I first heard Baka Beyond in the early 90’s and was blown away at how different it was, they defined “World Music” and then when I heard the story of how the music came about, I was even more intrigued. From Wikipedia:
Baka Beyond began in 1992, when vocalist Su Hart and her partner – guitar, mandolin and bouzouki player Martin Cradick (formerly of the group Outback) travelled to south-east Cameroon to live with the Baka tribe (hunter-gatherer Pygmies) in the rainforest and record their music. The band was inspired by the Baka, “one of the oldest and most sensitive musical cultures on earth”. Su Hart said “It was the amazing bird-like singing or yelli that first attracted me, … The women get together before the dawn to sing, enchant the animals of the forest and ensure that the men’s hunting will be successful. Song and dance are used by the Baka for healing, for rituals, for keeping the community together and also for pure fun.”
The band didn’t just use the tribe for success like some might, they spent much of the profits from the albums improving things in the rain forest. Through the charity Global Music Exchange they continue to work with the Baka to give them education, healthcare and help them obtain national ID card which are needed to get basic citizen’s rights in Cameroon. So tonight it’s time to sit back and enjoy the forest if you have one, if not, close your eyes and imagine you are chilling with the Baka or jamming along with Baka Beyond.
Thanks for your support of DUAN.