A E Na O: The CD that’s as mysterious as its name. Soothing, healing, hope, stress-pill: find out which of these words best describe the music in this CD...A E Na O (ah-ay-nah-oh) features 14 tracks of soul-inspiring music, interspersed with the moving story of an exemplary life of one who dedicated his entire life to serving God and humanity. The soothing harmonies, the calming tones of wooden gongs and earthen pots, and the healing message all make this CD a must for every listener. In over 200 songs and anthems, Ikoli Harcourt-Whyte (1905-1977) proved himself a master in the art of integrating European-influenced harmonic structure with powerful African rhythms. Half his life was characterized by an upheaval struggle with a debilitating illness and a tenacious reliance on an all-benevolent God - emotions that were aptly reflected in the deep philosophies expounded by his lyrics. Harcourt-Whyte’s life has become a beacon to many people of struggle. He wrote in Igbo, a Nigerian language that presents more than its share of difficulty, but which also, like South Africa’s Zulu, portends the percussive elements that naturally dictate the intoxicating rhythms characteristic to many African choral music. According to Dr. Samuel Nwaobasi, a native Igbo speaker, and a volunteer language coach for the St. Louis African Chorus, "The most striking aspect of this CD is that ALL the performers are Americans!… They have dedicated to Igbo the same fervor accorded to European languages - like German, Italian, French, Spanish, and so forth - in classical music… I’m absolutely certain that every Ibo native will be heartened by the highly professional results achieved by the St. Louis African Chorus." -Fred Onovwerosuoke. June, 2000.