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When someone mentions opera, what comes to mind? Verdi, Puccini, maybe Mozart? Probably not Kao Kalia Yang. The St. Paul writer never set out to
For much of Kao Kalia Yang’s life, the world of opera felt very far away. “I grew up poor on the East Side of St.
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Thaum Hluas Txog Hnub Laus: When the Days of Youth are Gone (Bee Yang, 2014)
This is an album of Hmong song poetry, kwv txhiaj hmoob, composed and sung by Bee Yang, Kao Kalia Yang’s father. The album notes and English translation of one of the songs are by Kao Kalia Yang.
Kwv txhiaj is, in the words of Ralph Ellison on the American Blues, “an impulse to keep the painful details and episodes of a brutal experience alive in one’s aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it, not by the consolation of philosophy but by squeezing from it a near-tragic, near-cosmic lyricism. As a form, the blues [and kwv txhiaj] is an autobiographical chronicle of personal catastrophe expressed lyrically.”
NOTE: The duration of the songs do not reflect the actual song length. Please consider ordering the CD for the full songs. Thank you.
*This CD is available for purchase for $15. Click below to order: