Friday, August 14, 2009

The Big Riff

Japanther said this the other day :

" a hark back to your drum post, just wanted to say that this week is "O-Bon" in Japan, which is when ancestors come back from the spirit world and there are festivals all over the country with traditional dancing etc and loads of fireworks. There is a festival happening outside my house as I type this and the sound of the Taiko drums are resounding around the flat.......a beautiful sound indeed! "

which brought to mind the Mexican Day of the Dead and got me wondering about music rituals that honour and celebrate the dead.

which ties in with thinking how nice it would be if loads of geetar players got together for a big Les Paul jam along the lines of World Guitar Day, the Thanks Jimi street festival and annual Guinness Guitar Record where the pic up there is from

Does anyone know of any other ways music is ritually used to pay tribute to ancestors and to mark the passing of someone ?

This is a bit different from someone's playlist for their own funeral (which surely must have been discussed here already, hasn't it?)

Cheers, Caitlin



steenbeck said...

Nice idea dangerpuss. How about a jazz band in New Orleans?

I went to a funeral service that ended with a jazz band and it was a remarkable feeling--you're laughing and crying at the same time.

goneforeign said...

Yeah, this week in the SF area there's lots of events of tribute to Jerry Garcia and the GD and throughout the 80's there was an annual Bob Marley concert at Reggae Sunsplash in Montego Bay, quite a few 'remembering Bob' songs were written for them.

Dangerpuss said...

Ooh yes Steenbeck! I'd forgotten about those Nawlins funeral processions. I've never seen ones quite like that anywhere else.

I once went to Preservation Hall in New Orleans and watched a small audience sitting on reeeally hard wooden benches and the floor being awestruck and mesmerised by the handful of ancient jazzmen who seemed to have their music in bones. Wonderful. The whole venue was really atmospheric. Shabby and stripped back to just the essentials. It's in my Top Five Gigs list.

There was even a lanky scrawny red alley cat swaggering about to add to the vibe.

New Orleans is very special.

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DarceysDad said...

Donds to THAT comment, Dangerpuss. DsMam and I are not great jazz fans, but New Orleans, and particularly the Old Preservation Hall do have that effect, don't they? We loved it.

goneforeign said...

There's an event happening here today and through the weekend that I know everyone here would enjoy, it's a guitar festival, actually it's an annual get together of many of the world's finest luthiers. Commercial companies are not allowed, just one man shops and the quality of the instruments is phenominal, I've been for the last two years.
Their website's worth a scan, it's at:

nilpferd said...

There are many different traditions of bands playing at funerals in the Balkans, hence Goran Bregovic's Weddings and Funerals orchestra, Roma bands like Fanfare Ciocarlia and Kocani Orkestar fit into this tradition. It's a similar thing, blowing away the melancholy and bad spirits, as well as celebrating the life of the one who passed away, to the New Orleans bands.