On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

23 May 2013

Central African Republic

Louis Sarno is an American romantic from Newark, New Jersey. Idly listening to a Flemish radio station one night in Amsterdam in 1985, he heard a recording of some pygmy singing. He was immediately transfixed. It was one of those rare moments which alters a person's life permanently.

Without any real idea of what he was doing, he bought a one-way ticket to Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. From there he took a bus that was prophetically labeled 'Ainsi donc la vie' (& so there’s your life). He found himself in the village of Bomandjombo. From there it was only a short distance to the pygmy settlement of Amopolo, which was to become his home. Louis Sarno is married to a Bayakan. He lives in the forests of Central Africa.

To learn more about Sarno’s experiences, he relates all in his memoir, Song from the Forest: My Life Among the Ba-Benjellé Pygmies (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1993). Additionally, there is a movie based on his life called Oka! (‘Oka’ is Bayaka for ‘listen’). While living with the Bayaka (how the Ba-Benjelle refer to themselves, rather than pygmies), Sarno made voluminous field recordings.

Ellipsis Arts has released two book that contain CDs of this music: Echoes Of The Forest: Music Of The Central African Pygmies, & Bayaka: The Extraordinary Music of the Ba-Benjellé Pygmies.

Echoes CD contains eighteen tracks recorded by three different anthropologists over a span of forty years. Bayaka CD is an hour long with eleven tracks recorded by Sarno & Krause.

What I am presenting here are soundscapes from recordings made by Louis Sarno & Dr. Bernie Krause, a world famous musician, author, soundscape recordist, & bio-acoustician, who coined the term biophony. Krause helped define the structure of soundscape ecology. Biophony is the collective sound vocal non-human animals create in each given environment. The study of natural soundscapes is called soundscape ecology.

"Louis Sarno's work is so important," says Krause, "because it conveys for the first time, the connection between rain forest, its sounds and the music created by those intimately joined to all its resources."

These recordings have not only the songs & music of the Bayaka, but the sounds of the insects, the wind, the forest itself. These are unedited original recordings from master tapes.

Various – Music of the Ba-Benjellé Bayaka, Sarno & Krause’s Master Copies 2.
decryption code in comments

Tracklist –

krekels zang percussie
krekels en grondboog
bos en fluit
bos en zang
bos & geedah & percussie
lied & percussie
zang & percussie
zang & drums
bos en mbyo
bos en harp


More field recordings. This is a wonderful old gem from the French Ocora label. While the previous offering was the Ba-Benjellé, these are field recordings made in the Central African Republic of nine other ethnic groups of the region. I could tell you about these groups, but you can look them up for yourselves. I’m just the DJ here.

 Various ‎– Musique Centrafricaine, Collection Radiodiffusion Outre-Mer, Ocora OCR 12, 1968. 
decryption code in comments

Face A –
Bagandou - Xylophone et Sanza Bagandou
Babinga - Musique de Chasse Babinga
Linda - Musique de Danse avec Xylophone Linda
Broto - Orchestre de Trompes Broto
Ndokpa - Exemple de Langage Instrumental Ndokpa
Ndokpa – Xylophone Ndokpa
Dakpa – Chant Dakpa pour l’Abbatage d’un Arbre

Face B –
Isongo – Chant de Femme Isongo
Zande – Ensemble Asande avec Xylophone
Babinga – Chant de Chasse Babinga
Dakpa – Musique Dakpa pour Attirer les Termites
Bofi - Chant d’Enfants Bofi
Bianda – Compliante Bianda

Enjoy boyo,


  1. Bayaka
    Musique Centrafricaine

    1. i'm not familiar with how to use these codes - how do we access this?

    2. simply cut & paste. Copy the appropriate code (Bayaka for example is
      OisyETxi3XCmclC6YSO8SmARuQlAv-yYraZyqiJ199Y). select the link (title of file underneath the artwork for the release). that will take you to MEGA where they will ask for a decryption code. just paste the code you copied & enter it. that should take you to the download.

  2. do you know simha arom's book on central african music?
    he also recorded alot of stuff for ocora and other labels
    really liking your blog
    just found it today


    1. I have looked at his book at the library but have not read it or don't own it. Even used copies are $150 or more. Thanks for mentioning him, now maybe other interested will check it out. Welcome & thanks for the kind comments. Hope you find more you like.

    2. thank you NO
      i am finding many things the mongolia collection is amazing.
      here is a link for an article by simha arom if anyone is interested.
      he expands my mind, the music i compose or improvise
      and my general view of life.

    3. Thanks again for sharing. The whole idea of these blogs & the comments (if people would chose to take the time to use them) is exactly this. Visitor share additional information that they have & then perhaps others feel inclined to add to that & the entire thing blossoms & expands. What a concept, heh? Sharing the little knowledge we have with others to help enhance all of us. Glad to have you on board. You just found Nothin Sez Somethin yesterday & have already broadened my knowledge & experience. Maybe some day you would feel like gracing us with some of your musick???

    4. after putting it off for a few months you post got me to finally put some stuff online.
      first a new piece that incorporates some african polyrthymic influence with green onions.

      and i also posted an out of print cd on important records
      tom carter and robert horton lunar eclipse in the drone, noise, originial instrument, with a dash of harry partch bag

      enjoy robert
      ps if u want a pdf of the simha arom book let me know

  3. Kind sir, I can't thank you enough.
    I am downloading right now.
    I hope enough people take the time to read these comments
    & avail themselves to your creations.
    I would also love to get a copy of Arom's book.
    If you want to keep the link private, I will, just let me know.
    Otherwise I will publish it in your reply for all to see.
    Glad I could prompt you to share. Most generous of you.

  4. You're right - this is some of the more atmospheric Pygmy music I've heard too. It's really magical and transfixing. Thank you!

  5. nathan i finally got to reading louis sarno's book. i am loving it. and i hear a movie is about to be out!!!! you don't happen to have the recordings from the 2 book cds you mention to share?

    1. I know two things about this.

      1 - I do not have a copy of Bayaka: The Extraordinary Music of the Ba-Benjellé Pygmies.
      2 - I do have a copy of Echoes Of The Forest: Music Of The Central African Pygmies.

      3 - The thing I don't know...where it might be. I'm on the hunt & will let you know.

  6. hi
    i love you may month african month series. Really cool and hot.
    Some more louis sarno you cab find @ lolaradio's blogspot.
    See ya

  7. i do not love you (perse) but youR "May Month African Month.
    I was too hasty

  8. thank you for this amazing music - i am obsessed with bayaka "pygmy" music and have heard about 15 CD's from various locations and various times - from 1946 to the present. many of them are on spotify in fact. i made a playlist you can search for "baka bayaka etc". curious if you have any other info on these recordings - dates? and where they came from, i.e. how did they make it from louis sarno to here?

  9. thank you - amazing music! i have listened to many bayaka/pygmy CD's - many are even on spotify - you can search for my playlist "baka bayaka etc" (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6BsRvJoOx05GzFf4m57iLN?si=ZZafU3TbTQOz9iaHiywzeQ) which contains many hours of recordings on spotify. curious about these recordings - do you have any more info - dates? where they came from - louis sarno recorded them, and how did they make it here?

    1. To learn more about Sarno’s experiences, he relates all in his memoir, Song from the Forest: My Life Among the Ba-Benjellé Pygmies (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1993). Additionally, there is a movie based on his life called Oka! (‘Oka’ is Bayaka for ‘listen’). While living with the Bayaka (how the Ba-Benjelle refer to themselves, rather than pygmies), Sarno made voluminous field recordings.

      I have posted Echoes of the Forest on a later post, the link is:

      Echoes of the Forest: Music of the Central African Pygmies & Bayaka: The Extraordinary Music of the Ba-Benjellé Pygmies.

      includes the music as well as the 64-page book