Baka Beyond

Spirit of the Forest

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Guitarist Martin Cradick's stay with the Baka Pygmy people resulted in songs co-written in Cameroon with the villagers. Others constructed later in London set guitar, violin, and other instruments to rhythmic ideas from the Pygmies, creating a non-derivative style that avoids trying to either duplicate or dilute the songs of the Baka, while still capturing their highly charged lightness of being. "Ngombi," for example, pipes the birdlike call of a forest flute above Cradick's compelling acoustic guitar, while fellow outback alumnus Paddy le Mercier goes for the emotional jugular with a romantic, gypsy-flavored violin. A spirited Baka rhythm ties the instruments together.

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