dinsdag 12 april 2011

British sound recorders at drift in Columbia

 His face painted red with karayuru, a bow and quiver of curare-tipped arrows in his hands, he has little sympathy for strangers and would rather remain undisturbed. It is therefore no surprising that the Indian's face tells you little. When he stares at you with his black eyes, it is as though you were peering into the cold unknown, and there is little warmth in his expression. We very seldom noticed any demonstration of affection among the older people. Husband and wife life together rather as a matter of arrangement than through love, and tenderness was only shown to the younger children. The old people, once unfit to go out hunting or to work in the plantations, may be neglected in times of shortage and even left to die. They are no use to the society, so it is best they go; for theirs is a harsh world where only the fittest can survive.
A single bid of 3 dollars acquired me "The Cocaine Eaters" (1965) in hardback but with the dust jacket missing. In 1960 Brian Moser and Donald Taylor travelled to five different tribal people in Columbia to make sound recordings and this book tells their story. It's not a terrifyingly great book and the title is patently absurd. Moser and Taylor travel in the footsteps of notable Amazonian explorers like Richard Shultes and Reichel-Dolmatoff (and also, in their slipstream, Wade Davis who wrote about most of the same people in 'One River') and as part of this tradition this book adds an amusing but inconsequential chapter.

The field recordings are freely available online through a British Library subsite and they are wonderful, mixing environmental sounds, with chants, and panpipes playing a haunted dubstep. No kidding.

The pictures depict Tukano and the quote is about them as well.

Sniffing green pepper to get over a hangover.

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