Aka People - Music


Their complex polyphonic music has been studied by various ethnomusicologists. Simha Arom has made historical field recordings of some of their repertoire. Michelle Kisliuk has written a detailed performance ethnography (with audio and video companion website, Oxford University Press, New York). Mauro Campagnoli studied their musical instruments in depth, comparing them to neighbouring pygmy groups such as the Baka Pygmies).

Aka musicians appear on:

  • African Rhythms (2003).
Music by Aka Pygmies, performed by Aka people, György Ligeti and Steve Reich, performed by Pierre-Laurent Aimard. Teldec Classics: 8573 86584-2. Liner notes by Aimard, Ligeti, Reich, and Simha Arom and Stefan Schomann.
  • Echoes of the Forest: Music of the Central African Pygmies (The Musical Expeditions Series/Book and Compact Disc) (Ellipsis Arts 1995)
A New Jersey author named Louis Sarno traveled to live with the Bayaka (whom he called the Babenzele) and wrote several books about his experiences there. His Kurtzian saga has been met with mixed reviews. He has co-operated on several ethnologic recordings of pygmy music, notably in this compilation that includes the recordings of Colin Turnbull and Jean-Pierre Hallet of other pygmy peoples in the Congo.
  • BOYOBI: Ritual Music of the Rainforest Pygmies by Louis Sarno (Sound Photosynthesis 2000)
What happens in the rainforest between 11pm and 4 am? The spirits of the forest are alight and can morph into animals running through the camp. Celebrational music can assuage fears and satisfy the spirits. A hemp-aided musical journey of the nighttime Aka, from festivals that can last as long as 2 years! Also distributed as: BOYOBI: A Hunting Ritual of Bayaka Pygmies (Sound Photsynthesis).
  • Bayaka: The Extraordinary Music of the BaBenzele Pygmies (CD and book) by Louis Sarno (Ellipsis Arts 1996)
More focused on the instruments and music of the Bayaka, beautiful and melodic.

Read more about this topic:  Aka People

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