Gauguin Years, The: Songs and Dances [coll] – [Nonesuch]
stingray 1/13/2005 CD, International
What it is: Field recordings of indigenous Tahitian music.
What it sounds like: The most interesting tracks (to me) are some combination of chant, prayer and song (6, 8, 10, 17, 18, 22, 24). Most of them involve a kind of call and response with a ‘preacher? or storyteller and a chorus. It must be a similar experience to hearing a catholic mass in a language you can’t understand.
Some tracks are beautifully harmonized a cappella prayers and laments that can sound quite alien to western ears (2, 4, 11, 12, 13, 16, 21, 25).
Some tracks are ukulele/guitar accompanied by one voice (3, 15, 20, 23, 26), a chorus of voices (1, 14), or no voices at all (9). These sound like ‘traditional? Polynesian music (as opposed to the slicked up stuff presented to tourists, but you can hear the roots of that here).
Rounding out the collection are some tracks of drumming (5, 19) and a brief wind instrument (nose flute perhaps?) solo (7). I’ve indicated my favorites on the back, but everything is good and the recording quality is quite excellent.
About the recording: Originally released in 1968 as part of a series of South Pacific field recordings. All tracks recorded in Tahiti by Francis Mazi’re.
you heard it 19 times on kfjc! most recently:
- 2064 days ago, Hemroid the Leader played Chant at the Death of a Woma
- 2064 days ago, Hemroid the Leader played The Story of a Battle
- 2064 days ago, Hemroid the Leader played Drums of War
- 4185 days ago, Sir Cumference played Bamboo Drums & Dance of Summ
- 5725 days ago, Art Crimes played Almost Daybreak
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