|MIchelle Kisliuk, Justin Mongosso|
A few random thoughts on completing this most satisfying production. First, Herbie Hancock's
"Watermelon Man" still kicks ass. Awesome track, though he really should have credited his pygmy source. Deep Forest sounds rather dated by comparison, but its best tracks do pre-figure the traditional music club remix technique that has since bloomed into its own mini-genre. Also, the Rounder release Africa: The Ba-benzele Pygmies and Ellipsis Arts's "Bayaka" The Extraordinary Music of the Babenzele Pygmies are two of the most fabulous and listenable African field recordings to be found. This music in general has surprised me with its holding power. I've listened to hours and hours of it over the past couple of months, and it has not tired me out. It is a rare example of a sound that conveys an entire world to the listener. Our program deals in part with the "utopian" effusions of pygmy admirers over the ages--and the dangers in such idealization--but I must say, listening to these enchanting sounds, especially the voices, such over-the-top enthusuasm is understandable.
All for now. Hope some of you do try singing "Makala" at home after watching our video. Check it again in a few weeks for the final edit. And share your impressions and stories with us. Meanwhile, Hip Deep sets its sights on Central and South America.... and the Cumbia diaspora. Stay tuned!