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DG #22 preview: song of the Ba’aka

Photo: Susan Schulman

Deep in the Dzanga-Sangha forest of the Central African Republic, the gifted, unique and threatened Ba’aka people live a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Their music is considered the world’s most sophisticated, its polyphonic rhythms far more complex than Western music.

To Louis Sarno, a New Jersey native, a radio recording of Ba’aka yodeling was so enchanting that he left his old life behind and travelled to CAR to experience the music first-hand. Thirty years later, he is still living among the Ba’aka.

In issue #22 of Delayed Gratification, which will be hitting doormats in a few days’ time, we tell the story of the Ba’aka and how Louis Sarno dedicated his life to recording their music and fighting for the survival of their tribe.

Susan Schulman, the journalist who travelled to the Dzanga-Sangha forest to meet the Ba’aka, made a recording of the music. Here’s what the Ba’aka sound like.

To read the full story, keep a close eye on your doormat if you’re a subscriber. For non-subscribers, we’ll be adding the issue to the shop very shortly. Or, take out an annual subscription now with promo code ‘SOCIAL20’ and we’ll send you the issue for free.

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