Music of Vanuatu : Celebrations and mysteries

Abstract : The musical arts of Vanuatu remain largely undocumented - whether in the detail of their instruments, melodies and rhythms, or the poetic forms and styles used in the songs themselves. And yet, these artistic practices include treasures worthy of being brought to light. This album aims to recreate the various musical atmospheres experienced by Vanuatu people in their lives. After listening to nature and the music it inspires, this musical journey meets daily life at the village with wedding and end-of-mourning ceremonies with dances, singing and drumming. The pace goes slower with lullabies, children rhymes. The secular world of the village contrasts with the closed circles of important chiefs and Big Men, whose solemn grade-taking ceremonies are marked by the large slit gongs. Finally, comes the time of mystery. Initiates revive the dead and the ancestors with their song language and supernatural powers. Announced by the bullroarer, their steps dance to the sound of groaning voices and strange cries, punctuated by their drums and rattles. These field recordings were collected between 1997 and 2010 in Torres, Banks, Pentecost, Ambae and Maewo Islands, with the 24-page printed booklet and supplemented by a 128-page ebook in French and English.
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Contributor : Monika Stern <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 9:18:18 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 7:19:52 AM
Long-term archiving on : Saturday, April 15, 2017 - 1:08:28 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-00871879, version 1


Alexandre François, Monika Stern. Music of Vanuatu : Celebrations and mysteries. 2013, ⟨hal-00871879⟩



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