Laibach - The Sound Of Music

  1. The Sound of Music
  2. Climb Ev'ry Mountain
  3. Do-Re-Mi
  4. Edelweiss
  5. Favorite Things
  6. Lonely Goatherd
  7. Sixteen Going On Seventeen
  8. So Long, Farewell
  9. Maria / Korea
  10. Arirang
  11. The Sound of Gayageum
  12. Welcome Speech

The Sound of Music was conceived when Laibach were infamously invited to perform in North Korea in 2015. The band performed several songs from the 1965 film’s soundtrack at the concert in Pyongyang. The Sound of Music was chosen by Laibach as it’s a well-known and beloved film in the DPRK that is often used by schoolchildren to learn English. Laibach are joined by Boris Benko (Silence) and Marina Mårtensson on vocals. The album gives the Laibach treatment to tracks such as “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss,” “Do-Re-Mi” and “Maria,” here reworked as “Maria / Korea” (“How do you solve a problem like Maria / Korea?”).

While the majority of the tracks on the album are from the film, the band also included “Arirang,” an interpretation of a traditional Korean folk song considered the unofficial national anthem of both North and South Korea (and released recently to mark the historic summit in Singapore between Donald Trump and the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un). Also included is their own workout of the Gayageum, a traditional Korean zither-like string instrument performed by students from the Kum Song Music School in Pyongyang and a recording of the band’s “welcome” speech to Korea from Mr. Ryu from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Committee for Cultural Relations.

Laibach’s groundbreaking performance in North Korea was documented by director, artist and cultural diplomat Morten Traavik in the film Liberation Day (described by MOJO as “a humorous, disturbing, illuminating and sometimes moving immersion into an anomalous communist mirror-world …”) which is out now via ITunes following its screening for Storyville on BBC4.

The album was recorded and produced in Ljubljana, Slovenia and in Pyongyang, North Korea. It represents another successful collaboration between Laibach and Silence (Primož Hladnik and Boris Benko), who previously co-created Laibach’s 2006 Volk album.

The band will open the Steirischer Herbst festival in Austria with the live premiere of The Sound of Music on September 20. The performance will feature a string sextet and children’s choir. A member of Laibach will DJ in a club in the middle of a mountain in the city of Graz later that evening. On the September 21, Ivo Salinger (aka Ivan Novak) will be in conversation with the director of the festival. Ahead of then, the band will perform in Ljubljana with the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra and have confirmed two dates in Russia in October. Further dates to be added – full details at http://www.laibach.org/future-events/

Over 35 years on from their genesis in the then-Yugoslavian industrial town Trbovlje, Laibach are still the most internationally acclaimed band to have come out of the former Communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Founded in the death year of the country’s founding father Tito, and rising to fame as Yugoslavia steered towards self-destruction, Laibach can make you think, dance and march to the same music.

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