Bosavi: Rainforest Music From Papua New Guinea

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Kurt Keefner
This three-disc field recording chronicles the music of the Bosavi ethnic group of upland Papua New Guinea. The Bosavi live in a group of villages in the rainforest around the base of an extinct volcano in the heart of New Guinea. The Bosavi were largely isolated from outside society until about 1970, when Western missionaries arrived with oil drillers; the Papuan educational establishment was just a few years behind. The present anthology was collected over the course of 25 years and chronicles Bosavi music both pre- and post-outside influence. Disc one exhibits Bosavi string bands. Influenced by hymns and by cassettes of Papuan music brought in by oil riggers, Bosavi ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Kurt Keefner
This three-disc field recording chronicles the music of the Bosavi ethnic group of upland Papua New Guinea. The Bosavi live in a group of villages in the rainforest around the base of an extinct volcano in the heart of New Guinea. The Bosavi were largely isolated from outside society until about 1970, when Western missionaries arrived with oil drillers; the Papuan educational establishment was just a few years behind. The present anthology was collected over the course of 25 years and chronicles Bosavi music both pre- and post-outside influence. Disc one exhibits Bosavi string bands. Influenced by hymns and by cassettes of Papuan music brought in by oil riggers, Bosavi string bands usually feature a female lead vocalist, one or more male backup vocalists, lead and rhythm guitars, sometimes a ukulele or a guitar played just on its bass strings, and some improvised drums. The voices are plangent, but the guitar work is quite pretty, sounding like a simplified version of Malagasy guitar wizard D'Gary. The second disc is entitled "Sounds and Songs of Everyday Life," and is just that: a collection of work songs and people singing along with waterfalls and the like; this music shows little outside influence. Some of these tracks aren't very interesting to the general listener, but the recording of the two women singing with a waterfall features an attractive call-and-response. Generally, the half or so of the tracks that feature two or more singers are best. The disc closes with a 25-minute sonic montage of what a day sounds like for the Bosavi. The third and final disc is entitled "Sounds and Song of Ritual and Ceremony." These recordings are the oldest because so much of Bosavi ceremony has been discouraged by Christian missionaries and, to a lesser extent, by the government. Some of this music involves real or ritualized weeping, because it is from funerals. A lot of it celebrates friendship between two villages and is repetitive almost to the point of being trance music. It consists of vocals and percussion only. This music is the least influenced by outside sources of any in the set and is now almost extinct. Bosavi: Rainforest Music From Papua New Guinea at full price is not for the casual collector, but it is a fascinating journey through an alien soundworld. Definitely worth checking out of the library and exploring.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/27/2001
  • Label: Smithsonian Folkways
  • UPC: 093074048726
  • Catalog Number: 40487
  • Sales rank: 196,223

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 My Father, My Heart (3:20)
  2. 2 Kemuli (2:29)
  3. 3 Oh No! (2:29)
  4. 4 What We Said (2:20)
  5. 5 My Mother (3:04)
  6. 6 Really Hungry! (4:55)
  7. 7 Sadness (2:57)
  8. 8 BBK Brother (2:45)
  9. 9 E-Yo, E-Yo (3:02)
  10. 10 Long Ago (3:37)
  11. 11 Father, Mother (3:13)
  12. 12 Where Has My Mother Gone? (5:00)
  13. 13 Rosi, Rosi (3:26)
  14. 14 Blue Mountain (3:10)
  15. 15 Sorry, My Sister! You People Go! (3:29)
  16. 16 Air Niugini Plane (3:04)
  17. 17 One Time (2:41)
  18. 18 The Sun Is Setting (2:57)
  19. 19 My Sweetheart (3:43)
Disc 2
  1. 1 A Men's Work Group Clears a New Garden (8:44)
  2. 2 Ulahi Sings While Scraping Sago Pith (4:38)
  3. 3 Ulahi Sings While Making Sago (1:25)
  4. 4 Fo: Fo and Miseme Sing at Their Sago Place (2:21)
  5. 5 Ulahi and Eyo: Bo Sing With Afternoon Cicadas (2:47)
  6. 6 Ulahi and Eyo: Bo Sing at a Waterfall (6:20)
  7. 7 Men's Vocal Quartet With Seed-Pod Rattles (3:35)
  8. 8 A Large Men's Collective Work Group Sing and Whoop (3:21)
  9. 9 Gaima Plays the Bamboo Jew's Harp (1:54)
  10. 10 Voices in the Forest: A Village Soundscape (25:06)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Funerary Sung-Weeping Group (2:16)
  2. 2 Funerary Sung-Weeping by Gania and Famu (4:21)
  3. 3 Funerary Sung-Weeping by Hane (6:54)
  4. 4 Seance Gisalo Song by Aiba With Weeping (8:45)
  5. 5 Ceremonial Gisalo Performance by Halawa (2:44)
  6. 6 Group Ceremonial Drumming, Ilib Kuwo: (1:03)
  7. 7 Ceremonial Ko: Luba (14:03)
  8. 8 Ceremonial Ko: Luba (9:26)
  9. 9 Ceremonial Ko: Luba (2:28)
  10. 10 Ceremonial Ko: Luba (1:57)
  11. 11 Ceremonial Iwo: (1:35)
  12. 12 Ceremonial Iwo: (0:54)
  13. 13 Ceremonial Iwo: (1:32)
  14. 14 Ceremonial Iwo: (1:12)
  15. 15 Women's Ceremonial Iwo: (1:49)
  16. 16 Women's Ceremonial Iwo: (1:50)
  17. 17 Ceremonial Sabio Duet (3:30)
  18. 18 Ceremonial Sabio Quartet (4:34)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Pete Reiniger Sound Production
Steven Feld Engineer, Annotation
Manny Rettinger Mastering
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