« Program: Hip Deep in Madagascar: 21st Century Tana

Tana_photo-FEATURE

Photo Essay: Antananarivo, Madagascar

Antananarivo (Tana to locals), the highland capital of Madagascar, was the base of operations for Afropop Worldwide‘s recent research trip to this unique Indian Ocean nation. It’s a lively and gorgeous city despite its extreme poverty. Here are some of Banning Eyre’s images from our visit, featuring artists heard in the Afropop Worldwide program “21st Century Tana,” and the upcoming Afropop podcast “Live from 21st Century Tana.”

THE CITY

Rice fields on the drive from the airport (Eyre 2014)

Rice fields on the drive from the airport (Eyre 2014)

Downtown (Eyre 2014)

Downtown (Eyre 2014)

Super Music, the only real music shop left in the entire country! (Eyre 2014)

Super Music, the only real music shop left in the entire country! (Eyre 2014)

Music posters on downtown kiosk (Eyre 2014)

Music posters on downtown kiosk. Mostly hip-hop.  (Eyre 2014)

Le Glacier, popular downtown nightclub where many bands play (Eyre 2014)

Le Glacier, popular downtown nightclub where many bands play (Eyre 2014)

 

STUDIO SAKAMANGA

We set up shop and recorded many interviews and all sorts of music in our room at the Sakamanga (Blue Cat) Hotel, highly recommended for the location, the service, and the decor!

Saka Manga Hotel (Eyre 2014)

Sakamanga Hotel (Eyre 2014)

Sammy and Clara. Sammy kept this room full of music and musicians any time we were in town. (Eyre 2014)

Sammy and Clara. Sammy kept this room full of music and musicians any time we were in town. (Eyre 2014)

Johnny Bass, on guitar (Eyre 2014)

Johnny Bass, on guitar (Eyre 2014)

Petit and Dominic (Eyre 2014)

Petit and Dominic (Eyre 2014)

 

ANTSHOW

Hanitra of the band Tarika (and now, Tarika Bé) invited us to co-host an amazing gathering of musicians at Antshow, the arts center she opened in 2002. It was a most unusual gathering leading to some unexpected, spontaneous musical collaborations.

Antshow (Eyre 2014)

Antshow (Eyre 2014)

Johnny Bass and Hanitra at Antshow (Eyre 2014)

Johnny Bass and Hanitra at Antshow (Eyre 2014)

Valiha master Daniel Ramarason (Eyre 2014)

Valiha master Daniel Ramarason (Eyre 2014)

Antshow jam, including Sammy, Jean Emilien, FIdy, Hanitra, Tams, and others...  (Eyre 2014)

Antshow jam, including Sammy, Jean Emilien, Fidy, Hanitra, Johnny Bass, and others… (Eyre 2014)

Antshow party, group shot. (Antshow, 2014)

Antshow party, group shot. (Antshow, 2014)

 

HIP-HOP and KILALAKY

Agrad, a popular rapper, and Don Smokilla, head of GasyPloit Records (Eyre 2014)

Agrad, a popular rapper, and Don Smokilla, head of GasyPloit Records (Eyre 2014)

Raboussa, one of the country's most successful rappers (Eyre 2014)

Raboussa, one of the country’s most successful rappers (Eyre 2014)

Tsiliva, one of the top acts playing the popular kilalaky dance style, plays at Jao's Pub, the nightclub owned by  salegy star Jaojoby (Eyre 2014)

Tsiliva, one of the top acts playing the popular kilalaky dance style, plays at Jao’s Pub, the nightclub owned by salegy star Jaojoby (Eyre 2014)

Tisliva and band on stage at Jao's Pub (Eyre 2014)

Tsiliva and band on stage at Jao’s Pub (Eyre 2014)

 

RAJERY and FRIENDS

The ground-breaking valiha (tube zither) maestro Rajery had nearly completed a long-dreamed-of recording studio, Angaredona Studio. The title means “a collective mission,” and that’s the way Rajery sees the challenge facing Madagascar’s traditional musicians. He gathered a remarkable lineup for us to interview and record, in the studio’s first actual recording session.

Rajery at the controls (Eyre 2014)

Rajery at the controls (Eyre 2014)

Surzi on the Antandroy lokanga fiddle (Eyre 2014)

Surzi on the Antandroy lokanga fiddle (Eyre 2014)

Surzi and Mathieu silence their iPhones before recording (Eyre 2014)

Surzi and Mathieu silence their iPhones before recording (Eyre 2014)

Angela and her mangaliba (blue freedom) band from Fort Dauphin (Eyre 2014)

Angela and her Mangaliba (blue freedom) band from Fort Dauphin (Eyre 2014)

Custom-made valihas by the accomplished instrument maker Seta. Anyone interested in learning, buying, or building valihas, write to us. Seta is looking to connect. (Eyre 2014)

Custom-made valihas by the accomplished instrument maker Seta. Anyone interested in learning, buying or building valihas, write to us. Seta is looking to connect. (Eyre 2014)

Seta's tuning heads for valihas. (Eyre 2014)

Seta’s tuning heads for valihas. (Eyre 2014)

D'Gary didn't play at Rajery's place, but at another home studio. What a day that was! (Eyre 2014)

The amazing guitarist D’Gary didn’t play at Rajery’s place, but at another home studio. What a day that was! (Eyre 2014)

 

HIRAGASY  and ROSSY

Our “21st Century Tana” program tells the story of the uniquely Malagasy theater form Hiragasy (literally, songs of Madagascar). Also, the story of the popular singer/bandleader Rossy, who uses Hiragasy in his stage act, and who has now been elected a member of Madagascar’s Deputy Assembly.

Hery Claude Randrianary, an authority on Hiragasy. (Eyre 2014)

Hery Claude Randrianary, an authority on Hiragasy. (Eyre 2014)

Rasolofo, leader of a Hiragasy troupe. (Eyre 2014)

Rasolofo, leader of a Hiragasy troupe. (Eyre 2014)

Poster for a Rossy gig. (Eyre 2014)

Poster for a Rossy gig. (Eyre 2014)

Rossy in his studio with his digital accordion. (Eyre 2014)

Rossy in his studio. (Eyre 2014)

A Rossy Hiragasy dancer. (Eyre 2014)

A Rossy Hiragasy dancer. (Eyre 2014)

Rossy and band (Eyre 2014)

Rossy and band (Eyre 2014)

Bakommanga, one of the top traditional music and dance ensembles of Madagascar (Eyre 2014)

Bakomanga, one of the top traditional music and dance ensembles of Madagascar (Eyre 2014)

Bakomanga enacting the famidihana (turning of the bones), one of the main events at which Hiragasy musicians are employed. (Eyre 2014)

Bakomanga enacting the famidihana (turning of the bones), one of the main events at which Hiragasy musicians are employed. (Eyre 2014)

 

LIBERTALIA-MUSIC

Libertalia-Music is a record label and festival organizer intent on putting a new, modern face on Malagasy music. Libertalia and Afropop co-hosted a fantastic showcase at Le Pub in Tana, on our last night in town. The music was spectacular and unlike anything else we had heard.

Libertalia_Poster2

Silo, a true original! (Eyre 2014)

Silo, a true original! (Eyre 2014)

Silo at Le Pub (Eyre 2014)

Silo at Le Pub (Eyre 2014)

Thominot, a blazing hot band from Fort Dauiphin, at Le Pub. (Eyre 2014)

Thominot, a blazing hot band from Fort Dauphin, at Le Pub. (Eyre 2014)