sábado, 29 de setembro de 2012

Lian Husi Klamar: The Traditional Music of East Timor

Lian Husi Klamar (Sounds of the Soul)

Lian Husi Klamar by Ros Dunlop
This is certainly not the case with Ros Dunlop’s incredible new book, Lian Husi Klamar: Musika Tradisional Husi Timor-Leste (Sounds of the Soul: The Traditional Music of East Timor). The book, which has taken Ros ten years to create, is set to become a lasting and valuable resource on the traditional music of East Timor. And it’s more than just a book. Lian Husi Klamar comes with an accompanying CD and DVD with recordings of traditional music and performances. 

“East Timor’s traditional music is a fundamental part of the cultural heritage and an integral part of its nationhood. It is vital that it be nurtured and passed on to successive generations. It is entwined in all facets of the life of its people. Sounds of the Soul takes the reader on a journey of discovery of the traditional music by way of dance, instruments, songs and stories in a presentation which is audiovisually engaging. The book puts on record a musical history which until now has only been passed on orally.” p. 25 

Inside the book 

It’s a beautiful looking book with East Timorese artwork and countless images of traditional musical instruments in action. There are 20 traditional songs included with text and music notation. Written in both English and Tetum, it’s a book for everyone. 

“Music is part of all aspects of Timorese life and singing is their universal instrument. Fishermen sing as they row out to cast their nets. They sing to the turtles and the dolphins when they bring the catch in. Farmers sing to the buffalos and play on their kafu’i (flute) to call them home. Songs accompany dances whilst husking the rice. Singing during mundane jobs such as pounding grain and weeding the rice paddies makes physical chores seem less monotonous. Traditional music also plays an important role in the special ceremonies for the various stages of the agricultural year, for example the planting and harvesting of crops.” p.24 

The book is a living and breathing record of the traditional music of East Timor and I think it should alleviate the concerns of the elderly East Timorese that Ros encountered who were worried about the future of their musical traditions. 

“Despite centuries of occupation, first under the Portuguese and then under the Indonesians, the East Timorese have developed a rich and unique culture, including an exceptional musical tradition. This musical tradition was so damaged or destroyed by the repression of the occupiers, particularly under Indonesian occupation, that there are concerns from elderly Timorese for its survival.” p. 24 


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