The video clip below shows Louis Sarno talking about recording Bayaka Boyobi ceremonies, and is part of a series of video interviews with Louis that were recorded in April 2012.

Boyobis are Bayaka ceremonies that are often performed before net hunting. Women sing interlocking webs of polyphonic sound to entice the bobé spirits out of the rainforest and bless the forthcoming hunts. Bobé spirits can sometimes be heard speaking in distinctive voices, singing motifs and encouraging the choirs.

In the playlist below, recordings from several different boyobi ceremonies show some of the different sections, including polyphonic singing, the sounds of bobé spirits addressing and haranguing the group, and sometimes blessing the ceremony with their symbolic spit.

Sound Galleries

Musical torchlit trails at the Pitt Rivers Museum

On Friday November 23rd 2012, the galleries of the Pitt Rivers Museum were plunged into evening darkness and bathed in Bayaka music and sound from the Central African Republic. Visitors were given torches to explore the galleries that were transformed into a rich forest soundscape with sung fables, snatches of laughter, beautiful variations on harps and flutes, and the stunning polyphonic singing of Bayaka women. Hidden surprises included mini projections from the rainforests and a visualiser designed by Nathaniel Mann, the PRM's Embedded Composer in Residence. The evening was filmed By Mike Day of Intrepid Cinema as part of the Reel to Real project, and complemented the Oxford City-wide Christmas Light Night organised by Oxford Inspires. A four hour playlist of Bayaka music from the PRM's sound collections, originally recorded by Louis Sarno, was curated on the evening by Nathaniel Mann and Dr Noel Lobley. The event was streamed online, and was watched live in the Central African Republic by Louis Sarno and some of the Bayaka community.





Copyright 2012 The Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford