From savannah to jungle. A sonic journey through wild Africa
Nature concert for the 30th anniversary of Natural Sciences Museum of Granollers, June 17th 2017.
Recordings made in savannah of Kenya and Tanzania.
1. Scenes from the African savannah. 08:25
A large group of wildebeest gnus moves through the Savannah. The animals restlessly emit their voices of contact, each individual with its own intonation, a characteristic feature of gregarious species. Pastures are depleted and herbivores are forced to start their annual migration. A large male lion walks alone, seemingly indifferent to the presence of the gnus. At intervals he stops and sniffs the air... Eventually he walks towards a female in heat: he will have to demonstrate his domain to a younger male. In the background the distinct soundtrack of the savannah, a combination of melodies, trills, rhythms, and calls of all kinds.
2. The hippos 03:51
In the Mara river there are several groups of these magnificent animals. During the day they protect themselves from heat by resting into the water, submerging and emerging, snorting and expelling the water in a noisy and cumbersome way. Apparently they have developed a complex system of underwater communication. For the time being, enjoy the bath.
3. Lerai, the acacia forest of Ngorongoro 06:04
Inside the legendary crater there is a dense forest of acacias furrowed by streams where all kinds of animals and birds take refuge. In this concert recorded at dawn different species of birds are "performing" in duets. Lerai is the Maasai word for the acacias with yellow bark which take at sunset light a beautiful golden shade and tinge the entire forest.
4. Night in the savannah 5:41
At night, in the seemingly endless plains of the Serengeti, one can hear several sounds, calls, noises that reveal a great activity taking place. A distant storm announces the end of the dry season, the animals are restless... Wildebeest gnus, zebras, baboons, hyraxes, antelopes, lions, hyenas are perhaps too close to our tent.
THE TROPICAL FOREST
Recordings made in the P.N. Lobeke, Cameroon
5. The dawn, an explosion of life 6:00
The African jungle, or rather the African equatorial forest, is just like we can imagine: dense, impenetrable, dark...we perceive life in the treetops where calaos flap and scream. Among them, the White-footed (Bycanistes albotibialis) or the casquinegro (Ceratocygma atrata), where white-nosed cercopithecus (Cercopithecus nictitans) are jumping and fighting....
But without the "bais", these almost magical open spaces where ungulates, elephants or gorillas dare to feed on grass, or to look for salt, the ecosystem, once endless forests, it would not be complete. Is on the edge of the forest with the bais where the fairy ibis scream, they fly over the flocks of the Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus). And thow beautiful it is to hear what they emit naturally, without having to play the alien sounds like its captive relatives, locked in cages and "taught" to talk.
6 Black night 04:31
How difficult it is to throw a sonic message capable of raising above the intricate acoustic surround created by the insects in African jungle nights! Different channels, different tones and acoustic patterns. This is how we can perceive, and even hear, the song of the African tawny owl (Strix woodfordii), the somewhat spectral voices of the tree hyraxes (Dendrohyrax dorsalis) or the notorious presence of the galagos, and even guess the plaintive moan of the Leopard (Panthera pardus). When dawn approaches the low-pitched calls of the colobus (Colobus guereza) emerge as a prelude to the forthcoming sonic explosion, which will be starred by the birds of the canopy.
THE BAKA PYGMIES
Recordings made at the borders of Lobéké National Park (Cameroon).
7. the Baka Pygmies 01:26
They live in the forests of Eastern Cameroon, at the edge of well-preserved forests, since if they continued their traditional way of life as hunters/gatherers within national parks, they would persecuted as poachers (!). However they maintain some traditions, the construction of casas and camps, and they like to talk, sing and dance. In this track, some Baka men talk about the animals of the forest.
8. The water drum 01:38
Here the instrument is the water of the river. We were lucky enough to record Baka women performing these rare percussions. Pure magic.
9. Invocation songs and dances Eyengui 02:49
Polyrhythmical polyphonies of the Baka Pygmies, wonderful and impressive. The joy of living or remembering their life in the jungle. With these songs they invoke Eyenguithe spirit of the forest, which sometimes appears...
CD: Scenes of the African savannah Download:
This CD contains the first 4 recordings recorded in the African savannah of Kenya and Tanzania. Recordings made in Lobeke NP are unpublished.