<< -- 6 -- Gordon Rumson FRAGMENTS OF FORGOTTEN SOUNDS
Siberia has always attracted me, perhaps because I am a Canadian and
don¹t much mind the cold. The vastness of its forests and innumerable
lakes appeals to me. Sadly, I fear it has become a toxic wasteland. There,
amidst the debris we can also hear the remnants of ancient cultures in the
songs of the shamans. These travelers to astral realms returned empowered
to cure, harm and cope with life far beyond the capacities of their fellow
humans. And they sang. Songs of power, of magic, of emotion, of incantation
and enchantment. When preparing this article I found a great web site with
music samples of shamans singing, but now it's vanished into the ether.
Like the shamans, I suppose.
Fortunately, someone is keeping traditions alive. Ken Hyder, from Scotland,
is a modern jazz musician with wide ranging sympathies and great creativity.
For some fascinating music and stories about Siberia and shamanist music:
(Link permission pending)
If Africa is the source of human life it is sadly under-represented on
the Net in its most ancient manifestations. But its more recent music, the
music even predating the European occupation, is abundantly alive, though
much influenced by American Rock, in my mind...
The wide variety of African music should be noticed. From an emphasis
on rhythm in some places to the development of Arabic influenced music (Morocco,
for example) to Anglican chant in others the array is fascinating.
An African aside: Coptic Music
The Coptic Church survived in spite of its surroundings in Islam. Some
claim that ancient Egyptian melodies survived in its liturgy. Read the Coptic
Music Web Site by Shenouda Mamdouh -- Watany Newspaper (8 August 1993) at:
(linked with permission)
There are numerous links to audio files. Even if the sounds are not as
ancient as one might hope, they do represent a tradition almost 2000 years
Copyright © 2 July 2001 Gordon Rumson,
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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