“The Music House” for the Baka pygmies

Baka Pygmy traditional-styled mongolu music house in the Cameroon rainforest (© bakabeyond.net)

In the rainforests of central Africa, the Baka pygmies have one of the oldest and most sensitive musical cultures on Earth. They sing to draw animals prior to a hunt, to wake the forest spirits to protect them or even to stay in contact while traveling through the dense undergrowth. Music permeates their everyday life.

More than a decade ago, British musician Martin Cradick and his wife Su Hart travelled to southeast Cameroon to record the haunting sounds of the Baka who live in the rainforest. Martin and Su formed the band Baka Beyond, incorporating Baka sounds into their music and popularised the Baka sound worldwide.

Now Martin and Su and a team of volunteers are going back again to Africa. They’re using the royalties of those recordings to build the Baka a special house, at the Baka’s own request. Eka Morgan accompanied the crew to make “The Music House.”

Produced: Eka Morgan

Broadcast: April 26, 2004