Thousands of years of surviving by hunting large animals in the rainforests of the Congo basin depended on powerful night-time ritual singing (“Yelli”) by Baka Pygmy women. The group of five mothers and sisters heard here create a delicate and skillful weave of sound, whose individual threads can be followed and enjoyed.
Contrasting with the communal singing are some exquisite tracks of solo forest yodelling, extraordinary for their combination of relaxation and precision. Water drumming (liquindi) and gentle forest-made stringed instruments (ngombi and ieta) are also heard against the ambient songs of the nighttime insects.
20 years of visiting the same extended family, playing music together and developing trust and friendship, have made these unique recordings possible.
A rare glimpse into an exquisite disappearing musical culture.