Today is Day Two of being an unemployed bum and I aim at accomplishing a whole lotta of nothing this afternoon. Actually, I accomplished a whole lotta nothing this morning too but I digress. Sure, I have a short ride with HRH and a short brick run afterwards this evening but all that is on the docket workout-wise for this afternoon is this little yoga stretch along with some dusty gold, specifically ‘The Music of !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, Africa‘ album.
Yes, you read that right.
I’m listening to naked African Bushmen conversing, dancing and singing.
Hey, why not?
I enjoyed old Mexicans tripping balls (click HERE) a while ago, right? So why not this?
It piqued my interest when I saw someone selling cheap online because, well, you know how I love a) the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, and b) really fucked up weird shit.
And this album certainly appeals to both those interests.
The !Kung (the ! is a click consonant made by clicking the tongue against the back of the roof of the mouth while making an O shape with the lips) are a Bushman tribe that traditionally lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers in the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. This album is a selection of field recordings (1962) made by John Phillipson of !Kung music for many different occasions. Included are solo instrumentals on a single-stringed bamboo fiddle and a type of thumb piano called a sitengena, along with a capella songs with clapping. Liner notes contain information on the !Kung and a brief account of Phillipson’s interactions with those who were recorded in this album and definitely adds some cool insight into the whole recording.
Like the Mushroom Ceremony-Maria Sabina recording, this isn’t exactly something I’m either going to put at parties or on a Friday night but it does have lots of historical value for interest sake for someone who professes to love music – all music – such as I do. And, sure, while the bamboo fiddle sections are a bit hard to take (think: Einstürzende Neubauten unplugged), the thumb piano is definitely sound pretty cool and relaxing to ease into a pigeon pose with.
I close my eyes I can almost picture sitting around a campfire on the African plains somewhere and smell the cooking hippo, or whatever it is that Kalahari Bushmen eat.