RARA! SOUNDS FROM THE HAITIAN COUNTRYSIDE
Bakhtin would have liked Haitian rara bands and street parades. Ok, maybe not. But he would have at least recognized that through all of the dust, the heat, the bodies, the sweat, the noise, the pulsating rhythms, the hypnotic sounds of hocketing bamboo trumpets (literally called vaksin, which means exactly what it sounds like) and metal horns, the often vulgar song lyrics, and the laughter (above all, the laughter), the carnivalesque mockery of power and social norms is in full swing.
This mixtape features field recordings of rara music (mostly) from the Haitian countryside made by my dear friend Elizabeth McAlister, unless otherwise noted. For those interested in learning more about Haitian rara, I highly recommend you get a copy of her ethnographic monograph Rara! Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and Its Diaspora here: www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520228238/rara
01. “Instrumental from Rara Se Male”. Rec’d on the side of the road in Beautfort in the Artibonite Valley on Good Friday 1993 by Elizabeth McAlister.
02. “Notre Dame de 7 Doleurs” from Caribbean Revels: Haitian Rara & Dominican Gaga. Rec’d by Verna Gillis (Smithsonian Folkways – SF 40402).
03. “Fre Dieuve P'ap Mande Prete (Brother Dieuve Will Not Be Asking To Borrow This Year)” – Rara La Belle Fraicheur de l’Anglade. Rec’d by Elizabeth McAlister.
04. “Tripotay Fanm Pi Red Pase Wanga (Women's Gossip is Worse Than Magic)”. Rec’d by Elizabeth McAlister.
05. “Carrefour” from Rara In Haiti Gaga In The Dominican Republic. Rec’d by Ramon Daniel Perez Martinez, and Verna Gillis (Ethnic Folkways Library – FE 4531)
06. “Grose Bagay sa, Mwen Pa Kapab Anko (The Size Of That Thing – I Can’t Deal With It)” – Rara Ya Seizi. Rec’d at Verettes in 1993 by Elizabeth McAlister.
07. “Pa Vle Zenglendo (We Don’t Want Criminals”) – Rara Model. Rec’d in Port-au-Prince 1993 by Elizabeth McAlister.
08. “Cemetery at Bizoton”. Recorded in 1978 at a cemetery just outside downtown Port-au-Prince. Caribbean Revels. Rec’d by Verna Gillis (Haitian Rara & Dominican Gaga (Smithsonian Folkways – SF 40402).
09. “Guantanamo M'Rive (I Ended Up in Guantanamo)” – Rara Inorab Kapab. Rec’d in Cite Soleil 1993 by Elizabeth McAlister.
10. “Instrumental by Rara Se Male”. Rec’d by Elizabeth McAlister.
11. “Bann Sanpwel-la nan Lari-a (The Chanpwel Band Is In The Streets)” – Rara Delin. Rec’d in Tomasin 1992 by Elizabeth McAlister.
12. “Instrumental from Rara Se Male”. Rec’d on the side of the road in Beautfort in the Artibonite Valley on Good Friday 1993 by Elizabeth McAlister.
13. “Mama'm Sere Zozo'm (My Mother Hid My Dick)” – Rara Model. Rec’d in Port-au-Prince 1993 by Elizabeth McAlister.
14. “Djab by Nerva”. Recorded by Don Flan.