Saturday, January 17, 2015


“[In] 1938 . . . the Museum of Man led an historic expedition to various tribal regions [of Madagascar] . . . and the unparalleled recordings . . . by the Hiran’ny Tanoran’ay Ntaolo, the quintessential mpililao who made their way to a French studio [were released]. [Their music combined] an intriguing mixture of sweetness, power, and dignified grace which flowed seamlessly on songs of courtship, or songs of praise. . . . They also presented one of the more ‘ancient ritual’ folk songs, Raivo Ô . . . where the central activity concerns a mother (whose name “Raivo”, is chanted) who is about to cut her son’s hair for the first time in a sort of ceremony surrounded by a joyous throng of neighbors and friends who enjoin in the happy response.” —adapted from Pat Conte’s notes to The Music of Madagascar: Classic Traditional Recordings of the 1930s (Yazoo 7003, 1995).

Hiran’ny Tanoran’ny Ntao Lo • Raivo Ô • c. 1930s

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