By Gage Averill
The background of Haiti through the 20th century has been marked by way of oppression by the hands of colonial and dictatorial overlords. yet set by contrast "day for the hunter" has been a "day for the prey," a heritage of resistance, and infrequently of triumph. With willing cultural and historic expertise, Gage Averill indicates that Haiti's shiny and expressive song has been the most hugely charged tools during this struggle—one during which strength, politics, and resistance are inextricably fused.
Averill explores such varied genres as Haitian jazz, troubadour traditions, Vodou-jazz, konpa, mini-djaz, new iteration, and roots track. He examines the complicated interplay of song with strength in contexts comparable to honorific rituals, backed road celebrations, Carnival, and social hobbies that span the political spectrum.
With firsthand debts by means of musicians, photographs, music texts, and ethnographic descriptions, this publication explores the profound manifestations of strength and track within the daily efforts of standard Haitians to upward push above political repression.
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Additional info for A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology)
Gates’s argument is a cultural one in line with a history of scholarship on African retentions. An alternate, but not contradictory, line of reasoning connects indirect signification to a universe of guerrilla cultural strategies of historically powerless peoples, or to what James C . ” 3 3 A productive synthesis would suggest that the strategies of indirect signification in Haitian music are part of a family of “masked practices of subordinated peoples all over the world, but in a particular form of the African diaspora saturated with African cultural specificities and retentions.
The Haitian version of the panAfrican trickster tales, the stories of Bouki and Ti-Malis, celebrate just this kind of wily resistance of the dispossessed. Ti-Malis is a small, urban hustler and trickster figure who regularly outwits the larger and stronger Bouki, a dim-witted country peasant. ”’3 The emphasis on the everyday tactics of resistance begins to dislodge the focus on music and power from the state-populace nexus to the relations of power in which daily interactions, situations, and contexts are submerged.
That’s the way we musicians look. So a guy like this cannot be a politician, because politics is too serious. ”26 For many decades, commercial singers in Haiti were classed as chanteurs de charme (singers of charm, romantic crooners) or chanteurs de chocque (singers of “shock,” harder-edged, upbeat dance music), essentially received categories from Euro-American popular music. A third category consisted of singer-composers, often with guitars, who sang Haitian niereng in pan-Latin style, sometimes backed up by a small string-based trio or quartet.
A Day for the Hunter, a Day for the Prey: Popular Music and Power in Haiti (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology) by Gage Averill