Sound and vision blog

06 July 2009

Recording of the Week: elusive pulse

On first hearing, the ensemble of the first part of this recording, combining voice, engoma drum and bamboo flute, sounds dull and even incompetent. Hand clapping midway through introduces what seems like a cross rhythm but in a flash it reveals the complex background rhythm in compound time, placing the musicians’ artistry into perspective. A moment of musical magic not uncommon in traditional music.

'Recording of the Week' highlights gems from the Archival Sound Recordings website, selected by British Library experts or recommended by listeners. This week's item was selected by Chris Clark of the British Library Sound Archive. It comes from the Peter Cooke Uganda Recordings collection and was recorded on 10th October 1966 at Bundibugyo, Bwamba, Tooro District, Uganda.


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