Musiques du rituel de Tore (48k bytes)
Chants de l'oree de la foret - Polyphonies des Pygmees Efe
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CD, Playing time 70:37 minutes
(1990) Fonti Musicali - fmd 185
The Efe are one of the numerous pygmy groups living in the Northeast of Zaire, in the Ituri, one of the last areas in Africa with primary forest. The Efe live in symbiosis with people who speak Sudanese languages, the Lese and the Mamvu. These recordings come from a camp associated with a sub-group of the Lese, the Lese-Dese. The Efe and Lese-Dese speak two close dialects of the same language. …. Among the most astonishing instruments found in the Ituri are the bark horn bands called mai, which are played during the tore ceremonies dedicated to the worship of the ancestors and the spirit of the forest which is played by the pygmies when they are far from the villages. In general the mai horns are played by the Efe although the cult of the ancestors is an institution which belongs more specifically to the Lese. Their construction requires large bark strips from three kinds of trees called ingulu, arubese and ile. These bark strips are rolled on both sides, like a paper cone. Two wooden sticks fixed laterally give some rigidity to the instruments. The mouth piece is situated at the most closely woven end of the bark. Each horn gives one sound according to a rhythmic formula which fits in with the others to make hocket music, i.e., polyphony by polyrhythmy. The horns are tuned to a pentatonic scale, A,B,D,F,G. The longest measures about one meter and a half and the shortest about thirty centimeters. The horns are made exclusively for the ceremonies, and are often destroyed once the ceremonies are over. Otherwise, they are hidden in a special place where nobody is allowed to go.
Reviewer: liner notes