London, England – Topic Records has released three new titles from its collection of traditional world music.
Drumming & Chanting In God’s Own Country, The Temple Music Of Kerala In South India (TSCD922) includes recordings in and around the Hindu temples of Kerala in Southern India made between 1995 and 1997, which demonstrate the vast range of performance genres. The huge percussion orchestra performances, the ancient styles of devotional singing, and the small music ensembles featuring rare traditional instruments like the huge C-shaped horn, the kombu, are some of these styles.
Gumboot Guitar, Zulu Street Guitar Music From South Africa (TSCD923) centers on the remarkable rootsy guitar from the streets of Durban. In the late 19th century, music previously played on Zulu musical bows was transferred in the new urban environment to the guitar and often concertina and violin too. Musicians often joined miners’ gumboot dance teams to accompany this genre, which mostly traditionally takes place on the streets of single-sex hostel compounds. These recordings from 1988 and 1996 feature musicians and gumboot players who live in one such hostel outside Durban.
The King’s Musicians, Royalist Music Of Buganda-Uganda (TSCD925). Possibly no other African rulers maintained such a rich variety of musical ensembles at their courts as the Kabakas (kings) of Buganda. Here is a unique sample of this musical richness, featuring the two different xylophone ensembles, the royal flute band, the songs of the king’s harpist and lyre players, as well as praise drumming and dancing.