Recollecting from the Past: Musical Practice and Spirit Possession on the East Coast of Madagascar
Studies interconnections between sound production, spirit possession, colonialism and ceremonial remembering in Madagascar.
The first serious ethnomusicological study of Malagasy music, Recollecting from the Past evokes the complex sound and performative aesthetic in Madagascar called maresaka. Maresaka pertains not only to musical expression but extends into ways of remembering the past, aesthetics of everyday life, and Malagasy concepts of self and community.
Ron Emoff focuses on tromba spirit possession ceremonies in which Malagasy use devotional practice as an occasion to expressively re-figure worlds often impeded by colonialism and postcolonial phenomena, extreme material poverty, and widespread illness. Malagasy not only preserve the past, but they interpret, revalue and transform it to their own ends. Music is crucial to these performances since powerful ancestral spirits will not enter into the present if not enticed by masterful musical performances, and so music itself provides a complex symbolic system with which Malagasy can recall and reconstruct the past. This groundbreaking study will be of interest to readers in the fields of anthropology, ethnomusicology, cultural studies, African studies, postcolonial and performance studies.
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Map of Madagascar
Zoma Velo possessed putting body onto valiha during tromba ceremony Velontsoa on valiha
Very Soa playing accordion from his fruitstand at the large central market the bazary be in Tamataveville
Segment of midegana performed on valiha by Velontsoa
Three rhythms inherent in most Malagasy ceremonial music
Vinelo preforming on maro tady
s Improvisation within smallphrase structure of midegana
Improvisation within mira feo
Tombo Daniels valiha tuning
Antandroy mira feo valiha tuning
Structure of the diatonic button accordion
Very Soas alterations of the Viennastyle accordion
Very Soa making accordion adjustments
Jily performing on accordion at one of Andréas tromba ceremonies
Andréa possessed at tromba altar
Segment of Betsimisaraka tune also favored by Antandroy
Phrase of Volonaomby performed on accordion by Jily
Head from Tanorani Dadilahy
Improvisation segment from Tanorani Dadilahy
Jean Dedier from the Tamatave countryside with Betsimisaraka tôle valiha
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3out 4out accordion aesthetic African alterations ancestral spirits Antandroy appear basesa become Betsimisaraka body buttons called Christian colonial combinations commonly compositions connection create cultural dance desire discursive distinct dominant east coast effect European evoke experience expressed forces foreign French French colonials hand healing historical Honorine Hoseny images imagined improvisation incorporated instance interaction kaiamba living Madagascar Malagasy male maresaka material means mediums Merina models modes musical musicians nature never notes once participants particular past performance perhaps personalities phrase played possessed practices present produce recall recollections reeds refer reflect region represented resistance rhythmic royal Sakalava scale seemed sense signs simply social sometimes sound specifically structures style suggested Tamatave Tamatave-ville term things throughout tion told transformed tromba ceremony tromba practice tromba spirits tromba-istes Tsiariagna tuning usually valiha valse varied Velontsoa villages Vinelo voice woman women