlist: Caritas Abundat, Dios Te Salve, Maria, Ave: Meditation On Two Marian Chants, Unter Dayne Vayse Shtern, Strange Fruit, Poor Man Laz'rus, All My Trials, Soon I Will Be Done, Coventry Carol , Greensleeves, Grey Funnel Line, Doffin' Mistress, Hotaru Koi , Dig My Grave Both Long And Narrow , Todor Todorka, Pajdu Vydu , Burial Society Song , Asikatali, Vesle Kari Rud , Vesi Vasyy Lumen Alle