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Following the Shamisen’ review by Don Davis, his 2nd story of the Ainu’ sample collection is now coming out.

Discovery is offering SPIRITS FROM AINU CD-ROM focused on the music of the Ainu people from Hokkaido in Northern Japan. The authentic sounds made Don Davis feel a kind of beauty or harmony, and then he was attracted to the beautifully recorded samples and sounds.

He cleared up the collection itself for people who have not had the one.

Review 1: The Best Use of Shamisen Samples
Review 2: The whole story of Ainu Sounds

Review 2: The whole story of Ainu Sounds
The Spirits From Ainu CD-ROM represents a far wider variety of performance possibilities. The Ainu are an indigenous population originating on the island of Hokkaido, who have experienced oppression of their culture and language from the mainstream Japanese population that invaded Hokkaido from their mainland of Honshu. As displayed here, the Ainu people had a rich musical tradition that is infused with the obvious passion of those who strive against all odds to keep these traditions alive.

The recordings were performed by the prizewinning vocalist and instrumentalist Umeko Ando, a noted Ainu national who is at the forefront of the Ainu cultural preservation movement. Her performances on the Mukkuri (something of an Ainu jaw-harp), the Tonkori (a five-stringed zither-like instrument, possibly the forerunner of the traditional Japanese Koto), are particularly spirited, as are her vocalizations, occasionally accompanied by hand-clapping.
Downloadable Japanese Sample Sets, Available at the biggest discount!
Discovery Downloader supplies downloadable Japanese sample sets at the biggest discount <60%OFF> price!

Okinawa Taiko - set
Okinawa Castanet - set

Stringed Inst.
Shamisen - set
Sanshin - set

Wind Inst.
Shakuhachi - set

Japanese Shout - set
Okinawa Shout - set

Japanese Sample Set
Don Davis
A native of Anaheim, California, Emmy winning composer Don Davis began playing trumpet and piano at the age of nine, and started writing music at twelve. He has composed and arranged orchestral charts for jazz ensembles, film scores, TV shows, and more. The film scores of The Matrix, Jurassic Park 3, and Bound are well known as his fantastic works at present.

:: Official Website
AINU sounds & samples
• Tonkori
• Mukkuri
 Ainu-Folk Song
This disc contains 325 files in .wav format, suitable for Acid/Ableton Live use, as well as 318 of those files in REX2 format and 3 Kontakt programs. The Mukkuri samples are laid out as a number of variations of a one-measure in 4/4 meter pattern, well suited to Acid/Ableton Live style looping, along with one-shot samples, a number of triple-meter samples, and a series of one-measure patterns and one-shots in a higher tonality (although all of the Mukkuri samples are non-pitched). These Mukkuri performances are quite limited if used as solo material, but their worth multiplies when used as the basis for the rhythmic fundamental of a world-music track.

The first set of Tonkori loops are presented in a number of gentle performance in the keys of F, E and D, always relying heavily on the fundamental, fifth, sixth and ninth, and a number of arpeggios in the key of G minor and E minor. The second set contains some lovely motifs in a more ambiguous D major key, followed by E major and Eb major, and a beautiful set of harmonic samples. The third set contains more major key flourishes in E major, F major, G major, C major, Eb major and finally Gb major, followed by a set of lines in D minor. The last bank of Tonkori performances consists of rolled chords in a number of major and minor tonalities. What is most striking about these Tonkori samples is how well they blend with the Mukkuri samples - something that I found somewhat surprising, as the solo Mukkuri samples can be rather off-putting, particularly to my very Western-oriented ears, but the potential for timbre combinations becomes clear when they are paired with their soul-mated Tonkori samples.

The final bank in the Spirits From Ainu disk consists of seven vocal songs ranging in length from seven seconds to two and a half minutes. These songs appear to be traditional songs passed down through many generations of Ainu culture, although the lack of documentation in the CD-ROM materials forces me to speculate on this matter. Although these songs are hauntingly beautiful in and of themselves, it must be said that without the full knowledge of their origin and a reasonable translation of the lyrical text I am hesitant to utilize them in my own tracks, particularly if the tracks are to be used as part of a film score. I can only hope that future editions of Discovery's Spirits from Ainu library will contain more information about these songs, along with a translation of the lyrics, alleviating my own trepidation about using these otherwise very intriguing vocal samples.
The Ainu Instruments
A five-string plucked instrument that resembles the shamisen. The Tonkori is believed by the Ainu to be a female deity, and was originally used by shaman.

A tension jews-harp. Mukkuri were played by women long time ago and are quite difficult to sound due to their very thick tongue.

Bits of Information about AINU
Umeko Ando (1932 - 2004)
An Ainu (Native Japanese) singer who passed away in 2004. Hearing her mother's mukkuri and songs, she developed her skills and came to be called "The master player of mukkuri." She had continued to respect the Ainu traditions and daily customes, and has made much effort to promote and let Ainu culture prevail by transmitting and preserving the Ainu language, traditional dancing and manners. She worked as one of the few trainers of the Ainu culture, and also cooperated in many investigations and cultural recordings.

In 1983, she received the Makubetsu Cultural Promotion Award. In 1995, Makubets-cho Board of Education produced a CD "Umeko Ando - the World of Mukkuri." She also received Cultural Award from the Tokachi Council of Cultural Organizations.
The Ainu are an ethnic group indigenous to Hokkaido, the northern part of Honshu in Northern Japan, the Kuril Islands, much of Sakhalin, and the southernmost third of the Kamchatka peninsula. The word "ainu" means "human" in the Ainu language.

The origins of the Ainu are uncertain. Some commentators believe that they derive from an ancient photo-Asian stock that may have occupied most of Asia before the Han expansion. Various other Asian indigenous peoples, from the Ryukyus to the Taiwanese are also thought to be related to them.

There are most likely over 150,000 Ainu today, however the exact figure is not known as many Ainu hide their parents having kept it from them so as to protect their children from racism.