Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haitian Mardi Gras music

It’s Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. Which means I’m seeing a lot of king cakes. (Not a big fan of the king cakes.)

Mardi Gras is such a big deal here, it’s easy to forget that Carnival is a very special time throughout the Catholic world... including, of course, Haiti.

In Haiti it’s called “Kanaval,” and radio stations start playing Carnival-themed music right after New Year’s.

As the eyes of the world now settle upon Haiti for the saddest of reasons, it’s ironic that a CD box set documenting the country’s vibrant musical culture was recently released. “Alan Lomax in Haiti” is a 10-disc collection of field recordings made in 1936 and 1937 by the great musical anthropologist Alan Lomax.

One disc is devoted to Haitian Mardi Gras music!

Click here to hear “Sourit Kaba Bobo A,” which translates as “Mice Have Eaten My Vagina.” (Seriously.) This track is by an unidentified “bann madigra” (band of masked revelers).

If you’d like a FREE MP3 of Haitian Mardi Gras music off this box set – and if you’re willing to give your email address to the record company – check out this widget:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Damn, Lomax was down in Haiti? I wonder if it's still possible to earn a living doing what he did.