Sunday, August 12, 2012

In review--Island boys

Narasirato Pan Pipers
Solomon Islands
Cry of the Ancestors
Arc Music

If you follow traditional/folkloric music of the world, you have most likely come across panpipe players from the Andes and from Eastern European countries such as Hungary.  I have heard those pipes, but pan pipers from the Solomon Islands have only recently caught my attention on the CD Cry of the Ancestors.  Narasirato represent the Are’are people of Malaita Island and these musicians who sing, play panpipes, and traditional percussion perform music that oddly sounds like a deep forest circus rolling into town or resembles the panpipes of Andes musicians.

When vocals appear, (such as on the track Prophetic Word), they are delivered in raspy voices that soar to the heights of Native American pow-wow vocals.  Call & response voices compete with the jagged panpipes and drums that sound like a heartbeat slapping against one’s chest.

Side Step with the Toes (an odd title), features poly rhythms played on a hollowed wood hit with sticks. Similar to the animistic Wulu Bunun people of Taiwan and the Baka people of Cameroon and the Congo, the Are’are musicians play music that grabs its inspiration from the natural world and blends in with their forested environment.  Overall, this harmonious and peaceful music played on 100% sustainable instruments, possesses accessible qualities that invigorate.  When I listen to this recording, I feel like heading to the woods to spend time in nature.

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