By Gage Averill
The heritage of Haiti during the 20th century has been marked by way of oppression by the hands of colonial and dictatorial overlords. yet set in contrast "day for the hunter" has been a "day for the prey," a heritage of resistance, and occasionally of triumph. With willing cultural and historic knowledge, Gage Averill indicates that Haiti's vivid and expressive song has been some of the most hugely charged tools during this struggle—one within which energy, politics, and resistance are inextricably fused.
Averill explores such diversified genres as Haitian jazz, troubadour traditions, Vodou-jazz, konpa, mini-djaz, new new release, and roots song. He examines the advanced interplay of tune with energy in contexts similar to honorific rituals, subsidized highway celebrations, Carnival, and social activities that span the political spectrum.
With firsthand bills via musicians, images, music texts, and ethnographic descriptions, this ebook explores the profound manifestations of strength and track within the day by day efforts of standard Haitians to upward thrust above political repression.
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Additional info for A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology)
The same correlation of sound-as-power motivates the acoustic production of military parades, carnival bands, and bands competing on the basis of their sound systems. The ability to fill space with sound demonstrates one kind of power that can be harnessed for praise or protest. Before discussing singers as social critics, I would like to look at Haitian attitudes about popular and commercial musicians in general. The profession of musician was belittled by the middle class, who saw musicians as tafyate-s (drunkards) and vakabon-s (vagabonds).
In Vodou, Brown asserts, to balanse “means to swing ritual objects from side to side or to hold them as you turn yourself around and around. Such balancing “heats up,” or enlivens, the object. . In the language of Vodou, balancing involves using forces that contradict each other to raise life energy,”43Seen in this way, the practices of the carnival band or the attempts to “heat up” a dance crowd share an orientation-even a philosophy-that the proper function of sacred or secular ritual is to build life force.
Koudyay-s have a powerful political effect in a country as poor as Haiti, where the masses are desperately in need of good times and a reason (and means) to celebrate. The problem for the sponsor or patron is that the alignments resulting from koudyay politics, in which the poor demonstrate temporary, contingent, parti- 14 Chapter One cipatory support in return for a festive release, are notoriously ephemeral. Teneb constitutes a small link in the chain connecting sound to power in Haiti. Deriving from the French word for shadows, teneb designates a type of mass, anonymous protect in sound.