Haiti — next door to the Dominican Republic and part of the Hispaniola landmass that Columbus landed on in , thinking he had reached India — a country once great, now poor, is the epicenter of this music. Haiti made Napoleon and France so rich that they could afford to help the U. The fading grandeur of its French history is still there in the elegant colonial architecture, the hotels, the cuisine, and other things. Haiti was besieged by H.
The results are only now available for anyone to hear. Lomax was out to document the music of everyday Haitians, in whatever form, and to hunt for the influence of African music, as he had in the U. Lomax moved from the most accessible sounds, such as the dance bands of Port-au-Prince, who had incorporated New Orleans jazz from records imported by occupying U. Following leads around the country, he acquired celebratory carnival songs, work songs, and eventually the music of officially forbidden Vodou what is commonly known as voodoo ceremonies. As the musicians played for Mr. Lomax pictured at right , his recording device cut sound grooves onto aluminum discs. He produced some 50 hours of sound. But the music was never publicly released. Lomax rushed on to other places and projects, and when he did revisit the Haiti recordings in the s, the sound quality disappointed him. About 10 years ago, daughter Anna Lomax Wood helped launch an effort to clean up the recordings.
To be premiered by Liquid Music in the Below, Joachim shares how her heritage and the strength of Haitian women inspired the creation of Fanm d'Ayiti. Check out her playlist at the bottom of the page for a taste of the musical styles that influenced the project. Follow the Liquid Music blog for updates throughout the season, including sneak peak video and audio clips! She had an infectious laugh, a calming presence, and a beautiful voice. There are many reasons why this is this case — politics, culture, tradition, opportunity, etc. To me, Haiti has always been synonymous with the concept of matriarchy. My experience and internal sense of the nation goes hand in hand with the representation of strength through women, and of course attributes an essence of magic and fearlessness to them. And we will learn the stories behind these roots — stories of political exile, cultural affirmation and independence. As connected as I am to my Haiti, I genuinely believe that this will be as much about discovery for me as it is about exposure for you, and everything about that excites me.
The music of Haiti combines a wide range of influences drawn from the many people who have settled on this Caribbean island. It reflects French, African rhythms, Spanish elements and others who have inhabited the island of Hispaniola and minor native Taino influences. Haiti hadn't had a recorded music until when Jazz Guignard was recorded non-commercially. One of the most popular Haitian artists is Wyclef Jean. His music is somewhat hip-hop mixed with world music. Haitian music is influenced mostly by European colonial ties and African migration through slavery. In the case of European colonization, musical influence has derived primarily from the French. One of Haiti's musical traditions is known to outsiders simply as compas.