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

The geedal is a beautiful bow-harp with six (or rarely, seven) strings that is played by the Bayaka. The geedal is played with the thumbs and fingers of both hands and can be played solo, accompanied by song, or with percussion and other instruments including flute.

The playlist below includes many examples of different playing styles by Bayaka master musicians, including Balonyona, Akété, and Mamadu. Geedal variations might continue overnight for hours, weaving perfectly in and out of the sounds of singing, laughter and the rainforest environment.

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