HAPPY FRIDAY! Here’s your soundtrack, fellow babies. Tip o’ the chapeau to DL for tagging me on this on Facebook.
Some really happy and colourful sounds from Indonesia, recently recorded by ethnomusicologist Palmer Keen from Aural Archipelago! Check out the little homemade pink guitars.
‘Yanger is a kind of string band popular on the island of Halmahera in Maluku, an area of Indonesia once famous as “the Spice Islands.” Its Western sound should come as no surprise, as Portuguese and Dutch traders and colonialists dominated the area and its spice trade for around 500 years. This yanger band mixes standard guitar with Portuguese-inspired lutes called juk, a tea chest bass called kaste, and church-trained harmonies. Recent additions are the fiol (a local fiddle) and a mini drumkit. This video features an extended jam after our official recording session was over. The jam is one long medley based on classic local pop songs from around Maluku. This is yanger as it’s usually played: the whole band gathered around the big purple kaste bass, smiles all around: some of the happiest music in the world’