It took two and a half years and several hundred tracks to weave a powerful story of Mizo culture and tribal traditions for Sound From The Hills, as seen and heard in the 14 minute release “Liandoa te unau “. At the center of the project is artist Aizawl Booma aka Brian Hangsing. “If it weren’t for the lockdown, I bet it would still be in my DAW in an unfinished project folder,” says the guitarist, best known for his founding rockers of Aizawl Boomarang.
Although a music video was released in January, Sound From The Hills has returned to the limelight to promote the travel song. They performed at the Trippin ‘North East Festival in Goa earlier this month and opened with “Liandoa te unau,” which became a hypnotic 21-minute jam. The original version, however, is a gripping experience that summons Mizo folk songs about warriors, brotherhood, regal beauty, hunting, and more tribal lore. Booma says: “The script for the story of the video was written by a genius and my favorite Mizo writer named Vanneihtluanga and since it was the old Mizo, the English translators LV Lalrintluangi and Jaqueline Zote had a lot of badly and thinking back to the video I was also able to only understand most of the old language through the English subtitles and again cherish our folk Mizo and how rich and bold their musical statements were.
When Sound From The Hills started in 2016 and started releasing music, the intention was slightly different, with EDM / pop trending songs like “Stay”. The founders at the time included Booma, guitarist-producer Rothhangliana Ralte, and singer Frederick Lalduhawma. Now there are up to nine members and “Liandoa te unau” alone involved Mizo folk instrumentalists, dance troupes, rapper G’Nie and several guest singers. Booma says of the project, “Anyone who does production can imagine the struggle my computer has to go through, and surely if my CPU was a person, run the ICU for him.
After this release, Sound From The Hills plans to get even more “daring and challenging” with their next project, called “Chanda Mama”. It’s a collection of nursery rhymes that Booma says will be reinvented as “the world’s most violent lullaby”, covering stories of headhunters. “In the days of headhunters, the husband would raid and the wife would sing a lullaby to put her children to sleep. It was “My baby, my darling, sleep, sleep little darling, may your dad come home full of heads from their raid” and this guy will be the lyrical content of the song which is so tribal and beautifully violent. he says.
Some of the artistic choices with Sound From The Hills have their origin in Boomarang, but the guitarist says that when he tried to incorporate Mizo folk stories into the band’s productions as early as 2010, it proved too ambitious to l era due to a lack of resources and manpower. With more cultural events and releases scheduled for Sound From The Hills, it’s safe to say Boomarang is on the back burner. “We’re all taking our time to go our own way at the moment. But this year we are going to release a song called ‘Aizawl’ which talks about the beauty of our state capital, Mizoram, ”Booma said.
Watch the video for “Liandoa te unau” below.