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Haiti in Film & Music: A Guide
A guide to a representative sampling of documentaries and feature films available from the Music & Media Center as well as CDs featuring music from Haiti.
Includes books entitled: Alan Lomax's recordings in Haiti : 1936-1937 / liner notes by Gage Averill ; foreword by Anna Lomax Wood (163 p. : ill. ; 21 x 27 cm.), and: Haitian diary : papers and correspondence from Alan Lomax's Haitian journey 1936-1937 / compiled and edited by Ellen Harold (197 p. ; 21 cm.). Also includes facsimiles of 2 postcards and an annotated "Tourist map of Haiti", drawn by H.P. Davis, 1933.
Puerto Rican-born, Haitian-bred vocalist Lolita Cuevas and Haitian guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus lyrically come together in rendering some of the most beautiful folk songs of Haiti. Arranged by Casseus, these songs are presented as lullabies and méringue de salon, a slow and stately dance of Haiti’s past (which evolved into the faster méringue).
Haitian guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus charged himself with the mission of building a repertoire for guitar blending Haitian folk music and European classical music, much as Villa Lobos had done for music in Brazil. The result, while largely overlooked, is as tantalizing as flamenco and possesses an unparalleled lyrical beauty.
This recording combines vocal interpretations of Vodou (an Afro-Haitian religion) ceremonial songs and popular secular melodies by legendary Haitian singer, dancer and folklorist Emerante de Pradines and the all-male folklorique chorus Michele Dejan Group. Recorded by Harold Courlander during the 1940s mouvement folklorique—a period revaluing the traditional arts and practices of the Haitian peyizan (peasants), de Pradines maintains a traditional troubadour-like performance of songs while the Michele Dejan Group arranges all traditional tunes into liturgical or full chorale settings.
Haitian vocalist and composer André Charles was a Romantic who thoroughly appreciated “Une femme qui belle” (“a beautiful woman”). Songs composed for the Port-au-Prince-based Ibo Combo, popular during the 1970s, are nostalgic tributes to “le Belle Bagaille” (“Beautiful Thing”) that nod to peyizan (peasant) folk practices.