Mvet Ai Mendzang: Beti - Cameroon

Mvet Ai Mendzang: Beti - Cameroon

     
 
Recorded in the 1980s (both in the field and at a German festival), this documents the stick zither (mvet) and xylophone (mendzang) of the Beti people in the south of Cameroon. The people believe the instruments speak and represent different members of the family, and the zither was used to accompany singers of traditional and love songs. It was a dying art when

Overview

Recorded in the 1980s (both in the field and at a German festival), this documents the stick zither (mvet) and xylophone (mendzang) of the Beti people in the south of Cameroon. The people believe the instruments speak and represent different members of the family, and the zither was used to accompany singers of traditional and love songs. It was a dying art when documented, and some two decades on, might have died out altogether, as most young people showed no inclination to learn the old epics. However, they make fascinating listening, with the zither played in a beautifully lyrical fashion. While that feasts on simplicity, the xylophone music is more complex, layering ideas -- in one case, one deliberately modern group (André-Band-Essé) offering something akin to meringue in its rhythm, an interesting case of a Latin rhythm crossing back to Africa (or perhaps it really originated there?). For the most part, however, there's a delicious minimalism to the sound of the interlocking xylophones and a slow sense of movement in the melodies.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/09/2005
Label:
Wergo Germany
UPC:
4010228171129
catalogNumber:
1711

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Ngam-Ngam Amwene Abam, Maan Yemison (Ngam-Ngam, Son of Obam, from ...)
  2. Nnem Elok (The Magic Herb)
  3. Ngon Nnanga Ebogo (The Girl from the Nnanga Ebogo People)
  4. Azana Jeanne
  5. Mfohlo Moan
  6. Ndzana Nga Zogo (Name of a Man; Love Story)
  7. Bongo B'eton (The Young Eton Guys)
  8. Mohr Emgbemgba Duga (The Naughty Cuckoo-Bird)
  9. Je N'Ai Jamais Vu Comme Ça (I've Never Seen Anything Like This)
  10. Edaang Tulu Ayi Menyu (Edaang Tulu Wants a Drink)
  11. Mvondo Chantal
  12. Spécial Olongo (Special Olongo)
  13. Mvogo Ebaa
  14. Biyaan a Mvoe! (Bidding Farewell!)

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