Music from India

Sora ancestor song with fiddle and flute, part 1

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  • Type

    sound

  • Duration

    00:02:56

  • Cultures

    Sora

  • Shelf mark

    RK DAT 08

  • Recording date

    2001-02-05

  • Recording locations

    In front of a Sora house, Tame Gorjang village, Orissa.

  • Performers

    Simpun (singer, female), Kumuti (singer, female), Soranti (singer, female)

  • Recordist

    Killius, Rolf

  • Description

    The female singers Simpun (left), Kumuti (centre; lead singer and priestess), and Soranti (right) present a song dedicated to the ancestors. The singers belong to the Sora tribe and sing in the Austro-Asiatic language Sora. While in trance the priestess is able to communicate with the ancestors, asking for their advice and demands. For the Sora, death is a gradual process (it is believed that the deceased continue to live and finally die in another world). The musical structure of the performance is interesting: the lead singer begins the song with the second singer following just seconds behind. This results in an 'echo' effect that seems unique to the Sora, though a similar style is used in forms of both North and South Indian classical music where the accompanist (sarangi or violin for example) follows the singer. The style is difficult to execute and the recordist observed that the younger singers sometimes slipped into unison singing.

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