The Akashic Record
Haitian Music / Ra Ra / Folk / Vodou
Guest selection of folk and traditional music of Haiti by Fielding Hope
'About 3 or 4 years ago when I was on a low ebb I randomly came across the wonderful music of Frantz Casseus. I couldn't quite place my attraction to it; maybe it was the spacious, airy compositions, the rough and ready aesthetic, the curious mix of Bach-esque European melody, Haitian folk song (which was then still unfamiliar to me) and jazz. I would listen to it on repeat for hours - regularly playing it to help me deal with some stress and anxiety issues I was going through at the time.
His music was a catalyst into diving into the traditional and folk musics of Haiti; the beautifully hazy songs of Toto Bissainte, the moody, politically-driven works of troubadour Manno Charlemagne, the stunning polyrhythmic drums of Ti Roro (who went on to be a big influence to the likes of Max Roach), Fabre Duroseau's post-Satie Haitian méringues, Francilia's solitary vocal vignettes and the work of many other Creole folk artists. There's also quite a large amount of ethnographic recordings of vodou rituals and ceremonies online - which is some of the most remarkable music i've ever heard.
Thanks to Ollie inviting to me to make a mix, i'm happy to share an hour of traditional and folk musics from Haiti I have been enjoying over the past few years. The mix is in no way reflective of all of Haiti's traditional musics, nor am I going to begin to try and map the histories of their music and their complex colonial origins. But hopefully the mix provides an introduction in some way to the world of Haitian folk and traditional music - a world I feel more people need to know.'
Fielding Hope12:00 - 13:00
Haitian Ceremony Participants recorded by Maya Der