Island Hopping in Search of Sounds.…
June 12, 2018 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Field recordings from around Indonesia accompanied by text and pictures that mostly follows the format of: sound samples (sometimes with a video); some background and history of the instruments, music, people; and then context (the story of how the field recording/s were obtained [quite entertaining in and of themselves]). [AMA]
posted by unliteral (4 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh this is fun. Thanks for posting!
Yanger, you could say, is the local take on a string band tradition that spans the Pacific. It is partly from this angle that yanger gets its familiarity: just as yanger combines upbeat lutes, rubbery bass, and major key melodies, so too do its cousins across the Melanesian and Polynesian world, from string bands in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu all the way to joyous yospan in Papua and similar forms across the border in PNG. While Halmahera sits on the edge of the Melanesian world, yanger's link with this wider world of Pacific Island string bands is a mystery.

All it takes is a look at yanger’s instrumentation to start digging into its history. You’ll be forgiven for taking a look at the pictures in this post and guessing it’s full of ukuleles, but they’re really small lutes called juk. They may share a history with the ukulele, though: remember that the Portuguese swung through these parts on their quest for spices. Portuguese migrants from the island of Madeira also made their way to Hawaii, where they introduced what we now call the ukulele. Some musicians I met in Maluku also suggested that the juk has been around since the Portuguese were in the area in the 1500's. It’s a neat story, the idea that the Portuguese brought their music through Maluku hundreds of years ago and traces of it have stuck around just as steadfast as those old, beachside forts. It’s a story that’s tough to prove, though.
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:11 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this. :)
posted by Pouteria at 5:14 AM on June 13


Some things I have noticed called field recording:
  • a waterfall
  • the seashore
  • birds
  • celebrations and rituals of people who are not white
  • music made by poor people
Some things that I haven't noticed called field recording:
  • music in European style concerts and studios
  • music by rich white people
posted by idiopath at 9:35 AM on June 13


Rich people can hire professional musicians, recording studios, and concert halls. Folk music performed by amateurs is usually not found in concert halls or recording studios. Recordings made outside of concert halls and recording studios are known as field recordings. Note how no one's ever called their filmi music albums "field recordings" either.

Is there a rich people's folk music? Was there ever?
posted by skoosh at 11:56 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


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