KALABARI MASQUERADE-Drum Language

KALABARI MASQUERADE – Drum LanguageHere’s a program from our archives.Ambience: Alagba Masquerade Among the Kalabari people of Nigeria, the dry winter months mark the season of Masquerades– dramas of the spirit world, enacted by male dancers in elaborate costumes. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.At the heart of the masquerade are drums whose rhythms form a kind of language.”If you are such a good, competent dancer the drummer can have a conversation with you almost.” Sokari Douglas-Camp is a sculptor whose work has appeared at the American Museum of Natural History in the exhibit “Spirits in Steel: The Art of the Kalabari Masquerade.””So you can be in front of the drum house and the drummer will be playing his beat and you with your anklets can do another beat on top of his beat. So you know it’s a layered percussional performance that can happen as well, depending on how good you are.” ambience: Alagba’s drumming The rhythms we’re listening to right now belong to Alagba – the spirit who’s the namesake of the largest of the Kalabari masquerades. Speaking In Alagba’s rhythmic voice, the drummer spells out instructions to the dancers: “Go to this specific place, turn in this particular direction.”The Alagba masquerade is part of a seventeen year cycle of ritual celebrations.For transcripts of this and other programs in our series, please visit our website at www.pulseplanet.com.We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. Check out our website, pulseplanet.com for a link to my latest project – a novel. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

KALABARI MASQUERADE-Drum Language

Listen to the words of a water spirit, communicated through the rhythms of drums.
Air Date:11/17/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

KALABARI MASQUERADE - Drum LanguageHere's a program from our archives.Ambience: Alagba Masquerade Among the Kalabari people of Nigeria, the dry winter months mark the season of Masquerades-- dramas of the spirit world, enacted by male dancers in elaborate costumes. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.At the heart of the masquerade are drums whose rhythms form a kind of language."If you are such a good, competent dancer the drummer can have a conversation with you almost." Sokari Douglas-Camp is a sculptor whose work has appeared at the American Museum of Natural History in the exhibit "Spirits in Steel: The Art of the Kalabari Masquerade.""So you can be in front of the drum house and the drummer will be playing his beat and you with your anklets can do another beat on top of his beat. So you know it's a layered percussional performance that can happen as well, depending on how good you are." ambience: Alagba's drumming The rhythms we're listening to right now belong to Alagba - the spirit who's the namesake of the largest of the Kalabari masquerades. Speaking In Alagba's rhythmic voice, the drummer spells out instructions to the dancers: "Go to this specific place, turn in this particular direction."The Alagba masquerade is part of a seventeen year cycle of ritual celebrations.For transcripts of this and other programs in our series, please visit our website at www.pulseplanet.com.We've been listening to a program from our archives. Check out our website, pulseplanet.com for a link to my latest project - a novel. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.