Songs Of The Volcano, Untainted Guitars of Papua New Guinea

San Francisco (California), USA – Bob Brozman collaborates with
Papua New Guinea Stringbands on Songs Of The Volcano (Riverboat
Records/World Music Network
TUGCD1040). Guitarist Bob Brozman traveled to Papua New Guinea one of the
last places
on the planet to have guitars arrive from afar to capture a sound largely
untainted by outside
influences; a raw, unique sound developed in isolation. The energetic and
distinctive blend of
voice and instrument performed by the Rabaul community’s local string bands
reflects their
unfailing optimism in the face of adversity, be it war or the volcanic eruptions
that have
destroyed the town twice in one century, making this album truly

Songs of the Volcano
.For this album, he traveled to Papua New
Guinea to perform with five different Tolai
stringbands of Rabaul, located in the far-flung province of East New Britain. Produced by an indomitable group of island musicians and one of the world’s
greatest guitarists,

Songs of the Volcano

features several fascinating string band
styles. Gilnata Stringband, on `Tavurvur’,
play in an early style using more than ten
vocalists and only a handful of
instruments. Their sound is similar to
early Hawaiian music with bass lines echoing Charley Patton’s blues. Similarly,
Eagle Voice Band use a few guitars and
numerous vocalists on `Tomaimo’, toproduce a sound more influenced by
Fijian music. Lions 2000 Stringband and
Drop Sun Band, both from the north
coast, play in the contemporary styledeveloped in the villages around Rabaul,
using a higher ratio of guitars to singers.

Songs of the Volcano
brings together
nearly fifty musicians over five different
bands that range in style and musical
complexity. Featuring unique bass lines,local `five-key’ tuning, phrasing and
distinct male vocals, the music carries a
beauty perhaps reminiscent to what
guitar music may have sounded like inHawaii in 1860. This album is an
incredible array of soulful and uplifting
music, portraying a strong quality of
innocence rarely found in music today.

In addition to the album, this package features a full length,
behind the scenes
DVD documentary of the making of the album. Songs Of The Volcano was filmed during
two trips in 2003 and 2004, on location in
and around Rabaul, East New Britain.
Featuring remarkable footage of the
individual recordings with the five
different stringbands involved in the
project, the DVD also includes solo Bob
Brozman blues performances on his steel
National guitar. As well as exploring the
highs and lows of the musical journey,
Songs Of The Volcano also provides
historical, political and geographical
background to the island and the ongoing
effects of the volcanic eruption.

The DVD portrays some of the joys and
difficulties fine volcanic ash, extreme
humidity, power cuts, monsoon and a
dearth of functioning recording studios of producing the album. It was also hoped
that filming and recording the
performances for the album would partly
assist the musicians in Papua New Guinea
where there is hardly any musical


Songs of the Volcano

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central