Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nigéria - Musiques du plateau - Rec. 1972 by Benoît Quersin

Nigéria - Musiques du plateau
Angas, Birom, Jarawa, Burom, Yergam, Pyem
Recorded in 1972 by Benoît Quersin
Institute of African Studies 
Ocora - OCR-82 - 1974?

Side A

1 Deng-deng
 - chanson avec accompagnement de harp molo 3'14
2 Solo de xylophone kundung 3'02
3 Bwana
 - chanson avec accompagnement de harp molo 2'00
4 Chanson de Angas
 - chanson avec accompagnement de chitare molo 3'35
5 Chanson de Pyem
 - chanson avec accompagnement de chitare molo 6'05
6 Ensemble de flûtes sharawa, et tambours du village 4'20

Side B

1 Ensemble de sifflets izur nfiko 2'30
2 Musique Komtin - chœur et idiophones 4'53
3 Orchestre de molo de Maisage Zindam Ndam 5'25
4 Orchestre de molo de Zhimak Tyem 2'44
5 Danse Wasam Burum avec tambours 3'08
6 Danse et chants Kida manoma 2'45
7 Vièles monochordes goge 1'50

I posted some Nigerian recordings recently released on the lable Bärenreiter and here is another Nigerian but on the no less prestigious lable Ocora. There are some very good tracks here that I hope you will enjoy!

Here is a quote from the sleeve:

The Jos Plateau, where the recordings on this record were made, rises to an average height of twelve hundred metres in the centre of Nigeria. It makes up the northern extreme of Benue-PlateauState. one of the twelve states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. politically reorganized since 1967. Without doubt the countryside includes some of the most beautiful in western Africa, and the climate of these highlands gives it a Mediterranean appeal. But what the plateau is particularily known for is the discovery of rich veins of tin just below the surface. the exploitation of which brought to light surprising archeological remains. These reveal the existence of a very old civilization (800 BC to 200 AD) where an iron industry was wide-spread and where art had reached a high level : the "Nok Culture''.

If this civilization fortold the states which were to appear in the neighbouring districts from after the eleventh century. their creators are not the ancestors of the present day plateau populations : these forty or so tribes and sub-tribes of various origins, each possessing its own language and traditions, are as yet largely unknown. With a very independant character. there were for a long time a worry to the British Administration which had wanted, since 1904, to control these "Plateau pagans ", as they were called by the Hausa Moslems.

"Living in their own villages and prefering their own company, they are still largely spectators of the approach of civilisation", remarked a high official in 1933. This is of course no longer true today; but the plateau tribes were amongst the last in Nigeria to accept the change.

Six tribes are represented on this record. If we look at the different traditions, the Pyem originated from a country to the north. Gobir, and were amongst the first wave of immigrants. The Angas remembered having lived in Kanem, and then Bornu before the arrival of the Kanuri pushed them out, towards the 13th or 14th century; from this large tribe several other plateau groups were derived, including the Tal, which in turn gave rise to the Yergam or Talok (signifying "comes from Tal "). The Burum, present neighbours of the Yergam. say they originated from the Jukun, of which they would have been a branch or vassal tribe. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Angas, Burum and Yergam were a part of the Jukun Empire - also called Kororofa - which experienced at the time an extraordinary development with the conquest of the territories east and south of the Plateau, as well as the Kano and Zaria Hausa Kingdoms to the north-west.

This expansion would also have lead the Birom, who lived in the forests to the south, to move to the plateau. The Kororofa State dissolved in the 18th century in circumstances which remain mysterious, and the political and cultural centre moved towards the north: the jihad (holy war) of the great leader Fulani Usman dan Fodio started in 1804 in fact, and in it his followers subdued in some six years all the Hausa States and Jukun dependent outlying Plateau tribes. The interior tribes resisted the invaders. However, the Fulani made little effort to convert or assimilate the “pagans”, being satisfied to collect tributes. Only the Burum are largely islamic. but their case is different. They gave themselves from the beginning of the 18th century a dynasty of Kano origin.

Finally. the few Jarawa groups established not far from Jos, came from the Bauchi Emirat where the large part of the tribe are still found.

Despite their diversity, the Plateau tribes share the same type of existence : an essentially agricultural economy with a few handicrafts (pottery basket-making, weaving, forging). The dwellings are round huts with conical roofs, grouped in circles. Several compounds make a village.

Most of these societies have not developed a centralized political organisation. independant groups rarelv passing one or several villages (Birom), or a section of a tribe (Yergam, Angas). The Pyem had however a ‘supreme chief' with politico-religious functions.

Ancestor cults. with nature spirits, and agricultural fertility rites play an important role (cf. tracks A-2, A-3, and B-1).

The languages belong to the Benoue-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo group, except for the Pyem, which is an Afro-asiatic language.

Kundung xylophone

Molo harpe

Ikpang ichir

Akishak calabash rattles

Raft zither

Harpe and castanets

Wasam burum dance

Goge onestring fiddle


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Friday, April 29, 2011

Musique Malagache - Recorded 1963-64 by Charles Duvelle

Musique Malagache
Recorded 1963-64 by Charles Duvelle
with support from Michel Razakandraina
Ocora - OCR 24 - P.1965

Side A

A1 Flûtes et tambours Merina 3'27
A2 Chœur de femmes Sakalava 2'34
A3 Chant et "lokanga voatavo" Betsileo 3'10
A4 Orchestre de Mpilalao Merina 7'00
A5 Accordéon Betsimisaraka 1'50
A6 Berceuse Antankarana 3'20

Side B

B1 Chœurs Antandroy 2'21
B2 Sifflets et chœurs Masikoro 1'37
B3 Chœurs de femmes Vezo 1'38
B4 Xylophone Masikoro 1'30
B5 Chœurs de femmes et conque Masikoro 2'02
B6 Chœurs et arcs musicaux Masikoro 2'18
B7 Chant Antandroy 2'40
B8 Chant Antanosy 2'38
B9 Beko Mahafaly 2'49

Again we have one of the early Ocoras that we wanted to unhand to you for a very long time. This is an old companion that I have listened to a lot since I got it in the mid seventies. It is truly a very good record and dwells into the traditions of the many varied music forms outside of the Valiha and Marovany music that you could hear on the previously posted Ocora from Madagascar the OCR 18, that focus on those traditions that are by far the more known and widespread genres outside Madagascar. 

It is our good fortune that a fellow blogger Nauma of freedomblues also posted the same recordings a few days ago and his edition is the third edition from 1989. So the more the merrier, to see his post click here! He like myself is big lover of music from Madagascar and there are many other good posts by him there so I suggest you check out all of his blog for more wonderful music. You'll find his blog in the blogroll in the right column.

Here is a snippet from Charles Duvelles liner notes that accompany the record. The photography and documentation as with most of the early records is excellent and I highly recommend it to you!

"The recordings and photographs which appear in this record-album result from a musicological mission of approximately two months' duration, undertaken in Madagascar in 1963. Although they represent only a minute part of the music of Madagascar, the aspects they reveal give some idea of the richness and variety of Malagasy music, as well as an indication of the multiplicity of external cultural contributions which have affected its present development.

Since it has been decided to omit from this record-album all references to the valiha zither (the reader's attention is drawn to a separate publication which has already been devoted to this instrument), we shall not refer here to what has already been said of Malagasy music in that connection.

We will simply recall that Madagascar, which is thought to have been inhabited since the beginning of the Christian era, has been the centre of a remarkably varied mingling of peoples and cultures: not only the Oceano-Indonesian and African (East Africa) worlds, which have had a very marked influence on Malagasy culture, but also Islam, Europe (from the 16th Century, and particularly since the 19th century) and India, all of which have left traces in certain regions, on different levels and to differing degrees.

External contributions - some more localized than others - internal exchanges, the synthesis and superposition of elements which have not always been omnipresent and which have reacted in various ways upon one another: all these factors contribute to the present state of Malagasy music which, while still presenting a diversified aspect, is gradually giving way (thanks to the development of means of communication, broadcasting and records) to a certain general unity - a Malagasy style.

It is not, therefore, surprising to find that certain of the 15 pieces of music on this record evoke, either by means of the musical style itself or by the instrumentation, the Oceanic world, Africa, Europe, Islam and perhaps even India (the similarity between the ancestor of the contemporary Vina, represented on the Temple of Mavalipuram (7th century India) and the lokanga voatavo (Side A, track S - see cover photograph) is particularly striking). It is nevertheless evident that these various influence have mingled to produce an original style particular to Madagascar."  Charles Duvel - 1965

Flûte et tambour Merina 

Flûte sodina

Iocanga voatavo, Chitare 

Orchestre de Mpilalao


Accordéon et hochet tubulaire



Kiloloca, Sifflets a bec

Kiloloca, Sifflets a bec

Katiboky Xylophone sur jambes

Jejolava, arc musicaux - trompe antsiva

Chanteurs de beko

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gamelan Gong Kebyar in Pinda and Sawan - rec. 1982, 1985

Contemporary Music from Bali
 - The Gamelan Gong Kebyar in Pinda and Sawan.
Recordings by Wayne Vitale and Dieter Mack 1982, 1985
An Anthology of South-East Asian Music
Bärenreiter • Musicaphon - BM 30 SL 2575 - P.1987?

Side A

No. 1 Dharma Putra 9'24
No. 2 Manuk Anguci 8'15
No. 3 Goak Macok 7'38

Side B

No. 4 Kapi Raja 4'09
No. 5 Sekar Kamuda 8'41
No. 6 Budi Duwit Tungal 11'00

Here is the last but certainly not the least interesting record in the series from Bali. Also this one was part of the wonderful contribution, all with clear photos and good rips of the audio, that we recently received at one of our Luobaniyan consulates. We are truly happy to have such a benefactor among us, that not only loves this music but also pays great attention to quality and detail and wants to share it with us! Many thanks again.

The recordings are very good and the music is magnificent.  I think this is a true hidden masterpiece. Judge for yourself!

Gangsa Pangugal, Gangsa Pamade, Gangsa Kantilan 

Playing Technique of Gangsa Pamadeed 

Calung Jegogan 



Kendang Kebyar, Kendang Pelegongan 

Ceng Ceng 

Kempur Gong Kemong 


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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Madagascar - Valiha - Recorded 1963-4 by Charles Duvelle

Madagascar - Valiha
Recorded 1963-64 by Charles Duvelle
with support from Michel Razakandraina
Ocora - OCR-18 - P.1965

Side A

A01 Musique Merina - Talakimaso 2'13
A02 Musique Merina - Antanambao 2'24
A03 Musique Merina - Ambohimandroso 2'44
A04 Musique Saklava - Analava 2'47
A05 Musique Saklava - Nossi-Bé 2'58
A06 Musique Bara - Sakaraha 2'48
A07 Musique Antanosy - Fort Dauphin 2'25
A08 Musique Betsimisaraka - Tamatave 5'07

Side B

B01 Samy faly - par Rakotozafy 3'17
B02 Hitako ianao anito - par Rakotozafy 2'36
B03 Diavolana - par Sylvestre Randafison 2'43
B04 Marofotsy - par Sylvestre Randafison 2'50
B05 Mokatejy - par Sylvestre Randafison 2'12
B06 Ny fitiavako anao - par Maurice Halison 2'10
B07 Ombimanga voatora-defona - par Maurice Halison 3'11
B08 Kalo takariva - par Maurice Halison 1'27
B09 Ny afindrafindrao tsy azo avela - par Maurice Halison 2'50

Tombeau mahafaly

Valiha tubulaire en bamboo à 16 cordes metalliques 
(Track A1)

Valiha tubulaire en bamboo à 18 cordes metalliques
(Track A2)

Valiha tubulaire en bois à 18 cordes metalliques
(Track A4)

Valihas tubulaire en bamboo à 16 cordes metalliques hochet faray
(Track A5)

Valiha tubulaire pose sur résonateur lokanga hochet
(Track A6)

Valiha tubulaire pose sur résonateur lokanga hochet
(Track A7)

Tubular valiha, detail
(Track A7)

Sylvestre Randafisson
(Tracks B3-B5)

Valiha sur caisse en bois à 18 cordes metalliques
(Track A8)

Valihas tubulaires en bamboo
(Track B6)

Valiha chromatique par Maurice-Halison
(Track B8)

Music ▼ +