Sacred Flute Music from New Guinea

Sacred Flute Music from New Guinea
Madang / Windim Mambu
Recorded by Ragnar Johnson
iQuartz 001 & iQuartz 002 [LPx2]
Rounder Records 5154 / 5155 [CDx2]
Ideologic Organ (Editions Mego) SOMA 024 [CDx2]


    CD1: Sacred Flute

  1. Ravoi
  2. Waudang
  3. Jarvan
  4. Mo-Mo

    CD2: Windim Mambu

  1. Gomkail
  2. Rumu
  3. Buaraning
  4. Tika
  5. Noindeh
  6. Taur
  7. Kaidabang
  8. Waudang 1
  9. Waudang 2
  10. Waudang 3
  11. Gopu
  12. Mo-Mo

Playing time: 45' + 47'

Recording dates: 1976; released: 1977 & 1979 (Quartz), 1999 (Rounder), 2016 (Ideologic Organ)

These recordings are of male-only ceremonies, post-initiation music played on two paired flutes, learned during male initiation. Some tracks are accompanied by percussion, whether garamut (slit gongs) or shell rattles.

Track titles are generally the place names from which the music was taken.

Whereas the bulk of this set came from coastal Madang, the last track of each disc is from inland, and uses more of a "yodeling" (the term used in the notes) style through the bamboo flutes, i.e. more akin to the didgeridoo.

Style & material are otherwise very similar from track to track, with some variation in accompaniment, albeit from a variety of villages on different islands, etc. The result is rather distinctive — yet is merely one traditional music style from New Guinea (and apparently all but gone).

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To World Music page.

T. M. McComb